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

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Improving the uptake of citizen science environmental monitoring data by resource management agencies through co-development of data management plans

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-01-22
Abstract: 

Environmental monitoring is a critical component of resource management, but monitoring by Resource Management Agencies (RMAs) is often hindered by lack of time and financial resources, resulting in persistent monitoring gaps. Citizen science monitoring collaborations between RMAs and Stewardship Groups is a potential means to address said gaps; however, there are several challenges that must be overcome to realize the full potential of citizen science collaborations. I proposed that many challenges of citizen science are related to data management. I used a case study approach that involved interviewing 42 people from RMAs and Stewardship Groups to determine whether RMAs and Stewardship Groups are currently practicing data management best practices and identify which challenges could likely be addressed by a data management plan. I conclude with recommendations on how to bridge the gap between best practices and current conditions and summarize the results in a Guidebook and Data Management Plan Template.

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

Phenotypic variation in growth, maturity, and movement within genetically homogeneous demersal fish populations and their implications for management

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-12-07
Abstract: 

In this thesis, I quantify the spatial phenotypic variability of two genetically homogeneous demersal fish populations in British Columbia, Canada. In the first chapter, I quantify spatial variation in yelloweye rockfish growth using a Von Bertalanffy Growth model and age-at-maturity in yelloweye rockfish using a binomial logit model. Both growth and age-at-maturity estimates lead to statistically significant variation in fishery reference point estimates with coastwide estimates overestimating spatially explicit reference points by up to 25\%. In chapter 2, I estimate size dependent movement rates for sablefish using a Markov movement model fit to tag release and recovery data. I found that sublegal and legal sized sablefish showed movement patterning consistent with a transboundary stock. Year class contributions of juvenile sablefish do not evenly cover to continental shelf, which could have implications for management.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Sean Cox
Luke Rogers
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.R.M.

In search of politically achievable decarbonization pathways for British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-11-27
Abstract: 

British Columbia’s current policy package is insufficient to meet the province’s 2030, 2040, or 2050 greenhouse gas emissions targets. To design and assess different policy pathways to close this emissions gap, I used the CIMS energy-economy model. The first target-achieving pathway emphasized the carbon tax due to its economic efficiency. The second pathway tightened existing regulations with flexible compliance options, including the low carbon fuel standard, the zero-emission vehicles mandate, the clean electricity standard and the clean gas standard. I found that meeting the targets with either policy pathway results in similar technology and energy-use outcomes. This suggests that B.C. can choose to emphasize either carbon pricing, or flexible regulations to close its emissions gap. This range of options enables B.C. policymakers to consider other criteria, notably the political acceptability of their climate policy alternatives.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Mark Jaccard
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.R.M.

Simulating the impact of multi-level government policy mixes on Metro Vancouver greenhouse gas emissions

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-10-22
Abstract: 

In light of failing global climate action, local governments have set their own greenhouse gas reduction targets and mitigation action plans. The Metro Vancouver regional district, its 21 municipalities and other local authorities have jointly adopted ambitious greenhouse gas targets including a carbon neutral target for 2050. I used CIMS-Urban, an energy-economy model linked to a GIS land use model, to explore the potential impact of multi-government policy mixes on Metro Vancouver’s greenhouse gas emissions until 2050. My research findings suggest that, while local level policies can achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions and offer other benefits, stringent senior government policies would be necessary to achieve Metro Vancouver’s greenhouse gas targets, unless the regional district successfully implements a policy that can decarbonize freight transportation and industry.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Mark Jaccard
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.R.M.

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.