Selkirk College’s forestry innovations research team supports industry in the application of new, innovative technologies designed to enhance our forestry sector.
Projects and Services
Selkirk College’s forestry innovations research and workforce development program involves industry-driven projects in the areas of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), light distance and ranging (LiDAR), visualization, and advanced computing (cloud services, geospatial data analytics, process models). Projects are funded through a $2 million research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s College and Community Innovation Program. Cash and in-kind contributions are required from participating industry partners.
Research Focus Areas
Ian serves as the Forestry Innovations Grant Coordinator and Coordinator for the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre. His background is in conservation geographic information science (GIS) including work for the Long Beach Model Forest on Vancouver Island and for the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program in Nelson as GIS Coordinator. Ian has expertise in GIS analysis, data management and cartography. Ian is also an instructor in the Advanced Diploma in GIS and Diploma in Integrated Environmental Planning.
Dr. Muditha Heenkenda
Muditha is a researcher specializing in Remote Sensing, GIS and Surveying. She started her career in Geomatics as a Field Surveyor, and later became a remote sensing specialist. She completed her PhD in GIS and Remote Sensing at Charles Darwin University, Australia. Her research was to analyze very high resolution images to extract mangrove species, individual tree crowns and biophysical variables. She is interested in incorporating advanced remote sensing data processing techniques with high resolution images for environmental problem solving and risk assessment. She also teaches GIS and Remote Sensing courses to our Advanced Diploma in GIS students and Integrated Environmental Planning.
Dr. Kim Green
Kim has worked as a geoscientist for over 30 years throughout western North America. She graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1986 with a BSc in Geology and from the University of Calgary in 1990 with an MSc in Geoscience. In 2014, Kim completed her Doctorate where she investigated the influence of land cover change on snow melt watershed hydrological and channel response. Her research interests focus on understanding the processes controlling channel form, stability and ecosystem function of mountain streams in forested, snow melt dominated watersheds
A professional physicist and problem solver, Jonathan has worked on projects ranging from air quality on the eastern seaboard, mountain meteorology in the Rockies, cloud micro-physics in the High Arctic, and even sending a lidar to Mars. His expertise includes data science, LiDAR and virtual reality. Jonathan teaches in the School of University Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Brendan Wilson
Brendan is the Chair of Selkirk College’s School of Environment and Geomatics and has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta. His undergraduate research focused on selective harvesting on understory plant communities in an Australian subalpine forest and his doctoral research focused on regeneration dynamics of alpine larch in the Canadian Rockies Mountains. Brendan is also a director, and former president of the Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology.
Rena is an ecologist and GIS enthusiast, specializing in fish ecology and aquatics. She completed her M.Sc. at University of Alberta, studying population dynamics of fish in small lakes. Rena spent several years in the consulting industry locally, working on projects related to hydroelectric impacts and conservation of rare fish species. Her research interests include using spatial analysis and spatial statistics to answer ecological questions, particularly those with an aquatic focus. Now Rena teaches GIS courses to both our GIS programs and other programs in the School of Environment and Geomatics.
Jason is recognized as a leader in advanced manufacturing research and technology in the West Kootenay region. He teaches in Selkirk College’s Digital Arts and New Media program and has successfully completed numerous projects involving companies of all sizes. He is a special advisor to the MIDAS fab lab in Trail, BC and an enthusiastic maker.
Ian comes from working for Environment Canada, where for many years he used GIS analysis in the water science division, researching into Acid rain, atmospheric Mercury, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and reactive Nitrogen. Prior to coming to Canada in 2001, Ian lived in the Cambridge, UK following a career in medical research in the fields of vascular disease and cancer. Ian completed a postgraduate diplomas in computer science and ADGIS, thus bringing strengths in software development, databases, internet mapping and data analysis.
David has a Bachelor's degree in Geographic Information Systems, and a diploma in Recreation, Fish, and Wildlife from Selkirk College. He has proven experience in public relations, facility management, and a unique ability to apply technology to business processes. His research interests include remote sensing, UAVs, food security, and sustainable rural development.
Joining the SGRC as a coop after completing his Advanced Diploma in GIS, Justin was hired on full-time to continue supporting the technical requirements of the SGRC. While working with the SGRC he continued his education and completed his Bachelors in GIS in 2015. Justin excels in web technologies and visual design, and has a passion for quantitative data as well as the natural world.
Dr. Terri MacDonald
Terri is the Director of Applied Research & Innovation at Selkirk College and has a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from UBC. Terri has over 15 years of project management experience, including oversight for over $2 million in research and workforce development projects undertaken at the Applied Research & Innovation Centre annually.
Contact Ian Parfitt to access this research program.
Using Virtual Reality for Visual Resource Management in Logged Areas
This project involved working with company partner, Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd., to explore the potential and limitations of using virtual reality technology to plan for and mitigate the visual impacts of logging operations. It involved developing a prototype application that allows users to remove select trees from a landscape and view three dimensional impacts from any angle or distance. As a result of the project, the company partner has an improved ability to use this innovative technology in their operations, allowing for more efficient and effective visual resource management planning.