Applied Research


Projects

Testing LED as supplemental lighting in nurseries for production of conifer seedlings

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

The College of New Caledonia and Woodmere Nursery are collaborating on an applied research project to help reduce energy consumption and improve seedling growth in forest seedling greenhouses by using supplemental LED lighting.

Woodmere Nursery annually grows 12 million seedlings under 7 acres of greenhouses located in Telkwa, BC. In addition to realizing substantial cost savings from switching to LED lighting systems, the company seeks to research and understand the potential effects of LED lighting on conifer seedling growth and development. This research project will compare seedling growth and morphological characteristics between LED and conventional high-pressure sodium light systems.

The research project will take place on Woodmere's premises. College faculty and students will work with Woodmere staff to design and conduct the experiments over the 2016 growing season. Students involved in this project will learn important skills in data analysis in the areas of plant development, lighting attributes and energy calculations.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
Woodmere Nursery
Research Team:
  • Sorin Pasca

Applied research into best management practices for commercial tomato production in northern British Columbia

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

The College of New Caledonia and Edgewood Farm are collaborating on an applied research project that will help expand their business to include commercial greenhouse tomato production.

One of the key supply-side challenges specific to northern regions of BC is around optimal tomato varieties and planting practices specific to regional climate and environmental conditions. Commercial production of tomatoes requires careful environmental and biological (pathogen) management, and management regimes must incorporate region-specific information.

College faculty and students will work with Edgewood Farm to identify tomato varieties, determine which planting practices produce the best yields and the best plant growth suited to growing in unheated greenhouses in northern British Columbia.

Tomatoes are a high valued crop in northern BC, and represent a substantial economic opportunity for Edgewood. Students involved in this project will learn important skills in environmental sensor operation and data collection, statistical analyses, and the importance developing new horticulture processes and practices.

View Research Report

Industry/Community Partner(s):
Edgewood Farm
Research Team:
  • Jannifer Catherall
  • 1 paid student

Researching the use of UAV’s to monitor vineyard assets

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada), Church and State Wines

The College of New Caledonia and Church & State Wines are collaborating on an applied research project to explore the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor vineyard assets.

Church & State Wines is a premium quality, boutique winery situated in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. The ability to effectively monitor high-value grape crops through to harvest is a major challenge to producing quality wine in an extremely competitive global market. The use of UAVs could be an important innovation that provides real-time cost-effective data to help winery operators make decisions regarding their crops throughout the growing cycle.

This project will focus on researching optimal UAV flight and camera parameters to capture critical foliage and grape characteristics with aerial digital images. This project will benefit Church & State Wines through the adoption of an innovative process that reduces operating costs and increases the value of their grape yields by using real-time data to optimize management and harvest activities. College students will benefit through training in the UAV operation and data collection, digital image analysis and adopting emerging technologies into specialized industries.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
Church and State Wines
Research Team:
  • Doug Jamieson
  • Oro Barton

Development of automated photogrammetric processes for high-resolution forest mapping applications

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
LM Forest Project

TDB Consultants and the College of New Caledonia are collaborating on an applied research project to develop and validate automated high-resolution geospatial processes for forest mapping applications. TDB seeks to develop a software-based solution that analyzes high-resolution forest aerial images and automatically maps individual trees, along with predicted species, heights and health. This geospatial service does not currently exist and will introduce an important innovation to the forestry and geomatics industries in Canada.

The College will assist TDB by collecting field measurements in several forest research sites located near Mabel Lake and Nakusp in southern BC, and using these data to test and validate TDB's modeled geospatial data. This will help TDB determine model accuracies and refine the model for use in BC. College students in the Natural Resources and Environmental Technology program will learn how information and geomatics innovations are adding value to Canada's forest sector.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
TDB Consulting Ltd.
Research Team:
  • Richard Reich
  • Melissa Mjolsness

Use of UAV platforms to predict forest attributes in young managed forests in northern BC

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

The College of New Caledonia and LM Forest Resource Solutions Ltd. are collaborating on an applied research project to study how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can collect enhanced information from young managed forests in the interior of British Columbia. The project will focus on two objectives: (i) establishing optimal flight parameters for UAV data collection in younger forests, and (ii) developing semi-automated computer processes to extract important forest attributes from photo-derived 3D point clouds.

