Two University of Lethbridge Projects to Receive $1.6 Million in Federal Funding

Both projects will support sustainable and culturally respectful resource development.

Major federal funding for two projects at the University of Lethbridge to support sustainable and culturally respectful resource development.
 
An investment of about $1.2-million will go toward the purchase of a one-of-a-kind airborne 3D data collection sensor, a Titan multi-spectral LIDAR (MSL) imaging system. The equipment can capture high accuracy 3D images over long distances through traditionally inaccessible terrain like forest canopy and below water.
 
Geography Department Research Chair and Professor, Chris Hopkinson, says the cutting edge airborne multi-spectral laser scanner technology will help monitor resource and environmental conditions impacted by climate change and natural disasters as well as evaluate the risks to communities from hazards such as wildfire, floods and oil spills.
 
The U of L, with co-management support from the Piikani First Nation, is also receiving about $430,000 to develop and implement community-based environmental monitoring. It will integrate traditional Indigenous knowledge with emerging environmental monitoring technologies. Indigenous graduate and undergraduate students will be recruited as team leads to 15 Piikani youth who will be trained to collect, store and manage environmental and cultural data under the guidance of elders.
 
Associate Professor, Coordinator First Nations' Transition Program, Michelle Hogue, says the project will engage and train community at all levels in the development, use and application of emerging monitoring technologies with the goal to promote self-sufficiency.
 
The money, $1.6 million in all, was announced Wednesday by the federal Minister of innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains.

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