Photo of Associate Professor Murray Richardson

Associate Professor Murray Richardson

Northern watershed ecosystems, high resolution landscape analysis and environmental geo-computation

Degrees:B.Sc. (Trent University), M.Sc. (University of Toronto), Ph.D. (Toronto)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2574
Email:murray.richardson@carleton.ca
Office:B355 Loeb Building

Professional Biography

I conduct interdisciplinary research in Geomatics (GIS and Remote Sensing), Physical Hydrology and the Biogeosciences, focusing primarily on natural and anthropogenic drivers of surface hydrology and water quality throughout Canada’s northern ecozones, central Ontario and the Ottawa-Gatineau region.  I also specialize in high spatial resolution topographic and vegetation analysis using airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems or “drones”). The application of emerging techniques in machine learning for image classification and statistical clustering of spatial and environmental datasets is a topic of ongoing interest.

I teach courses at all levels in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and supervise a team of graduate and undergraduate students, often in collaboration with my faculty colleagues and adjunct research professors.  I am also the co-director of the Water and Ice Research Lab (WIRL) at Carleton.  I work with government, industry, not-for-profit partners and community groups, and always welcome new research opportunities that fall within my areas of expertise.

Research keywords

hydrology; water-quality; snow; watershed ecosystems; limnology; wetlands; mercury; GIS; remote sensing; remote sensing; geo-computation; digital terrain analysis; spatial statistics; ecohydrology; DEMs; photogrammetry; UAVs

Current and/or recently funded research projects as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-Investigator (CI)

  • Polar Knowledge Canada (2021-2024) – “Partnership for understanding environmental change impacts on water security and water quality in Iqaluit, NU” (CI)
  • MITACS Accelerate (2021-2022) – “Measurement and modelling of stream thermal regimes in the Ottawa River watershed” (PI with Ottawa Riverkeeper Organization)
  • NSERC Discovery Grant and Northern Research Supplement (2018-2022) “Water, carbon and mercury cycling in Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems ” (PI)
  • Northern Contaminants Program, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (2017-2018) – “Snowpack mercury mass balance over the spring melt period, Iqaluit, NU”  (PI)
  • Government of Northwest Territories Cumulative Impacts Monitoring Program (GNWT CIMP, 2018-2020) – Empirical modelling for improved streamflow forecasting in the Snare River basin, NWT” (CI)
  • Polar Knowledge Canada (2015-2018) – Partnership for integrated environmental monitoring and water science training in the Apex River watershed, Iqaluit, NU” (PI)
  • Northern Contaminants Program, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (2014-2016) – “Metal loading and retention in Arctic tundra lakes during spring snowmelt” with co-PI Jamal Shirley, Nunavut Research Institute (PI)
  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund – “Water and Ice Laboratory Infrastructure Grant” with co-PI Derek Mueller, Carleton University
  • Northern Contaminants Program, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (2013-2015) – “A latitudinal investigation of ecosystem sensitivity to methylmercury bioaccumulation in Arctic freshwaters” (CI)
  • NSERC Discovery Grant (2012-2017) “Water balance modelling in complex terrain: new approaches for Canada’s northern lowland and Precambrian Shield regions” (PI)

Community-based participatory research projects with Water First

  • First Nations Environmental Contaminants Program (Health Canada), A community-based monitoring study to establish baseline fish mercury and heavy metal concentrations in the traditional territory of Temagami First Nation (TFN), Ontario, Canada (CI)
  • Health Canada First Nations Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Program (2013), “Shawanaga First Nation Community-Based Source Water Protection Research Partnership” (CI)

2021-2022 Courses

  • GEOM 1004 (Fall) Maps, Satellites & the Geospatial Revolution
  • GEOM 2007 (Fall) Vector GIS: Points, Lines and Polygons
  • GEOG 3003 (Winter) Quantitative Methods

Past Courses

  • GEOG5002 Quantitative Methods for Geographic Research
  • GEOG 3000 Honours Field Course
  • GEOM 3007 Cartographic Theory & Design
  • GEOG 3103 Watershed Hydrology
  • GEOG 3010 Physical Geography Field Course
  • GEOG 5001 Modelling Environmental Systems

Recent Publications

For the most up-to list of my research publications, please visit my google scholar profile here.

Consulting, Training and Outreach

I frequently collaborate with northern and First Nations communities as an advisor, consultant and educator on projects related to watershed management and GIS training.  Research collaborations typically involve joint funding applications with community partners in areas such as those described under my professional biography. Projects and training activities that fall outside the scope of funded research projects can be arranged separately.  I especially enjoy teaching introductory to advanced GIS, GPS data collection and digital terrain analysis in the form of intensive short-courses (e.g. 3-5 days), directly within the community and using locally-derived topics and customized examples within the curriculum.