Alberta Wet-Areas Mapping Initiative: Ecosystem-based research into boreal forest management: EMEND Symposium 2017 Report (Edmonton, June 6-8, 2017)

On June 6 and June 8, 2017, a mix of foresters, landscape planners, government scientists, community members, and students gathered to hear current and former graduate students describe their work at the EMEND research site. The presentations and discussions were part of the EMEND Symposium 2017, hosted in Peace River and Edmonton. Some attendees were familiar or even involved with the EMEND project, while others were just then learning about the world-class experiment operating a short drive from their homes. All of them came away with new insights about ecosystem-based management and the diverse projects being conducted by a new generation of researchers. Several of the reports presented new findings based on Alberta Wet-Areas Mapping Initiative. About 4 million ha of wet-area maps are now available  at http://aep.alberta.ca/forms-maps-services/maps/resource-data-product-catalogue/hydrological.aspx

Predicted Streams and Depth to Water Table Mapping for the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest

1-o_dt1pS7YAP1TSNnC9vOcQ High resolution inventory solution (HRIS) developed through Tesera is being used to maximize the return on investments on timber and non-timber management properties. Tesera integrated the depth-to-water map produced by the Forest Watershed Research Centre, which helps to outline riparian buffers using stream, wetland, lake, and river datasets.

To see more about this project visit: Maximize Return on Investments using High Resolution Data in Forest Planning – Part 1.

Drone Captured Images of UNB Campus

unnamedForest Watershed Research Centre  (March 2017) is  further advancing its flow-channel and wet-areas mapping initiative WAM) using “PhoDAR” (Photogrammetric Detection and Ranging) technology. The aim is to model and map flow channels and wet areas at the 1 to 10 cm scale for specific areas of interest, based on stereo imagery.

 

Marie-France Recipient of Esri Young Scholar Award 2016

PosterYSMarie-France Jones was recognized as Canada’s 2016 Esri Young Scholar Award winner. She was the top candidate in a PhD program. The award recognizes exemplary work in geospatial science.

Link to the Esri award announcement.

Marie-France is a PhD candidate in Forestry, working in the Forest Watershed Research Centre under the supervision of Dr. Paul Arp. She was is also the 2016 Esri Canada Higher Education Scholarship recipient for UNB. She holds a Master of Science in Forestry, studies focusing on hydrology and forest soils from UNB, and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Environmental Management, also from UNB.

Towards the Goal of Environmental Excellence: Alberta’s Wet Areas Mapping Initiative at Year Ten

Alberta’s wet areas mapping initiative was initiated in 2005 and has made positive contributions to land and forest management. During this ten year time period, the wet areas mapping model has undergone a significant transformation to address complex challenges of mapping lands within the boreal forest. New spin-off modelling tools have also become an operational reality. A new understanding of moisture distributions on the forested landscape at high resolutions has spurred new scientific studies in the field of ecology, growth and yield and reclamation. This scientific symposium will report on a decade of innovation.

Link to Workshop

Mina Nasr PhD Thesis Defended

MinaNasrMina Nasr successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled: GEOSPATIAL ANALYSIS OF TOTAL MERCURY CONCENTRATIONS IN STREAM AND LAKE SEDIMENTS ACROSS CANADA. Her thesis was considered  “monumental” by the examination committee in terms of scope and detail. Parts of the thesis  have already  been published, and more will appear in publications and in a government report.

Shane Furze Recipient of Esri Young Scholar Award 2015

shaneposter2015Shane Furze was recognized as Canada’s 2015 Esri Young Scholar Award winner. He was the top candidate in a PhD program. The award recognizes exemplary work in geospatial science.

Link to the Esri award announcement.

Shane is a PhD candidate in Forestry, working in the Forest Watershed Research Centre under the supervision of Dr. Paul Arp. He is also a 2014 Esri Canada GIS Scholarship recipient. He has a Masters of Environmental Management from UNB and a BSc in Environmental Science in Biology from St. Francis Xavier University.

Depth-to-Water vs TWI

This presentation details how height increments of spruce plantations vary in relation to two rasterized LiDAR-DEM derived indicators of soil wetness / drainage, i.e.,

  • the cartographic Depth-to-Water index DTW, referring to the elevational rise away from nearest streams and other surface water bodies, and
  • the Terrain Wetness Index TWI, referring to the logarithm of the upslope flow accumulation area over slope ratio at each raster pixel.

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A Technical Overview of Alberta’s Wet Areas Mapping Datasets

A Technical Overview of Alberta’s Wet Areas Mapping Datasets

Jae Ogilvie provides a definitive description of Alberta’s wet area mapping research and the development and opportunities from Canada’s largest wet area mapping dataset. This series of videos cover an hour long lecture, given by Jae Ogilvie, Friday, April 11, 2014 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. The lecture was sponsored by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.

Link to the video series.

The 22nd Annual Emerald Awards, June 6, 2013, Edmonton

The 22nd Annual Emerald Awards, June 6, 2013, Edmonton

Among the finalists (Government Institutions): Alberta Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD)

Alberta’s ESRD Department actively pursues innovative solutions to balance economic, environmental and social concerns. In part, doing this places emphasis on conserving aquatic habitats and sensitive lands. The problem is that traditional mapping of water and soils relied upon photo-interpretation. But unseen wet areas, unknown locations of sensitive soils, and stream channels hidden under vegetation canopies have made resource planning unduly difficult and expensive. The Department therefore commenced on what has become a nine-year journey with researchers at the University of New Brunswick to develop algorithms and functional data sets to map hydrological and soil features at unprecedented resolution by way of geographic information technology. In this process, wet-areas mapping has become a means for recognizing an innovation opportunity, and a model for moving good science towards simple, robust and cost-effective tools with a growing array of applications. Altogether, this initiative is about empowering Albertans by providing them with readily visualized information to achieve environmental excellence in land-use planning and management.

New Brunswick Climate Change Adaptation Project Profiles

Using LiDAR generated point cloud data, the Forest Watershed Research Center is assisting the province of New Brunswick in mapping and classifying potential hydrological risks (especially flooding and erosion) inland and along the coasts. The project will provide provincial and municipal authorities with a means to scope, evaluate and classify hydrological risks in a comprehensive manner across the Province.

Alberta’s Wet Areas Mapping Initiative: Innovation supporting continuous improvement in environmental performance

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, in close partnership with the University of New Brunswick, has completed the development of wet area datasets for 14 million hectares along its Foothills to Boreal Region. These datasets, done at 1 meter resolution using light distance and ranging (LiDAR) technologies, are now freely available for users. A one-day workshop, addressed to the energy sector, was conducted to demonstrate the utility of wet areas mapping in reducing operational costs and fostering stewardship of Alberta’s landscapes.

Flood Risk & Depth to Water Mapping

Presentated at: Preparing for Climate 2100 – Tools and strategies for NB communities. November 14th to 16th, 2012, Fredericton Convention Centre. The Forest Watershed Research Centre presented the current state of LiDAR-based wet-areas mapping in New Brunswick, in a series of three 30 min presentations, with an attendance of 40 per session. This mapping approach also featured in a number of community oriented conference banners.