Developing Remote Sensing Tools for Mapping Linear Disturbances in the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories
Principal Investigator: Cole, Sarah E (1)
Licence Number: 15737
Organization: University of Calgary
Licenced Year(s): 2015
Issued: Aug 07, 2015
Project Team: Sarah Cole (Field Crew Lead- MSc., University of Calgary), Christina Braybrook (Field Crew, University of Calgary), Corey Feduck (Field Crew, University of Calgary)

Objective(s): To provide data to predict disturbance recovery trajectories and project footprint change over time in the Central Mackenzie Valley.

Project Description: The objective is to develop a current and complete development footprint for a designated area of the Central Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories (NWT), that includes specified disturbance attributes; captures an estimate of current recovery state; and, provides data to predict disturbance recovery trajectories and project footprint change over time.

Anthropogenic disturbance features will be mapped using high resolution satellite imagery for the specified study areas of the Central Mackenzie Valley. Linear, point, and polygon disturbance features will be digitized. Attribute data will be assigned to all identified disturbances and estimations of disturbance recovery will be performed using both existing and new methods. Field work will be performed to assess and verify truths in remote sensing information obtained and used within the research. A report will be developed detailing the research, including recommendations for future mapping of anthropogenic disturbances in the NWT.

The research team has attended the Cross-Cultural Research Camp on the Mackenzie River where locals from Deline, Tulita, Fort Good Hope, and Norman Wells, as well as researchers from all over Canada gathered to share their culture and their research plans. The research team was able to present the research, speak to members of the Sahtu Renewable Resource Board (SRRB) and Renewable Resource Councils (RRCs) and obtain valuable knowledge from locals of the development history of the area, as well as recreational, hunting and camping use of various disturbances in the study area. Upon returning to Norman Wells, the research team plan to meet with Norman Wells RRC and update them on the research plans. The research team will also be meeting with the Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program, in Yellowknife to provide additional information on project goals, methods, and anticipated outcomes when in the field.

The results of the study will be presented at the Sahtu Environmental Research and Monitoring Teleconference on September 3. A copy of the thesis will be sent to both the Norman Wells and Tulita RRCs, as well as the SRRB and GNWT. A poster presentation of the study will also be presented at the ACUNS (Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies) 2015 Arctic Student Conference in October 2015.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 7, 2015 to December 31, 2015.