2018 Fall Research Workshop

Science and Practice

Workshop Description

Members of the Boreal Ecosystem Recovery and Assessment (BERA) project held their third annual workshop on Thursday, November 22nd 2018 at the University of Alberta. This year’s workshop aimed to create an opportunity for our collaborators and partners to 1) see the progress that has been accomplished across all the research projects at this half-way point of year 4 of BERA, 2) engage in follow-up discussions to track these accomplishments relative to the original research objectives laid out four years ago, and 3) exchange ideas for the remaining and new research activities related to ecosystem recovery and assessment for year 5 of BERA and beyond. With a wealth of 23 research projects to present, the workshop was organized this year to span a full day, and was greeted once more with a highly engaged, forty-people strong participant group.

The morning began with Greg McDermid (see “Presentations – Session 1” below) welcoming the group and setting the stage by providing an overview of the guiding question in BERA – “when is footprint no longer footprint?” – and a reminder of the original research objectives across the main four BERA themes: 1) Vegetation and Footprint Mapping, 2) Abiotic Footprint Conditions, 3) Ecological Effects on Vegetation and 4) Ecological Effects on Wildlife.  The research projects undertaken within each of the themes were then presented in lightning-talk format, theme by theme, followed by their own respective, interactive poster session and targeted discussion rounds to track the accomplishments relative their original objectives (see “Presentations – Sessions 2 to 4” below).

The last session (see “Presentations – Session 5” below) used a moderated round-table discussion format to review the status of the individual research themes as well as of the convergent objectives across themes through a wider lens.  The discussions resulted in great positive feedback, emphasizing the tremendous value of the scientific foundations being established for restoration activities while maintaining the research under operational, real-world scenarios.  The session also included discussions on partnership and future BERA steps.  While the BERA team already greatly benefits from the focus and support provided from collaborators and partners, ideas were discussed to further expand the partnership more directly to the student body through potential internship programs.  Regarding next steps for BERA, great interest was expressed in finding the support to expand the research for real-world monitoring in ecosystem recovery, and exploring the potential for another 5-year research program.

We want to thank our partners and collaborators for their active engagement and support.  We are excited to complete our current research path over this final year of BERA and to start engaging on formulating new frontiers for BERA II to embark on with you. We look forward to meeting again at the next annual workshop!

Workshop Details

Date: Thursday, November 22th, 2018, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Location: Maple Leaf Room, Lister Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB



Silvia Losada

Seismic Line Mapper

Gus Lopes Queiroz

Remote Sensing of Coarse Woody Debris on Caribou Habitat

Annette Dietmaier

Comparison of airborne laser scanning and digital aerial photogrammetry for characterizing canopy openings in the boreal forest in Alberta, Canada

Greg McDermid

Remote Sensing Tools for Conifer Stocking Assessment – Part 1: Manual Softcopy Interpretation

Man Fai Wu

Remote Sensing Tools for Conifer Stocking Assessment – Part 2: Automated Object-based Analysis

Kiran Basran

Mapping Groundwater Table in Alberta’s Boreal Region using Remote Sensing Techniques

Caroline Franklin

Abiotic conditions on seismic lines

Scott J. Davidson

Impact of linear disturbances on soil characteristics

Maria Strack

Evaluating boreal peatland vegetation communities and carbon exchange on sites impacted by linear disturbances

Kan Luo

Boreal Forest Environmental Monitoring Using Internet of Things Boreal

Sara Saeedi

Open Standard Internet of Things Prototype for Microclimate Monitoring

Angelo T. Filicetti

Forest recovery & trajectories on seismic lines

Cassondra J. Stevenson

Influence of microtopographic complexity & depression on seismic line regeneration

Laureen Echiverri

Effects of mounding on the understory communities of seismic lines in treed peatlands

Ryan LaPointe

Jack pine regeneration on exploratory well pads following wildfire

Brendan Casey

Predicting songbird occupancy using LiDAR-derived structural metrics

Jennifer Hird

Remote sensing-based characterization of harvest area regeneration: Preliminary results

Michelle Filiatrault

Estimating the height of conifer seedlings in recovering linear disturbances with UAV photogrammetry

Jocelyn Gregoire

Canada Warbler Response to Linear Feature Restoration

Natalie Sánchez

Disentangling the effects of vegetation disturbances and chronic industrial noise in songbirds

Michael Fromm

Semi Supervised Object Detection on UAV Images

Richard Hedley

Monitoring the responses of birds to anthropogenic habitat disturbance using sound localization