Testing out one of the new UAVs in our expanding fleet

Our new DJI Phantom 4 is equipped with RTK (Real-time kinematic) positioning. This will allow us to collect centimeter-accurate data and make laying ground control points along the boundaries and at the centers of our study sites a thing of the past.

Living Shorelines Workshop

March 29, 2019 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Holland College Campus, 140 Weymouth St, Room 319- 3rd floor

Featuring Kevin Smith, Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources, Director, Office of Restoration and Resiliency and Vincent Leys, M.Sc., P.Eng. Coastal Engineer, CBCL Consulting Engineers

Topics covered to include:
I. Shoreline Erosion (Causes and Outcomes; Natural Processes)
II. Shoreline Erosion Control Practices – Overview (Traditional Practices)
III. Origins of Living Shorelines (History, Definitions, How the Practice Developed)
IV. Philosophy of Living Shoreline Practices (Physical Processes, Shoreline Habitat)
V. Living Shoreline Practices (Sand Fill, Sills, Breakwaters, Innovative Approaches)
VI. Engineering Aspects of Living Shorelines
VII. Benefits (Fish and Macroinvertebrates, Erosion Protection)
VIII. Living Shorelines and Coastal Resiliency
IX. Costs
X. Monitoring
XI. Wrap up and discussion

The event is FREE and open to everyone. Lunch will be provided. Please register at allianceprojectmanager@gmail.com

Drone info session

We were thrilled to host the Transport Canada RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) team last week for an information session on the upcoming drone regulations, which come into effect on June 1st. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make the event a success.

Below is a photo of Roger Smith, who works as a Civil Aviation Inspector for Transport Canada, speaking to the crowd last night at UPEI.

Info session on new Canadian drone regulations, Feb 20

Photo credit: Don Jardine

The UPEI Climate Research Lab will host an information session on new Canadian drone regulations on February 20, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in room 235 of UPEI’s Robertson Library.

The event features Roger Smith of Transport Canada and the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Task Force. The new regulations come into effect June 1.

The UPEI Climate Research Lab has done extensive work with drone technology, including studying dune systems, coastal erosion, shoreline armouring, wind turbine inspection, and waste management.

Space is limited. Please contact climate@upei.ca with your name, affiliation, email and mailing address to reserve your spot. All are welcome.

Please direct all inquiries regarding the RPAS Task Force or Transport Canada drone regulations to Transport Canada at (613) 993-0055 or media@tc.gc.ca.

Sustainable Forestry Practices for PEI: Compatible Ideas from Europe


UPEI’s Climate Research Lab and the PEI Woodlot Owners Association (PEIWOA) will host a public talk on sustainable forestry practices to deepen our understanding of how climate change can affect forestry management. Dutch expert Dr. Gert-Jan Nabuurs will compare European forestry practices with the situation on Prince Edward Island. The event is Tuesday, November 20 at 7:00 pm in the Alex H. MacKinnon Auditorium of UPEI’s Don and Marion McDougall Hall. All are welcome to this free public lecture.

“On PEI, one can think of enhancing thinnings, using the low quality thinned wood for biomass and, at the same time, aim with the remaining stand for a higher quality timber—a kind of European style forestry,” said Dr. Nabuurs. “The benefit for the forest owner is not so much in the short term, but lies more in the longer term, with better stands. These operations and mindset have to change. That takes time. Access to forest is needed. Owners have to collaborate, and regular supply is needed.”

Dr. Gert-Jan Nabuurs is a professor of European forest resources at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and a senior researcher at Wageningen Environmental Research (WUR). His background is in European-scale forest-resource analyses and management under climate change. His work has both scientific and practical applications.

Dr. Nabuurs is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) coordinating lead author in good practice guidance for the its fourth assessment report. He will lead the agriculture and forestry chapter in the IPCC’s sixth assessment report, starting in 2019. He was assistant director of the European Forest Institute in Finland from 2009–2012. He is member of Ministerial Advisory Committee Sustainability of Biomass for Energy Purposes, advising on certification schemes and their applicability to Dutch biomass sustainability criteria.

Although this event is important for woodlot owners and silviculture workers, Dr. Nabuurs’ ideas and experience will also be of interest to forestry contractors, environment and watershed groups, climate scientists, resource managers, local governments and chambers of commerce. All are welcome.

Calculating Sea-level Rise and Storm Surge Flooding Scenarios

A Training Session and Q & A on Calculating Sea-level Rise and Storm Surge Flooding Scenarios

Presented by: Réal Daigle


Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 9 am to 4 pm
UPEI, Regis and Joan Duffy Research Centre (DRC)
550 University Avenue, Charlottetown
Cost: $100 per person (lunch is included)

Topics include:

  • Historical water level statistics
  • Science of sea-level rise
  • Methodologies and uncertainties in sea-level rise predictions
  • Regional sea-level rise estimates
  • Storm surge climatology and other flooding factors
  • Comparison of storm surge scenarios for PEI north and south shores
  • Exercise: Calculate storm surge rates

Space is limited. Please register at climate@upei.ca.

