Predator Reduction and Habitat Influences: Impacts on Upland Duck Nest Success in Alberta Parklands

More than any other life stage, the hatching of eggs is the most important factor in the maintenance of dabbling duck populations. Rates of nest success are suppressed by predators like foxes, coyotes, skunks, and crows. Populations of these predators can be artificially high due to habitat alterations resulting from human development. The Delta Waterfowl Foundation proposes lethal trapping to reduce nest predation in Alberta parkland habitats. However, predator reduction programs can direct limited resources away from habitat-based alternatives, and are controversial.

Towards an operational database of forest bird abundance in British Columbia

Forest companies would like to reduce the number of birds, eggs, and nests that are negatively affected by logging. The problem is that we don’t have detailed knowledge of where every bird lives, so it’s difficult to make educated choices about where and how much forest to harvest. My research will provide a solution to this problem. I will relate bird data to forest characteristics like age and height to understand which forest types have the most birds, and to map out where birds are most likely to live.

Sustainable production of engineered wood products in Northwestern Ontario: Developing harmonized decision models and standards for local materials

The global demand for engineered wood products (EWP) is increasing and in the last two decades, timber has captured substantial market shares from the mineral-based solid construction materials, particularly in the construction of residential and non-residential buildings. Although, the production of glue laminated timber (Glulam) and cross laminated timber (CLT) engineered wood products has been growing in other provinces of Canada, there are no manufacturing facilities in Ontario to service the local and the Midwest and Great Lakes States markets.

Alberta High Resolution Wetland Inventory Methodology Development

This project aims to operationalize innovative methods for developing cost effective wetland inventories across Alberta by use of numerous sources of remote sensing data, namely light detection and ranging (LiDAR), synthetic aperture Radar (SAR), and optical imagery.

Determining Aboriginal and Treaty Right Impacts in Regulatory Processes

This project will consider how impacts on Aboriginal and Treaty rights have been addressed in Environmental Impact Assessments and other regulatory processes in BC and Alberta. The impacts being assessed include destruction of areas important for hunting, fishing, trapping, or spiritual purposes, as well as prohibitions to accessing these and other types of important areas. This research will address a gap wherein the methods for determining such impacts are not always explicitly defined.

Investigation of Non-Condensable Gas Behaviour in Thermal Exploitation of Grosmont Reservoir and Its Role and Effect on Reservoir Performance and Simulation History Matching of the Saleski Pilot

The Grosmont formation, a carbonate naturally fractured reservoir in Alberta, Canada, has 400 billion bbl of bitumen resource, which is currently not commercially exploited. Viable exploitation of this reservoir would mean addition of a huge quantity to Canadian oil reserves. Since December 2010, Laricina Energy Ltd. in their Saleski pilot evaluated a bitumen recovery process using steam injection. The pilot was shut down on September 2015 due to low commodity prices. The Saleski Pilot examined Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) and cycle steam injection in Grosmont reservoir.

A Framework for Development of Rediscovered Wood Underwater Salvage Certification Standard

"Underwater logging is the process of logging trees from underwater forest. It is expected that underwater logging will significantly increase in the coming years as the amount of flooded forests continue to grow due to dam construction and the availability of sophisticated underwater logging technology. Concerns about potential negative effects of underwater logging, like degradation of water quality and disturbed fish habitat, have led to the demand for sustainability criteria and certification system that can control underwater logging.

Enzyme immobilization to enhance the hydrolysis of soluble, biomass derived xylo-oligomers

The proposed research project will conduct feasibility studies on the purification and conditioning of industrial, hemicellulose derived C5 sugars from a number of potentially commercial liquor fractions, derived from lignocellulosic biomass. In the first two Mitacs projects, enzyme hydrolysis showed considerable benefits over traditional acid hydrolysis for S2G’s bio-glycol production. However, relatively high enzyme loadings were still required to achieve fast and efficient hydrolysis!

Physiological and environmental factors affecting the migratory behavior and survival of sockeye and steelhead salmon smolts

The great number and variety of factors influencing the survival of migrating salmon smolts in the early marine environment makes it difficult to understand the causes of recent declines in smolt survival and salmon population productivity. We will combine novel methodologies (biotelemetry and biomarkers) simultaneously to examine a variety of factors influencing the migratory behaviour and survival of sockeye and steelhead smolts in the Salish Sea.

Processes Governing Hydrocarbon Movement in Heterogenous Soils

Groundwater contamination by hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel is a serious threat to the environment and human health. Sources of this contamination include leaking underground storage tanks, pipleline breaks, tanker truck accidents and train derailments. There is a need for improved understanding of the mobility of hydrocarbon fuels in the subsurface to allow more accurate risk assessment and design of more effective remediation schemes.

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