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

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The Evolutionary Paths of Resort Governance: A case study of British Columbia from 1975 to 2015

Date created: 
2017-04-13
Abstract: 

Systems of resort governance do not emerge in a vacuum, instead they are the product of forces and the will of individuals. This study examines the emergence and evolution of resort governance systems. Using British Columbia as a case study, the research explores the driving forces which influenced the creation of significant provincial policies and pieces of legislation that comprise the regional resort governance system. Critical moments in the evolution of British Columbia’s resort governance are explored to betterunderstand the impact of these forces and how they were negotiated. Employing a path creation lens, the project illustrates the importance of past decisions and the power of strategically leveraging forces.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Peter Williams
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

Regulation x Sustainable Development: A Case for Land-Based Aquaculture for First Nations

Date created: 
2017-04-19
Abstract: 

Aquaculture is gaining attention as an alternative method of protein production in a time of increased population pressure and compromised seafood stocks. Land-based aquaculture (LBA), cultivating seafood in tanks on land, holds potential for economic and community wellbeing development for First Nations. This study identifies regulatory gaps and barriers facing shellfish LBA development in British Columbia and investigates the sustainable community development effects of shellfish LBA on Nanwakolas Member Nations, on northern Vancouver Island, through two sustainable development frameworks: the Community Capital Tool and the Community Wellbeing Wheel. The report assesses how remediation of regulatory challenges could cultivate sustainable development opportunities through LBA. The study found that integrating policy changes to reduce the time required to obtain a license, creation of LBA advisory committees, and partnerships with educational LBA institutions can aid in cultivating a sustainable source of seafood, economic opportunities, resource management governance and preservation of traditional foods for Nanwakolas Nations.

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

Tourism in Gwaii Haanas: Contributions to Haida Gwaii communities and co-management

Date created: 
2017-04-24
Abstract: 

Nature-based tourism is growing around the world, attracting visitors to remote protected area, which affects the surrounding communities. As tourism within the co-managed Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site increases, so does the necessity for a strong understanding of how tourism within Gwaii Haanas is contributing to communities and co-management on Haida Gwaii. This research was based on interviews with tourism operators permitted to operate in Gwaii Haanas during 2016, and key informants from four communities on Haida Gwaii, combined with participant observation and literature review. Findings show that tourism within Gwaii Haanas is contributing to economic, social, cultural and scientific aspects of life on Haida Gwaii as well as supporting the strong co-management agreement that governs Gwaii Haanas. These findings can help inform management decisions and guide movement toward a sustainable future for the tourism industry on Haida Gwaii.

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

“We see a real opportunity around food waste”: Exploring the Relationship Between On-Farm Food Waste and Farm Characteristics

Date created: 
2017-04-26
Abstract: 

This research study aims to provide an understanding of on-farm food waste on conventional and organic farms. Through interviews with food producers, I addressed three research questions: 1) do organic food producers produce more or less waste than conventional food producers?, 2) do food waste management practices differ between organic and conventional food producers?, and 3) What role do producer food waste practices play in agricultural sustainability? I found no conclusive differences between organic and non-organic food producers regarding volume and management of on-farm food waste; however, I found that different farm characteristics intersect in numerous ways, resulting in a variety of impacts on on-farm food waste. Additionally, all research participants indicated that the factor most likely to encourage them to address on-farm food waste is cost savings. To fully address food waste, actions oriented towards minimizing and sustainably managing food waste must be undertaken in a collaborative manner across all stages of the food supply chain.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sean Markey
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

Designing a low carbon fuel standard to achieve deep GHG reduction targets: Insights from an energy-economy simulation model of British Columbia

Date created: 
2017-03-13
Abstract: 

Low carbon fuels are expected to play an important role in achieving long-term regional greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets within transport. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is a policy instrument that has been used in British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Europe to reduce the GHG emissions associated with transportation fuels. I use a dynamic hybrid energy-economy model (CIMS-LCFS) coupled with a linear programming optimization model to explore the potential effectiveness of the LCFS at reducing GHG emissions in British Columbia under a variety of policy scenarios. This study also explores the potential for British Columbia’s transportation sector, including passenger vehicles and freight vehicles, to achieve the province’s mandated target of reducing GHG emissions by 80% below 2007 levels by 2050. CIMS-LCFS is a technologically-explicit, behaviorally-realistic energy-economy model that simulates the effects of climate policies on technology adoption and GHG emissions. The LP optimization model represents fuel supplier decisions to supply fuel to the market at the lowest possible cost subject to 50 unique constraints encompassing limited fuel availability, policy, and technical constraints. Results demonstrate that British Columbia’s present suite of transportation policies are not strong enough to induce the emission reductions required to achieve the province’s 2050 GHG target. These targets are only achievable for the entire transportation sector when the most stringent climate policies are combined, including a LCFS, a zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, fuel efficiency standards and carbon pricing. My results indicate that the LCFS may have a particularly strong effect in decarbonizing the freight sector. In contrast, the LCFS may be less important for the passenger vehicle sector in the presence of other stringent transport policy (e.g. a ZEV mandate). Overall, I find that with careful policy design, the LCFS can be complementary to other stringent policies, and could play an important role in achieving 2050 GHG reduction targets in the transportation sector.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jonn Axsen
Michael Rensing
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.R.M.

