Resource and Environmental Management - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Yield-per-recruit modeling of a British Columbia intertidal clam fishery : management implications of sampling design, variable recruitment, and data collection by user group

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1998
Abstract: 

Invertebrate fisheries are becoming increasingly important in British Columbia (B.C.), but setting robust management strategies is difficult due to lack of data for stock assessment and poor understanding of invertebrate population dynamics. I applied Monte Carlo simulation to a butter clam (Saxidomus giganteus) fishery at Seal Island (near Courtenay, Vancouver Island, B.C.) to evaluate the effects of sampling methods, sample size, parameter estimation method, and variable recruitment on the accuracy and precision of input parameters to the Beverton-Holt yield-per-recruit (Y/R) model. The effects of this accuracy and precision on setting management strategies such as minimum legal size (MLS) with the Y/R model were evaluated by calculating the expected loss of Y/R and fishery value for each model scenario. Scenarios used one of four sampling methods, three methods of estimating total instantaneous mortality (Z) (Hoenig's method, Beverton-Holt method, and catch-curve analysis), and four levels of recruitment variability (including constant recruitment).

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Randall Peterman
Department: 
School of Resource and Environmental Management - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.R.M.)

The community well-being framework: An exercise in reconciliation-informed planning

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-01-06
Abstract: 

Across Canada, a discourse of reconciliation has emerged and is strengthening. Reconciliation is based upon establishing relationships with Canada’s Indigenous populations that are built and maintained on trust, inclusion and respect. These relationships must also be premised upon the recognition of their rights for self-determination and the significance that land holds for Indigenous culture and values. Although Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous population has been underpinned by its colonial praxis, reconciliation calls upon all Canadians to acknowledge this legacy and work towards ending these entrenched, outdated and oppressive ways of thinking. Decolonial thought and postcolonial literature provide an avenue towards actualizing reconciliation, as contemporary Indigenous-rights discourses look to address questions of self-determination, sovereignty, and the recognition of land rights and title. In January of 2019, the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) joined the national movement towards reconciliation when they adopted the Policy on Planning Practice and Reconciliation. The goal of the policy is to present a vision of the future of planning in Canada by harmonizing key action areas with the TRC’s Calls to Action, the 10 Principles of Reconciliation, and UNDRIP. As practitioners that connect people, land and governance, planners have a responsibility to honour Indigenous ways of planning by critically examining the status quo and looking for ways to incorporate Indigenous practices into daily practice. While CIP’s new policy has succeeded in identifying what reconciliation means to the organization and the important role planners need to play to bring about these achievements, they have not addressed what reconciliation might look like to on-the-ground practitioners on an everyday basis. The following project attempts to consolidate and operationalize the growing volume of literature on the topic through the development of a reconciliation-informed planning framework.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Supervisor(s): 
Mark Roseland
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

Engaging women in water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH): A case study in the Irbid Governorate of Jordan

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-07-10
Abstract: 

Access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) is essential in achieving good health, nutrition, livelihoods, and education. An important dimension of WaSH is the impact of water scarcity on gender roles. In times or regions of water scarcity, there is an increasing burden to achieve water security while the responsibility to provide these resources remains the same. To better understand the perceptions and gaps in knowledge for water-use behaviours, this study applied a gender lens to identify the gaps in knowledge and education for WaSH within villages located in the Irbid Governorate of Jordan. The responses from five case studies offer valuable insight into behaviours and perceptions that impact sustainable and equitable WaSH practices, as well as regionally-specific educational gaps and recommendations on educational resources.The findings are intended to support the development and implementation of educational programs to promote safe and adequate WaSH practices within water-scarce countries.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Zafar Adeel
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M.