This research project will occur on the College of New Caledonia's Research Forest, located near Prince George, BC, and will involve students from the College's Natural Resources and Environmental Technology Program. Students will develop new skills around using emerging UAV and photogrammetric technologies to address geospatial information needs of the forest industry. LM Forest Resource Solutions will benefit from this project by developing new processes and services for clients in the forest industry.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
LM Resource Forest Solutions Ltd.
Research Team:
  • Hardy Griesbauer
  • Melissa Mjolsness
  • Oro Barton

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Prototype development for high-resolution mapping solutions

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
UAV

The College of New Caledonia and J.R. Canadian Mapping Ltd. are collaborating to develop innovative unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). J.R. Canadian Mapping deploys UAVs to collect high-resolution geospatial information such as digital elevation models and biomass attribute predictions for clients in forestry, mining, energy, agriculture industries, as well as municipalities. UAV technology is important to remote sensing and mapping industries in Canada as they allow geospatial data to be collected at a much lower cost than traditional conventional data collection methods involving airplanes and helicopters.

This project will focus on incremental improvements to existing UAV onboard electronics and camera gimbal systems. Improvements in these two areas are required to use UAVs effectively in the remote and mountainous terrain of central British Columbia.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
JR Mapping Canadian Mapping Ltd.
Research Team:
  • Dean Straathof, Research Associate
  • John Makowsky, Jr. Researcher
  • 6 Paid Student Researchers

LED Lighting – Innovative Prototypes for horticulture applications

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
baldy hughes install

The College of New Caledonia, QuantoTech Ltd., and the Alacrity Foundation of BC are collaborating on an applied research project to design, fabricate and test novel LED light systems for use in greenhouse and plant warehouse applications. Developing a cost-effective solution will allow plant producers to customize light intensity and spectrum in their greenhouses. This is a unique research project that seeks to provide enhanced training and entrepreneurship opportunities to College students in the fields of engineering and business. By combining innovation with business mentorship, this project will help new College graduates become the next generation of Canada's technology entrepreneurs.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
  • QuantoTech Ltd.
  • Alacrity Foundation
  • Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Centre
Research Team:
  • Oro Barton, Electronics Faculty
  • Tim Schwab, Physics Faculty
  • Dean Straathof, Research Associate
  • Sorin Pasca, Research Associate
  • 8 Paid Student Researchers

Soil Moisture – Limitations on tree seedling survival and early performance

Funded by: Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resources
OF#2_Melissa HOBO Setup_2013

CNC is collaborating with partners in northern BC to examine how changes in soil moisture can impact the survival and early growth of tree species planted outside their natural range in our region.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
  • Ecora Resource Group
  • BC Timber Sales
  • Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation
Research Team:
  • John Neumann, Associate Dean
  • Leigh Anne Dutton, Sr. Researcher
  • Melissa Mjolness, Jr. Researcher
  • 47 students enrolled in Natural Resources and Environmental Technology

An Enhanced biomass gasification system for power generation

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
Biomass Gasification

CNC’s Power Engineering faculty and students have developed a small-scale biomass gasification system that produces up to 25kW of power using wood feedstock. Biomass gasification is a simple process that converts organic material to a gas mixture that can then be combusted in an internal combustion engine to generate power. By converting to renewable fuels, companies operating in remote, off-the-grid locations, such as a ski hill, can reduce their use of fossil fuels, lowering their operating costs and reducing carbon emissions.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
Purden Lake & Ski Resorts
Research Team:
  • Bryon Poppleton, Power Engineering Faculty
  • 6 Paid Student Researchers
  • 16 Students enrolled in Power Engineering

Innovative pyrolytic processes to derive valuable biochemical from wood

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
Biostills

BioStill Chemicals and CNC are working together to develop a multi-stage thermal process to derive valuable biochemicals from wood fibre. BioStill intends to use research outcomes from this project to support the development of a full-scale industrial plant process in the interior of British Columbia that converts wood waste from local sawmills into valuable chemical products aimed at domestic and international markets.

