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Research related to the environment, development of natural resources (oil and gas, mining, forestry), and the interaction of people, industry, and communities with the natural world, locally, nationally and globally.

Key research areas include human interactions with climate change and environmental impacts; energy efficiency; resource economics; cultural perceptions of the environment; environmental science; wildlife, marine, land, habitat resource and waste management; plant and forestry science; environmental engineering and sustainability; cellular and molecular biology and marine sciences; energy industry economics and policy; health, safety and survival in the oil and gas industry; harsh environment engineering, ocean observation systems; petroleum reservoir characterization and exploration geophysics; sustainable and alternative energy solutions; reclamation of non-renewable resource developments; social and economic benefits of the nonextractive values of natural resources; watersheds and water quality business opportunities, public policy, legal issues and regulatory regimes.

 


New evidence on Caribbean coral reef decline has Memorial connection

Dr. Evan Edinger, an associate professor in the Department of Geography at Memorial, is a key researcher in a coral reef study published in the latest edition of Nature Communications.

Seven coral reef scientists from six countries met in 2010 to devise and test a non-destructive methodology for measuring carbonate budgets on coral reefs. They all contributed to the methodology discussions and trials, and to the field data collection and analysis. Dr. Edinger’s speciality within the project was measuring internal bioerosion, that is, the effect of animals (like sponges) that break down the reef by excavating holes inside coral skeletons.

The new evidence reveals that many Caribbean coral reefs have either stopped growing or are on the threshold of starting to erode, according to the study.

“The really big significance of our work is that it translates the short-term ecological changes we have seen on Caribbean coral reefs into the long-term geomorphic and geological consequences,” explained Dr. Edinger. See More...

Shining a light on atoms

Visualizing tiny features in a material is no small task. Atoms are much smaller than what can be seen directly, yet their arrangements often have a critical impact on how a material functions.

Memorial University professor Dr. Kris Poduska and PhD student Ben Xu recently returned from a trip to the Canadian Light Source (CLS) in Saskatoon, Sask., where they used some amazing tools for "seeing" atom arrangements.

“We have several instruments on campus that generate X-rays that allow us to look at atomic level structure, but at the CLS facility we were able to look at very particular energies of X-rays emitted by calcium atoms,” said Dr. Poduska. See More...

Hibernia boosting Memorial’s offshore research and development capacity

New investments in Memorial University of Newfoundland’s research and development (R&D) capacity may hold the key to producing additional oil offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) is investing $11.8 million in laboratory equipment and research for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), enabling a new area of research in the province for the first time.

“We are working with the university to develop enhanced oil recovery research capacity and capability in the province,” said Jamie Long, president, HMDC. “Our ultimate goal is to increase oil recovery offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.” EOR refers to techniques that can be used to increase the amount of crude oil extracted from an oil field. Advanced EOR methods are not currently in use in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore industry. See More...

Exploring provincial forest policy

Pathways and Challenges to Reinventing Forestry in Newfoundland, a white paper which explores the forest policy and decision-making framework in Newfoundland, has been released.

Erin Kelly, post-doctoral fellow with the Environmental Policy Institution, Grenfell Campus, explores the history of forestry in Newfoundland, and how policy-makers and forest managers are reacting to changes in the forest industry, tenure arrangements, legislation, social values, labour markets and forest conditions. See More...

Making an impact on space exploration

The lunar rover delicately picks its way across the barren rock on the floor of the 35-million year old crater, a huge basin of fragmented rock shards and fused glass formed by the massive force of the meteor impact. This could be the moon. In fact, this is the enormous Mistastin Impact Crater in central Labrador.

Lunar orbiters have recently confirmed the discovery of ice in the permanently shadowed craters of the moon’s polar regions. Further studies of these craters are desired, but budget cuts call for fiscally prudent space exploration. This has raised the profile of Labrador’s earth-bound crater, and for Memorial University, it has created a unique opportunity. See More...