Ph.D. student Jason Beaver was recently awarded a 2019 W. Garfield Weston Foundation Fellowship from the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada) for research on Northern Conservation entitled, “Modelling and mapping methane flux in the Hudson Bay Lowlands: a remote sensing approach”.
Jason will examine atmospheric carbon flux within the Hudson Bay Lowlands, the largest peatland complex within Canada, with the intention to understand the scales at which various fluxes change. Peatlands provide a global carbon sink that may be jeopardized with climate change and other disturbances. These ecosystems have sequestered atmospheric carbon dioxide over millennia through a small but persistent imbalance between photosynthesis and respiration. As wetlands, many of the HBL ecosystems are also important sources of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
The goal of this research is to further our understanding of the carbon dynamics within the Hudson Bay Lowlands and how remote sensing data can map and monitor carbon flux. Examining carbon dioxide uptake and release alongside methane, the research will use satellite and unmanned aerial vehicle imagery to characterize vegetation driving these dynamics.
With support from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, WCS Canada offers research fellowships to graduate students. These fellowship awards are intended to support field-based research at two long-term sites in the boreal region of Northern Ontario, and the Northern Boreal Mountains of Yukon and British Columbia.