Geoinformatics in remote places: using sensor-augmented vehicles to support situational awareness, and environmental data generation

This project will explore the potential of agile geographic sensing technologies to support remote terrestrial platforms that are able to access unpaved wilderness environments. Laser scanning and photogrammetric survey systems will be tested to assess their capability to support real-time terrain navigation, spatial situational awareness,

Measuring the fate of naphthenic acids in wetlands using Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Samplers and Solid-Phase Microextraction - Year two

Treatment wetlands have emerged as a potential treatment option for oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) produced from bitumen extraction by the oil sands industry. Of particular interest is the removal of naphthenic acids (NAs), which are widely acknowledged as the primary constituents of toxicity in OSPW. Studies have demonstrated the capacity for NA removal in wetland environments; however, the specific mechanisms of removal for NAs in wetlands is not well understood.

Digital interventions to improve the mental wellbeing and quality of life of low-income community-dwelling older adults

Our previous research with Mitacs has found that financial burden is one of the biggest negative contributors to the mental health of community-dwelling seniors. We plan to continue to work with the West End Seniors Network (WESN), Vancouver’s second largest not-for-profit seniors’ center, to explore how technology can be utilized to provide mental health aids and services for low-income seniors. The intern will conduct focus groups with older adults to accomplish the research objectives.

First Steps for a Healthy Climate: Exploring grassroots/parent-led community resiliency, civic empowerment and location-based education for climate change

The climate emergency poses a looming existential threat (IPCC 2021), already being realized in BC through forest fires, smoke, drought, and extreme heat events. Babies and young children are high-risk for both present and future climate dangers. Tasked with the responsibility to care and protect societies’ most vulnerable, parents require help, including community resources for increasing family and child capacity to cope with climate change. Such supports are especially important for post-partum mental health.

Built Environmental Impact on Residents’ Quality of Life and Staff Care Practices in a Long-Term Care Facility: Pre- and Post-relocation at the Existing “Views” and Newly-Constructed Innovative “Village” Model in Comox, British Columbia

The importance of the built environment in long-term care homes is recognized as a key component in providing good quality care and support for the residents, particularly those living with dementia. Well-designed, supportive environments can promote way finding and orientation, improve level of autonomy in activities of daily living, functioning, engagement in meaningful activity, and reduce responsive behaviours, such as anxiety, agitation and aggression.

Screening of Pre-Cancerous Oral Lesions via Dual-Spectral Autofluorescence

The proposed project will focus on expanding upon existing autofluorescence based cancer screening techniques. In particular, our efforts will be focused on using a dual-spectral approach to extract the intrinsic fluorescence of the sample. Current methods of autofluorescence based oral cancer screening capitalize on the fact that tumorous or pre-cancerous tissue exhibits reduced autofluorescence relative to healthy tissue. Because hemoglobin absorbs the autofluorescence emissions of interest, increased blood-flow to an area can results in false positives and unnecessary biopsies.

Integrating the gas and electrical grids for a net-zero future

Electrification connects renewable, low-carbon energy sources to the energy services that power modern society. Delivering this energy in the form of electricity is a formidable challenge, as the current electrical transmission network is not structured to deliver the amount of electrical energy needed to propel our vehicles, heat and cool our homes, and power industry and commerce. To reduce the demand on the electrical grid, renewable energy can also be converted into hydrogen and distributed through the gas grid.

Role of cannabinoids on fast-inactivation of cardiac Nav channels - Year two

Cannabinoids are natural products derived from the Cannabis sativa plant (commonly known as marijuana). Cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychotropic cannabinoid is reputed to have medicinal benefits and is approved for the treatment of two seizure disorders. Other non-psychotropic cannabinoids, like cannabinol and cannabigerol, are less studied. We previously found that CBD both directly and indirectly affects voltage-gated sodium channel (Nav) function.

Regional Quaternary Geology and Glacial History in the Iskut Area

Canada’s modern landscape has been strongly influenced by the formation and subsequent melting of glaciers during the last glaciation. Glaciers have a wide range of effects on near surface sediments including moving and reworking them to form new deposits. Understanding the actions of the glaciers and the shape, characteristics and variability of the resulting sediments is important to the work of scientists and engineers.

Investigating Crop and Soil Properties using Remote Sensing Big Data for Supporting Precision Agriculture

The Canadian agricultural sector is facing a wide range of challenges that include depleting natural resources (e.g., water), environmental pollution (e.g., fertilizers), and climate change. Precision agriculture is a method of farming that uses technologies to monitor soil and crop status and support timely and variable-rate farming practices. It is thus a promising approach to address challenges faced by the agricultural sector.