Students will work directly with College researchers and BioStill Chemicals Inc., and will have an opportunity to apply technical chemical analysis skills to help develop an innovative process. This project will contribute to forest sector revitalization by diversifying the range of products derived from Canada's forests.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
BioStill Chemicals Inc.
Research Team:
  • Oro Barton, Electronics Faculty
  • Dean Straathof, Research Associate
  • 3 Paid Student Researchers

Small-scale aquaponics technology

Funded by: Omineca Beetle Action Coalition
basil

CNC is working with You Grow Food to demonstrate and develop a grassroots research project involving year round, indoor growing of herbs, leafy greens and root vegetables using an Aquaponic system and overhead LED spectrum specific lighting.

The Aquaponic unit will be housed at CNC in the Professional Cook lab. Practicing professional cook students will determine growth rates of the plants. They will specifically be exploring what root vegetables and other non-traditional greenhouse produce can be grown using this combination of systems.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
You Grow Foods
Research Team:
  • Ron Christian, Professional Cook Faculty
  • Tony Rechsteiner, Professional Cook Faculty
  • 18 Professional Cooking students

Forest Sector Innovation

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

The College of New Caledonia is collaborating with forest companies, government, academic researchers, and community partners to foster innovation in the forest sector in central British Columbia. The College's 12,500-hectare research forest, located near Prince George, BC, provides an ideal research facility for industry and researchers to collaboratively address a range of forest industry research needs.

College faculty and students are working with industry and partners on a range of research projects under these topics including: innovative forest harvesting techniques to protect riparian features, planting new tree species in central BC as an adaptation to climate change, and using LiDAR data to improve forest planning and operations. Outcomes from this research will support sustainable and enhanced innovation throughout the forestry sector, thus helping forest companies address challenges and capitalize on new opportunities. Students involved in research projects benefit through enhanced training with new technologies and forest practices, and opportunities to further develop their innovation and technical skill-sets while working directly with local companies on industry-led research.

Projects

Assisted migration of tree species in central BC
Assisted Migration

A network of trails examining how tree species such as western larch, Douglas-fir, western redcedar, western white pine and Ponderosa pine can be planted outside of their natural ranges as a climate change adaptation strategy. This study links the effects of climate and local ecology on the survival of these species in northern BC.

Oak Fern Climate Change Trials
Oakfern

Oak fern is a sensitive plant that can indicate fluctuations in environmental features including soil moisture. This long-term project is researching links between soil moisture changes as a result of climate change and oak fern distribution.

Use of LIDAR to predict soil moisture attributes

CNC researchers tested soil moisture models derived from high-resolution geospatial data collected using LIDAR technology.

Riparian zone management

This project is exploring how innovative forest management practices in riparian areas can enhance environmental stewardship.

Wildlife use of stub trees in central BC
Tree Stub

This project is researching use of tree stubs by wildlife in tree plantations in northern BC. Outcomes from this project will help forest managers optimize the practice of tree in stubbing in the Prince George region.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
  • Aleza Lake Research Forest
  • BC Timber Sales
  • Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
  • Dunkley Lumber Ltd.
  • Lakeland Mills Ltd.
  • Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation
  • BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources
Research Team:
  • John Neumann, Associate Dean
  • Ed Morrice, NRET Faculty
  • Stephane Dube, NRET Faculty
  • Andrea Erwin, NRET Faculty
  • Leigh Anne Dutton, Sr. Researcher
  • Eiji Matsuzaki, Sr. Researcher
  • Melissa Mjolsness, Jr. Researcher
  • David Loewen, Research Associate
  • 1 Paid Student Researcher
  • 39 students enrolled Natural Resources & Environmental Technology

Energy-efficient solutions to heating greenhouses in cold climates

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

We are collaborating with Marlinspike Gardens to develop energy-efficient solutions to heat greenhouses during the early spring and late fall.

