Exposing the Invisible ? Wind?s Potential in Architecture

The objective of this project is to improve the communication between architects and wind engineers so that affects associated with wind such as pedestrian comfort, building strength and ventilation may be considered earlier on within the design phase of a project. By documenting the development of the invisible yet extremely prominent winds that flow through the intersection of Bay and King in Toronto, Ontario, I hope to apply and emphasize how key concepts of aerodynamics apply to a full-scale example that is relatable.

Diversity and structure of coastal eelgrass communities and their importance for maintaining juvenile Pacific salmon

On the coast of British Columbia, both eelgrass meadows and Pacific salmon species are declining, yet eelgrass community dynamics and reliance of juvenile salmon on these communities are poorly understood. We will assemble the first large-scale dataset from monitoring efforts of coastal BC organizations in order to assess eelgrass community diversity and structure across environmental and human disturbance gradients (including boating, fishing, and non-native species).

Eutrophication Risk Assessment and Adaptive Management Implementation in Lake Simcoe: Integration of the Watershed Processes with the Receiving Waterbody Year Two

Environmental modelling has been an indispensable tool of the Lake Simcoe restoration efforts. The proposed research aims to develop an integrated watershed-receiving waterbody modelling network that will provide a realistic platform for the evaluation of a variety of land-use management and climatic scenarios.

Quality Assurance of Biosand Filters: Production and Distribution

The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) is a non-profit organization promoting appropriate technologies in water and sanitation for the developing world. An example is the biosand filter, currently manufactured by hundreds of organizations in 55 countries, and used by 650,000+ families. Ensuring filter quality will accelerate its dissemination worldwide. In this project, the quality assurance (QA) procedures are developed for (1) biosand filters (2) their construction processes, and (3) the distribution network, using Nepal as a case study.

Assessing the impacts of fisheries, hydroelectric infrastructure, and temperature on Gates Creek sockeye salmon migration

The annual return of sockeye salmon to the Fraser River is a vital part of British Columbia’s environment, economy, and First Nations heritage. However, sockeye salmon can face numerous challenges during their migration including fisheries, warm water temperatures, and dams. Recent population declines in sockeye salmon have prompted concerns over the challenges salmon face during their migration and studies are needed to determine how the these challenges combine to affect salmon.

Research and test of the full waveform inversion method

Full waveform inversion (FWI) is an inversion technique that uses least squares theory to compute a velocity model of the Earth that minimizes the difference between an acquired shot and a synthetic shot. The technique proved to be of hard usage in industry and the goal of the project is to research for solutions that allow the application on real seismic data. The gradient (direction of the model update) will be computed with the PSPI migration and the scale factor (for proper update) will be computed by least squares. The final implement is to apply it on elastic waves (real data).

Quantifying the stormwater management benefits of urban forests under various climate change scenarios in a Vancouver sub-catchment

The trees and plants – also called urban forest – in our cities help to absorb and evaporate rainwater. Since cities have a lot of surfaces that are impermeable, rainwater cannot infiltrate the soil and has to be moved away through pipe systems, carrying the pollution it collects on the surface. The urban forest is an important because it helps clean the water thought roots systems, and reduces the quantity of water that, during big storms, can fill water pipes and overflow.

Optimization of wood bison interspecific somatic cell nuclear transfer and embryo culture for species conservation

Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) is a promising technique whereby a bison donor cell is transplanted into a domestic cattle oocyte. Different fibroblast donor cells have been demonstrated to have different embryonic outcomes. Problems with SCNT embryos have been also reported after in vitro culture. Toronto Zoo’s efforts have focused on wood bison iSCNT, a threatened Canadian species, in order to conserve its germplasm.

Characterization, antibacterial mechanism and improvement of Kisolite Clay Year Two

Kisolite Clay, a unique BC clay, has been found to have healing properties for skin irritation and internal ailments. However, this clay is not well understood in terms of its chemical and physical properties and the mechanism underlying its antibacterial properties. During preliminary tests it was found that the pH and oxidation state of the Kisolite clay changed over time. The impact of these changes on antibacterial properties will be investigated.

Assessing the suitability of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for data collection

The research project intends to test various aspects of data collection using a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in order to assess the suitability for small sites (~1 ha). Ideal conditions for UAV based mapping will be determined and compared to other traditional methods. To identify suitable conditions, the relationship between accuracy and several factors (the flying height, observational angle) will be assessed as well as limitations such as the effect of wind and distance to target. Various software will be utilized to address the accuracy of image stitching.