University of Lethbridge is seeking new graduate students for ecosystem change assessment and modeling

Website University of Lethbridge


The ARTeMiS Lab at the University of Lethbridge is seeking new graduate students to conduct funded research on a range of ecosystem change assessment and modeling projects in western and northern Canada. These projects are funded either through NSERC or through Alberta Innovates and address the need to understand rates of change in biomass, geomorphology, snow and glacier cover across a wide north to south transect of sites from SW Alberta up to the Arctic Shorelines of the Beaufort Sea. Some of these sites are in our National and Provincial Parks (e.g. Waterton, Banff, Castle) and others are in the remote northern Boreal regions of the Taiga Plains or Taiga Shield, while others are in large fluvial delta regions. Some of these projects involve biomass and hydrometeorological field data collection, some will be more geospatial modeling oriented but all will use remote sensing in seeking the 5th dimension of our changing ecosystems. MSc projects will focus on site level physical process, ecosystem change and methodological research, while PhD projects are expected to synthesize, model and upscale project level findings to Ecoregion / Ecozone scale and above.

The name of the NSERC program is ‘4DDELTA’ and the framework utilizes airborne and terrestrial lidar data my partners and I have collected over the last ~20 yrs to establish 3D landscape attributes through field data modeling and upscaling to other optical and radar-based platforms, then to assess change through time, which gets us to the 4th dimension. The innovation in this work is in quantifying 4D rates of change or entering the 5th dimension of accelerated structural change as those ecosystems that exist in transitional areas (e.g. mountains, riparian fringes or other physico-climatic extremities) are responding most rapidly to climate and other disturbance related influences.

Dr. Chris Hopkinson is presently seeking up to four highly motivated and capable M.Sc or PhD students to join his team in the Fall of 2018 or spring 2019. If you like the outdoors, enjoy balancing team and individual work, are handy with data and have a passion for understanding and exploring our magnificent and dynamic landscapes, this might be just the opportunity you are looking for. Funding is available for these positions and all research costs and field work will be covered. Student applicants will be able to apply for additional funding sources and to attend national or international conferences to present their work. All thesis work is expected to result in peer reviewed journal publications.

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