Marlinspike Gardens will benefit by implementing an energy efficient heating system that will allow them to have two production cycle, and become more competitive on the food market. Increasing the production of locally grown foods can have significant implications on improving sustainable economic development of northern communities. The ultimate goal is to achieve a year-round greenhouse food production while operating in a cold climate specific to northern British Columbia.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
Marlinspike Gardens
Research Team:
  • Dean Straathof, Research Associate
  • Sorin Pasca, Research Associate
  • Travis Geiger, Jr. Researcher

Business Support Project

Funded by: NRC (Natural Resource Council)

The objective of this project is to utilize faculty and students within CNC’s business programs to provide a range of services to small technology-based businesses that require assistance to develop a strong and valid business model.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
  • BC BioCarbon
  • BioStill Chemicals Inc.
  • Creative Office Fitness Solutions
  • Noratek Solutions
  • QuantoTech Solutions Ltd.
Research Team:
  • Rosalie Hilde, Marketing Faculty
  • Jacob Madjitey, Finance, Commerce Faculty
  • Oro Barton, Electronics Faculty
  • 3 Paid Student Researchers
  • 47 students enrolled in Marketing classes

Developing a model to predict frost / drought hazard in central BC

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

CNC and Ecora Resource Group are working together to develop and validate geospatial tools that predict frost and drought hazard to planted tree seedlings in British Columbia. These models help forest managers incorporate climate change considerations into reforestation strategies. Research is being done on both the CNC Research Forest and UNBC’s Aleza Lake Research Forest.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
  • Ecora Resource Group
  • UNBC – Aleza Lake Research Forest

Heat to Energy – Use of thermoelectric generators to produce electricity from a wood stove

Funded by: Omineca Beetle Action Coalition
Wood Stove

The College’s Power Engineering and Electronics Departments led a research project to investigate emerging thermoelectric generator (TEG) technology as a green energy option. Using the Seebeck effect, TEG units can be used to produce electricity in any application with a strong temperature differential. In northern BC, woodstoves provide that differential; the wood stove surface is extremely hot, while the air just above the stove can be substantially cooler. The research team demonstrated that TEG technology does have potential for producing electricity using a woodstove, and they also developed several innovations necessary to maximize TEG efficiency in this application.
Link to video: CNC Research Project Looking or a Local partner

Research Team:
  • Stephen Davis, Power Engineering Faculty
  • Oro Barton, Electronics Faculty

Satellite-based communication system to monitor lone healthcare workers in remote locations in central BC

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

CNC and Spatial Mapping Ltd. collaborated to develop a GPS-enabled satellite communications system for health care workers in remote regions. The small hand-held device is able to transmit their precise location and allows them to notify their employers in emergency situations. This technology will help to improve the safety of remote healthcare workers.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
  • Spatial Mapping Ltd.

Black bear predation on moose calves in northern BC

Funded by: CNC Research Forest
Black bear predation

CNC is working with the University of Northern BC and other partners to determine if springtime black bear predation on moose calves may be linked to recent moose population declines in northern BC.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
  • UNBC
  • CNC Research Forest
Research Team:
  • Leigh-Anne Dutton, Sr. Research Assistant
  • Melissa Mjolsness, Jr. Research Assistant

Photogrammetric models to predict forest and terrain attributes

Funded by: NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

CNC is assisting J.R. Canadian Mapping to develop and validate 3D models of forest and terrain attributes derived from digital images.

Industry/Community Partner(s):
  • J.R. Canadian Mapping Ltd.
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Our Success

  • 37 Projects Funded
  • 12 Current Projects
  • 26 Faculty/Staff Researchers
  • 26 Partners
  • 154 Students Involved
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