First-Hand knowledge of BC ocean change: Oyster farmers’ experiences of environmental change and oyster die-off events

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-07-27
Abstract: 

Recent studies call for transdisciplinary research to address the consequences of anthropogenic change on human-environment systems, like the impact of ocean acidification (OA) on oyster aquaculture. I surveyed oyster farmers in coastal British Columbia, Canada, about their first-hand experiences of ocean change. Farmers reported that oyster mortality (die-off events) is one of many challenges they face and is likely related to several interacting environmental factors, including water temperature and oyster food, particularly in 2016. I examined temperature, productivity, and carbonate chemistry conditions from 2013 to 2017 using available observations and the Salish Sea model, to understand poor oyster growing conditions in 2016. While temperatures were relatively high and chlorophyll relatively low during the 2016 spring bloom, carbonate conditions were relatively good, suggesting OA was not a key driver of difficult oyster growing conditions. This work provides a novel example of using local knowledge to better inform scientific investigation and adaptation to environmental change.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Karen Kohfeld
Debby Ianson, Jennifer Silver
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

Modelling the effect of Canada's clean fuel standard on greenhouse gas emissions

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-07-14
Abstract: 

Canada is projected to miss its 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target. Consequently, there remain federal policies that have been announced but not yet implemented that aim to close the 2030 “emissions gap”. This study assesses the likely effects of one such policy, the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), on GHG emissions using the gTech energy-economy model, with a focus on the importance of policy interactions as they relate to the CFS’s GHG abatement potential. The study finds that Canada’s CFS as proposed would cause about 7Mt of GHG emissions reductions by 2030 when added to other planned and implemented climate policies. An exploratory method for quantifying GHG emissions reductions “overlap” between climate policies is developed. The results emphasize the importance to analysts and policy makers of accounting for both the incremental and combinatory effects of different types of interacting climate polices.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Mark Jaccard
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M.

Integrating communities into ecosystem-based management

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-25
Abstract: 

Designing a system of ecosystem-based management (EBM) requires a context dependent understanding of landscape patterns across space and time. Hence for distinct social-ecological systems grappling with developing new policies to support EBM, researchers and planners need to think critically about the types of data sources and analytical approaches that are most appropriate for a specific situation. In this thesis, I describe my research in the Great Bear Rainforest on the coast of British Columbia, Canada, that involves collaborations with six different First Nation communities. I incorporate data with a historical or Indigenous context to assess and develop novel approaches for spatial analysis and EBM planning. This research was coproduced with Indigenous communities and aims to bring together disparate disciplines and knowledge systems. For example, first, I show that using species distribution models of western redcedar trees developed from combining field surveys and archaeological records can help predict the spatial extent and understand the past distribution of an important biocultural resource with rapidly shifting baseline conditions. Second, I show that using traditional ecological knowledge to refine categories of trees used by Indigenous carvers can change estimates of abundance and thus alter the resulting targets for an intergenerational stewardship strategy. Third, I show that forest harvesting on the central coast of BC, Canada has sequentially targeted the most productive and accessible components of the environment and that policy interventions can disrupt these trends. Fourth, I show that past spatial planning to design a system of landscape reserves significantly exceeded the associated conservation targets and that human and ecological factors affected the overall reserve design. Collectively, this research develops new approaches for using community and historical data in EBM planning and highlights the importance of collaborating with communities to address theoretical and applied research questions.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Ken Lertzman
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Investing in co-governance: Exploring sustainable funding for co-governance in the Nicola watershed

Date created: 
2019-12-17
Abstract: 

Momentum is building behind a new approach to Crown-Indigenous relations that is based on reconciliation, shared decision-making, and nation-to-nation engagement. In British Columbia’s Nicola watershed, this shift has manifested itself in the Nicola Watershed Governance Project (NWGP), an innovative pilot project that is seeking to establish watershed co-governance between the provincial government and five Indigenous Nations. A major challenge facing the NWGP is securing sustainable funding that will ensure the long-term viability of the project beyond the three-year pilot funding period. This research addresses this challenge by investigating key considerations and potential options for developing a sustainable funding model for the NWGP. Three main research methods were employed: (1) background research to identify key funding concepts and situate the NWGP in broader historical and theoretical context; (2) a jurisdictional scan to identify key learnings from other funding models; and (3) a structured analysis of potential core funding options for the NWGP. While investigating sustainable funding for the NWGP was the primary objective of this research, the results are also analyzed to draw conclusions regarding the state of watershed governance funding across the province.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Evelyn Pinkerton
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

