PEI's eroding coastline

A new geovisualization tool created by researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) and Simon Fraser University (SFU) demonstrates the effects of erosion and sea-level rise on Prince Edward Island’s coastline and the potential vulnerable areas in the future. The tool, Coastal Impact Visualization Environment, or CLIVE, is a collaborative research initiative connecting UPEI’s Climate Research Lab with SFU’s Spatial Interface Research Lab.

“CLIVE at first looks like some sort of video game that allows you to manipulate and interact with a three-dimensional map of Prince Edward Island, but it is not a game,” said Dr. Adam Fenech, director of UPEI’s Climate Research Lab. “CLIVE allows users to interactively explore the province’s coastlines and simulate sea-level rise and storm surge scenarios. It is a powerful tool.”

 (Watch this feature on CLIVE by the Globe and Mail)

CLIVE brings together data from a number of sources, including LiDAR-based high-resolution digital elevation data from the province. The Island also has an outstanding record of province-wide aerial photographs that that go back as far as 1968.

“CLIVE is great exemplar of a new generation of analytical geovisualization interfaces that make important scientific models engaging, interactive and navigable,” said Dr. Hedley, director of SFU’s Spatial Interface Research Lab. “CLIVE is one of the first public communication tools to enable citizens to interactively view historical evidence, current data, and predictive models of linked coastal impacts for an entire province. We hope that CLIVE will be informative for PEI’s citizens and government, supporting constructive dialogue and planning to mitigate these threats.”

CLIVE demonstrates evidence of erosion that has already occurred and paints a troubling picture for the future of the Prince Edward Island coastline.

“Our study shows that Prince Edward Island lost 20 square kilometres of land to erosion between 1968 and 2010,” said Dr. Fenech. “At the current rate of erosion, as many as a thousand homes are vulnerable to erosion over the next 90 years.”

Charlottetown: This image from CLIVE shows present-day CharlottetownCharlottetown: This image from CLIVE shows present-day Charlottetown

Charlottetown: This image simulates Charlottetown under 3 meters of sea-level rise (1 meter is expected by 2100, with a 2 meter storm surge)Charlottetown: This image simulates Charlottetown under 3 meters of sea-level rise (1 meter is expected by 2100, with a 2 meter storm surge)

Katherine Schultz Research Recognition Awards

The University of Prince Edward Island recently celebrated the behind-the-scenes efforts of two outstanding individuals with the first two Katherine Schultz Research Recognition Awards. Dr. Lisa Chilton, associate professor of history, and Dr. Jonathan Spears, assistant professor of biomedical sciences and UPEI’s University Veterinarian, were given these awards in thanks for their work to help promote the community of research and discovery at UPEI.

The Katherine Schultz Research Recognition Awards were created out of a gift received from Dr. Katherine Schultz, UPEI’s first Vice-President Research. Under her tenure, from 2001 to 2012, UPEI enjoyed a seven-fold increase in research funding and intensity.

“A university’s research doesn’t experience that much growth without the hard work of a lot of people—people who don’t often make it into the press releases or on the magazine covers; people who nonetheless deserve our praise and thanks. That’s what these rewards are all about. They represent our appreciation of Dr. Chilton and Dr. Spears,” said Dr. Robert Gilmour, UPEI’s current Vice-President Research and Graduate Studies.

Dr. Gilmour also opened the nominations for the 2013–14 Katherine Schultz Research Recognition Awards. Nominations can come from individuals or groups of people and should be accompanied by a supporting document demonstrating the nominee’s contributions to research at UPEI. The award does come with a thousand-dollar prize. Nominees can be a UPEI faculty member, staff member, or volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to the research enterprise at UPEI. The Scholarships and Awards Committee will accept nominations until March 1.

 

It only takes a few minutes! Keep reporting your fox sightings to upei.ca/redfox

The PEI Urban Red Fox Research Project needs Islanders to keep reporting their sightings of red foxes to upei.ca/redfox. Each reported sighting helps us better understand our red fox population, and how it interacts with humans on Prince Edward Island.

Since the launch of upei.ca/redfox in the fall of 2012, Islanders have reported more than 1600 sightings of red foxes. With this valuable data, the research team has discovered areas of high red fox activity in urban areas and has identified possible den sites for further research. More data would allow the PEI Urban Fox Research Team to discover even more about this species, including possible public health concerns.

It takes just a few minutes. If you spot a red fox on Prince Edward Island, visit upei.ca/redfox. Fill out the simple form, and you've made an important contribution to UPEI research.

To report a sighting by mail, request a form by calling 566-0602.

David Suzuki visits UPEI

Dr. David Suzuki visited campus Sunday, November 24 for a documentary screening and panel discussion about climate change in Atlantic Canada. More than 270 people packed a sold-out Duffy Amphitheatre for the event, organized by UPEI's Climate Research Lab and the David Suzuki Foundation. Dr. Suzuki gave an impassioned introduction to the film Climate Change in Atlantic Canada, directed by Dr. Ian Mauro, and participated in a panel discussion and question & answer session with the audience. Proceeds from the evening went to the Kensington North Watersheds Association.