Visitors may park in any of the General Parking Lots at no cost and without a permit from mid-April to mid-September. These lots are labeled as General Parking Lots A, lower B, D, and E on the UPEI Campus Map. (DRC is Building 28 on the campus map)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in Research Information Session 23-24 July 2018



Adam Fenech, University of Prince Edward Island

Andrew Clark – University of Calgary

Paul Nesbit – University of Calgary



  • How to purchase a UAV, the various models
  • How to plan drone flights, and operation options
  • Options and procedures for image processing
  • How to establish ground control points to increase the precision of data captured
  • Understanding scale considerations for answering research questions
  • The Department of Transport rules and regulations for operating UAVs
  • How to operate UAVs safely


Monday July 23

0830      Introduction to UAVs

0900      UAV for Coastal Monitoring on the Canadian Coast

1000      Geologic Mapping using UAV at Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta

1030      Break

1100      Spec’ing a UAV System

1200      Lunch

1300      Presentation by Roger Smith from Transport Canada on rules and regulations governing the application of drone technology to research activities, as well as the ins-and-outs of applying for a Special Flight Operating Certificate

1430      Break

1500      Flight Planning, Scale, Ground Control

1630      End of first day sessions

Tuesday July 24

0830      In Field Drone Flight Demonstration and Data Collection – Belle River, PE

1200      Lunch

1330      Structure from Motion

1400      Image Processing

1430      Break

1500      Data Visualization and Interpretation

1600      Final Questions and Discussion

1630      End of Final Day Session

Wednesday July 25

Rain date for Field Drone Flight Demonstration


Biographies of Instructors

Dr. Adam Fenech, University of Prince Edward Island – Dr. Fenech has been engaged in climate change research for thirty years starting with the 1988 Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere which launched the climate change issue into the international policy agenda. Dr. Fenech was an inaugural member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group that shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Fenech has written policy speeches for Canadian Environment Ministers, represented Canada at international environmental meetings, and teaches regularly at universities across Canada and around the world. Presently, Dr. Fenech leads the UPEI Climate Research Lab where his graduate students use drone technology in their climate change research.

Andrew Clark, University of Calgary – Mr. Clark is a PhD student at the University of Calgary. Mr. Clark is the main programmer of the internationally-recognized sea-level rise visualization known as CLIVE (CoastaL Impacts Visualization Environment). CLIVE has won numerous awards including one from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Mr. Clark is the main pilot of the UPEI Climate Lab drones, and leads research in their application in the environmental sciences.

Paul Nesbit, University of Calgary – Mr. Nesbit is a PhD student at the University of Calgary. Mr. Nesbit’s research focuses on the application of UAVs and processing solutions. He holds a Masters of Science in Geographic Information Science and Geography  from California State University-Long Beach.


Our Incredible Shrinking Island

Storm waves crashing over the North Rustico breakwater on October 5, 2011 (Don Jardine)

Researchers from UPEI’s Climate Research Lab are travelling across Prince Edward Island over the next few months to speak with communities about sea-level rise.

Dr. Adam Fenech, director of the lab, and his team will make presentations to increase understanding and awareness about the impacts of sea-level rise, coastal erosion, and storm surges. They will also discuss tools for adaptation and coastal planning. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions and to discuss what sea-level rise means for them.

The events are open to the public and will run for approximately two hours. Refreshments will be provided. There is no charge to attend.

  • Friday, February 16th – John J. Sark Memorial School, Lennox Island (4:00 – 6:00 PM)
  • Tuesday, February 20th – The Eagle Nest, North Rustico (6:30 – 8:30 PM)
  • Thursday, February 22nd – Fire Hall, Tyne Valley (6:30 – 8:30 PM)
  • Tuesday, March 6th – Eastern Kings Community Centre, Bothwell (1:30 – 3:00 PM)
  • Tuesday, July 3rd – Kings Playhouse, Georgetown (6:30 – 8:30 pm)
  • Wednesday, July 4th – Victoria Schoolhouse, Victoria (6:30 – 8:30 pm)
  • Monday, July 9th – Alberton Community Centre, Alberton (6:30 – 8:30 pm)
  • Tuesday, July 10th – Rossiter Park Community Building, Morell (6:30 – 8:30 pm)

Please RSVP by emailing climate@upei.ca or calling 902-894-2852.

These workshops are part of the national Educating Coastal Communities About Sea-level Rise (ECoAS) project, which is supported by financial contributions from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the UPEI Climate Research Lab, the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, and the Ecology Action Centre. For more information about the project, please visit sealevelrise.ca.