A Snow Water Equivalence Estimation Prediction (SWEEP) System to Improve Hydrologic Forecasts in British Columbia

The mountains of British Columbia store vast, but varying, amounts of water in winter snowpacks. Accurate estimates of snow water equivalent (SWE) in these mountains are critical for hydroelectric power generation and flood forecasting, but the current observation network is often insufficient. Working with both industry and academic partners, Mitacs interns will use airborne laser measurements of snow depth, satellite-based observations of snow cover, and ground-based snowpack measurements to reduce errors in river forecasting.

Displacement-based Design of Hybrid Steel-timber Structures

Driven by heightened environmental awareness, the construction industry increasingly strives to utilize materials such as timber with a low-carbon footprint in their life cycle. High-strength mass-timber products, innovative ductile connections, and fast computer-numerically-controlled pre-fabrication, combined with changing legislation create better opportunities to also build tall timber structures. However, low ductility and limited tensile strength of timber are challenges for such buildings particularly in high seismic zones.

Study clay deposits within the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (Fort Nelson area) for industrial applications

The town of Fort Nelson has been hugely impacted economically with the drop in oil prices and cancellation of west-coast LNG export. Local companies and entrepreneurs are looking for other natural resources in an attempt to save the region’s economy. Mindbody Networks Inc. has access to a variety of natural clay deposits distributed within the area that hold huge economic potential. In this research project, the suitability of this clay deposit for different industrial applications will be evaluated.

Using Canadian natural zeolite to develop a multifunctional filter medium for removal of microorganisms and toxic heavy metals from polluted drinking water

The main goal of this research project is to develop an inexpensive multifunctional filtering medium for purifying contaminated drinking water using modified Canadian natural zeolite with different metal elements such as zinc, copper and silver. In this project, a filter material will be developed which has the ability to kill bacteria from drinking water sources. This filter will also be useful for removal of toxic heavy metals from contaminated drinking water.

Investigation of Future Footprint Scenario Modeling Approaches in the Peace River Break

The Peace River Break in northeastern British Columbia is an important ecological connection along the Rocky Mountains. The region has a long and rich history of use and occupancy by Indigenous Peoples. In addition to being known for high agricultural, recreation, and tourism values, there is also a lot of industrial economic activity, particularly, forestry, mining and energy. With multiple large-scale resource development projects proposed or underway, the Peace River Break is under significant stress and conservation opportunities are limited.

Fibre response to temperature and precipitation variation in natural and planted stands of spruce (Picea glauca x Engelmannii) in northern interior British Columbiaa

This goal of this research project is to understand how wood fibre characteristics within planted and natural stands of spruce behave with changes to temperature and precipitation. Several methods of wood analysis will be used to determine this relationship including dendrochronology, scientifically dating tree-rings and comparing to climate, and analysis of fibre qualities, or cellular wood qualities, within samples of both natural and planted stands of spruce.

Characteristics of PM2.5 in Prince George neighborhoods for personal monitoring purposes

Reports of air monitoring since 1994 show the annual average PM2.5 concentration in the Prince George airshed is one of the highest in the province. Although a large effort is underway to monitor ambient levels of PM2.5 , there has been no systematic study on personal exposure at the neighborhood level. Furthermore, there are no data on chemical composition (in particular elemental analysis) of PM2.5 in the neighborhoods.

Keeping an eye on climate change

Sina was beginning his program at the University of Northern BC’s Natural Resources and Environment Studies department when he was given the opportunity to apply his specialized knowledge of watershed management to an Accelerate project for lumber giant Canfor.

“We have a pulp mill in Prince George that draws water from the Nechako River,” says Mike Bradley, Director of Sustainability for Canfor Pulp. “That means the water level and its clarity are very important to us. We were concerned about how changes over time would affect our business.”

Creating evidence to better support transitions from residential to community based locations of care

Often entry into a residential care facility is a last resort, when physical and cognitive deterioration results in high level of care needs that exceed the availability of personal and community supports. Residential care facilities are increasingly becoming places where older adults receive care until death. Few transition back to the community.

Building Language-Based Tourism Opportunities in Haida Gwaii, Canada

The purpose of this project is to work with the Haida to implement a community-based tourism program to support the development and revitalization of their language. Based on the findings of a doctoral thesis undertaken with the community, the program will support culturally appropriate uses of language within tourism settings. Foundational to the program is supporting language relationships, meaning the people, networks, and associations within the community that serve to create a mutually supportive speaking environment.

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