From staples theory to new regionalism: managing drinking water for regional resilience in rural British Columbia

Date created: 
2016-12-09
Abstract: 

The Canadian infrastructure deficit presents challenges and opportunities, but also raises questions. Perhaps the most salient of these questions is not only how can we address these challenges, but how will what we do impact the future? Using a case study of drinking water systems in rural British Columbia, this research explores three unique aspects of the infrastructure deficit. First - the relationship between the infrastructure deficit and patterns of regional development is examined, paying particular attention to the legacy of staples dependent development. This research provides a historically and theoretically informed lens on the relationships between the two and how this influences the present day. The results present a more contextually-informed and regionally integrated framework and temper the presentism that often characterizes current discussions of the infrastructure deficit. Second - infrastructure management approaches are examined to see if there has been a shift in approach to ones more reflective of regional resilience. Current infrastructure conditions suggest renewal efforts must increase, making this investigation timely in order to better inform policy. While there is potential for drinking water systems to act as a catalyst to enhance regional resilience, this potential is largely untapped. Third - the potential for new regionalism as a platform for an alternate infrastructure management approach is studied. The proposed new regionalism based approach recognizes and accounts for the myriad of influencing factors and uses different mechanisms to support and encourage drinking water systems in fulfilling their potential role in supporting regional resilience. While the need for an alternate approach to managing drinking water systems is recognized and elements of the proposed approach are increasingly applied, substantive barriers remain. Collectively this research responds to a broader question of whether a new regionalist approach to infrastructure can positively impact future regional development and support rural regional resilience? Several important factors influence the ability of resilient regions to respond to change, of which drinking water systems are one. However, while it is possible that changes to the management of drinking water systems could have an influence on regional resilience, this is unlikely to occur in isolation or separate from larger, systemic change.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sean Markey
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Determining threat status for data-limited fisheries based on catch-only stock assessment models

Date created: 
2017-02-09
Abstract: 

Catch-only stock assessment methods have been developed to manage data-limited fisheries where only catch data is available. This research evaluated the ability of four catch-only stock assessment methods to correctly classify a stock of concern based on population trends. To accomplish this, true trends from simulated stocks and the trends produced by the models were used to classify stocks into threat categories based on percent change. ROC curves and PR curves were then used to test the effectiveness of the four models as classifiers. ROC curves indicated that the models performed well under most scenarios. However, the confusion matrices and PR curves revealed low precision values for all models. The high number of stocks falsely classified as threatened were masked in the ROC analysis by the imbalance of few threatened stocks compared to numerous non-threatened stocks. This is an important caveat, as it could lead to inappropriate threshold selection.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrew Cooper
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.R.M.

Vancouver’s renewable city strategy: Economic and policy analysis

Date created: 
2017-02-22
Abstract: 

Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy aims for 100% renewable energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To see if Vancouver’s policies will achieve this, I used the CIMS energy-economy model to evaluate the impact of potential policies. I simulated Vancouver’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions under different policy scenarios: (1) current policy, (2) renewable city scenario-specific policies Vancouver has proposed, and (3) additional policies focusing on fuel switching. My results show that fossil fuel use and emissions increase relative to 2015 under current policy by about 10%. The renewable city scenario policies decrease fossil fuel use and emissions by 30% and 25% respectively, but fail to meet Vancouver’s targets. Only additional stringent policies reduce fossil fuel use and emissions to near zero, thereby meeting the targets. These result show that to meet its targets, Vancouver must implement policies that specifically focus on fuel switching in buildings and vehicles.

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

Trading off political acceptability and economic efficiency: Policy options for reducing Canada’s electricity and transportation emissions

Date created: 
2016-12-12
Abstract: 

This study used the energy-economy model CIMS to assess policy options for achieving Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction commitment under the Paris agreement, with a focus on electricity and transportation sector reductions. The results found that existing and promised policies will likely be far from sufficient to achieve the Paris target. Two alternative approaches to close the gap to achieving the target were explored: one relying solely on emissions pricing and one relying primarily on flexible regulations. While emissions pricing is generally regarded as the most economically efficient way to reduce emissions, the results found that an emissions price on the order of $200/tCO2 would likely be required to achieve the Paris target, which would likely be very difficult politically to implement. The proposed flexible regulations approach offers an alternative that may be somewhat less economically efficient but may have a better chance of being implemented and thus achieving the target.

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

A novel technological and collaborative approach to mapping deep-sea benthic habitats and assessing risks from bottom contact fishing

Date created: 
2016-12-19
Abstract: 

Bottom longline fishing gear can damage sensitive benthic areas (SBAs) in the ocean; however, the risks to these habitats are poorly understood. In this study we describe a collaborative academic-industry-government approach to mapping SBAs and measuring gear interactions with seafloor habitats via novel deepwater trap camera and motion-sensing systems on commercial longline traps for Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) within the SGaan Kinghlas - Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area. We obtained direct presence-absence observations of cold-water corals and sponges that were used to develop species distribution models of gorgonian corals (Alcyonacea) in fished areas. Video, accelerometer and depth sensor data were used to classify gear movement, estimating a mean bottom footprint of 3 200 m2 (95% CI = 2 400 - 3 900 m2) for a 60-trap Sablefish longline set approximately 3 km in length. Our successful collaboration demonstrates how research partnerships with the fishing industry offer new opportunities for conducting SBA risk assessments over large spatial and temporal scales.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sean Cox
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.R.M.