PEATland Ecology and Remote Sensing Lab
Department of Geography and Environment
University of Lethbridge, Alberta Canada
Understanding and quantifying risks associated with climate change and disturbance in Boreal ecosystems by using remote sensing and field measurements
Members of the Integrated Ecosystems Group use geospatial, hydro-meteorological, and field data to understand resilience and hydro-ecological tipping point mechanisms for ecosystem change in natural and disturbed boreal wetland, forest, and permafrost environments. We use cutting-edge re technologies to integrate processes across the boundary between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere, over space and through time.
Quantifying loss of carbon from boreal peatlands using airborne lidar data
Here we have partnered with the Canadian Forest Service to understand the vegetation structural, topographic, and hydrological drivers of peat consumption and vegetation trajectories in peatland to forest transition areas at a range of sites throughout northern Alberta and in NWT. The results of this research will provide urgently needed quantification of the driving mechanisms associated with ground and short vegetation fuel consumption, the potential for greenhouse gas emissions, and how ecosystems will regenerate from wildfire now and into the future. Funded by NSERC Discovery Grant program.
Transitioning of permafrost to wetland and implications for biomass gains and losses
Northern ecosystems are changing at an accelerating rate within the climatically sensitive discontinuous permafrost zone. Changes in hydrology, the mortality of forests along the edges of the permafrost plateaus and shrubification of the wetland environment could increase risk of wildfire to northern communities. Here we have partnered with the ARTeMiS Lab at the University of Lethbridge and the Scotty Creek Research Basin (Wilfrid Laurier University) to determine how wildfire regimes changing in northern environments. Are ecosystems gaining or losing biomass? What are the implications for the carbon cycle? Funded by NSERC Discovery Grant program.
Remote sensing wetland ecosystem change detection method development
In this project with Alberta Environment and Parks, we are developing new methods to classify wetlands within the Oil Sands Region of Alberta. Here integrate time series lidar data with plot measurements of vegetation structural characteristics as proxy indicators of ecosystem condition. Funded by the Oil Sands Monitoring program
Assessing rates of recovery within an early post-wildfire successional forest
This project examines important feedback processes between a recently burned lodgepole pine forest, the atmosphere, and the climate system through the long-term recovery of this ecosystem. The site is located in the Akamina Valley, Waterton Lakes National Park. How will vegetation regenerate following the Kenow wildfire, given the climate of today is so different from what it was 150-200 years ago when this forest was established? Funded by Parks Canada.
Development of a multi-temporal effective leaf area index model from multi-spectral lidar: Scaling to Sentinel using machine learning
In this project, we use airborne lidar and field data to map variations in foliage cover and leaf area index to better understand and monitor vegetation productivity in the Oil Sands region. Here we have partnered up with Hatfield Inc. who will use our methods to scale to and validate Sentinel, lidar and SAR data within a machine learning framework. Funded by the NSERC Engage program.
Dr. Laura Chasmer has a background in the integration of remote sensing data with ecosystem process measurements and hydro-meteorology. She has almost 20 years of experience and more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. She enjoys fieldwork and occasionally operating lidar systems.
Originally from Germany, Linda is getting used to living near the mountains. Her dissertation examines biomass changes in NWT using lidar and optical imagery
Thesis: Assessing boreal ecosystem changes due to permafrost thaw and wildfire disturbance
Kailyn is looking at peatland carbon losses due to wildfire in the Oil Sands region, Alberta using pre- and post-fire time series lidar data, depth of burn and soil measurements.
Thesis: Estimating spatial variability of peatland wildfire carbon emissions in Alberta's Boreal Plains
Emily is using a post-wildfire chronosequence approach to better understand how hydro-climatology alters vegetation regeneration trajectories in the Boreal Plains region of central Alberta
Chinyere is comparing pre-fire fuels with spatial variations in post-fire burn severity and loss of biomass using multi-temporal and multi-spectral airborne lidar and optical imagery
Jesse is looking at rates of vegetation regrowth and quantifying carbon stores following the Kenow Wildfire at Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta
Past Team Members
Trajectories of post-fire wetlands in Alberta (B.Sc. Project)
Lidar data analysis within wildfire burn scars and developer of this fab website (B.Sc. Project)
Economic and social impacts of wildfire in western Canada (B.Sc. Project
Vegetation regeneration during the first year post wildfire at Waterton Lakes National Park (B.Sc. Project)
Advanced lidar data processing (B.Sc. Project)
Impacts of changing climate on wetland change in Oil Sands Region (B.Sc. Project)
The preferred habitat of the Banff Bison Herd during their first three months of freedom (B.Sc. Project)
Seismic line impacts on proximal boreal forest and wetland environments in Alberta (M.Sc. Emerging Leaders of the Americas Program Internship student)