Benchmarking fiscal benefit distributions through Impact Benefit Agreements: A case study of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-11
Abstract: 

Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) are increasingly important in the planning and successful execution of major resource development projects in Canada. IBAs are tools of Indigenous community development and are intended to help return resource development benefits to locally impacted Indigenous communities. Fiscal benefits delivered through IBAs are often a much needed source of community funding. This report presents a methodology to evaluate the quantum of fiscal benefits Indigenous governments receive through IBAs relative to benchmark standards developed though a literature review. The methodology is applied to a case study of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The results show that IBAs likely fall short in their objective to deliver an adequate share of fiscal benefits to Indigenous governments relative to the fiscal benchmarks used in the evaluation. This report aims to provide tools and recommendations to aide First Nations in the negotiation of IBAs so as to provide a more equitable distribution of the benefits of natural resource development in Canada.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Thomas Gunton
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

Testing the limits of water as a human right: A comparison of First Nations in Canada and Palestinian communities

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-29
Abstract: 

Researchers have long questioned if legally-framed efforts, such as the UN declaration of the Human Right to Water, are adequately framed to enable universal enjoyment of the right (Singh et al, 2016; Donnelly, 2006). This document investigates these questions around the realization of the human right to water by comparing First Nations Communities in Canada and Palestinian communities. I posit that both communities continue to face lower rates of water security as a result of settler colonialism, jurisdictional fragmentation and funding patterns. I discuss how these similarities can be related directly to shortcomings of the Human Right to water, specifically its nature as a derivative right, the hegemonic framework, and limited applicability on the ground. The objective of this research is to discuss the common barriers to water access facing these two groups and identify tools that can better serve marginalized communities in realizing the human right to water.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Zafar Adeel
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

Quantifying Blue Carbon for the largest salt marsh in southern British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-12
Abstract: 

Salt marshes are highly valuable ecosystems that have recently been recognized for the climate change mitigation potential of their soil carbon sequestration. This ‘blue carbon’ is sequestered annually and can be stored for more than a century, but their storage potential has not been well studied on the Pacific coast of North America. This study collected sediment cores from high and low marsh zones in the western portion of Boundary Bay, Delta, British Columbia (BC), to assess carbon storage and carbon accumulation rates (CARs). Carbon stocks in the high marsh were significantly higher compared to low marsh, averaging 84.2 ± 30.9 Mg C/ha and 39.3 ± 24.2 Mg C/ha, respectively. CARs ranged from 19.5 to 454 g C/m2yr, with an average of 137 ± 162 g C/m2yr and a median of 70.1 g C/m2yr. Our CARs indicate that the marsh exhibits substantial variability. Both carbon stocks and accumulation rates were at least 45% lower than global estimates but were similar to other studies on the Pacific coast of North America. By controlling for marsh environment and dating method, we provide a new 210Pb estimate of CAR of 88 ± 20 g C/m2yr for the Pacific coast of North America. Our low carbon stock and accumulation rates in comparison to global estimates are likely due to the shallow depth of the marsh and the dominant type of vegetation. Despite historical modifications and disturbances to the marsh, our study suggests that the western portion of Boundary Bay marsh has been growing in areal extent since at least 1930. Current legislation in the province of BC does not adequately protect salt marshes. This study provides the first quantification of carbon stocks and CARs, which is an important step towards leveraging the co-benefit of salt marshes for improved management, restoration, and preservation for these ecologically and culturally important ecosystems. This study outlines subsequent steps and research needed for Boundary Bay marsh, or other salt marshes in BC, to be included in a voluntary carbon market in British Columbia.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Karen Kohfeld
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)