1) Development of a Bottom-up, Activity-based Transport Network and Emissions Modelling System ($21,000 in Year 1 + opportunity for renewal)
Dalhousie University houses the Dalhousie Transportation Collaboratory (DalTRAC), a CFI-sponsored multidisciplinary research facility dedicated to advancing transportation engineering and planning research.
DalTRAC is leading a multi-year project sponsored by Climate Action and Awareness Fund (CAAF) that advances a theoretical and empirical foundation for multi-scale integration of transport and emission models within urban systems modelling for multiple Canadian cities. The project will combine cross-cutting expertise from scholars and practitioners to advance data-driven, integrated urban systems modelling techniques for emissions estimation, a critical next step yet to be fully materialized to develop a standardized transport and emission modelling approach. The data, methods and tools developed in this project will provide a geo-temporally resolved understanding of emissions and inform policymaking to achieve Canada’s goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. More information on DalTRAC’s research projects and publications can be found at: https://www.dal.ca/sites/daltrac.html
For this advertised DalTRAC/CAAF position, we are looking for a student who will conduct research that helps us bridge our understanding of GHG emissions, transportation planning, and local climate action in Canada. Students will work with a variety of datasets, both quantitative and qualitative, to answer questions related to the barriers, enablers, and recommended pathways toward a low-carbon transportation system within Canadian urban centres.
For more information, including how to apply, see the PDF below.
2) [Fully-funded] [Em]powering Communities: A Review of Participation, Inclusivity, Equity, and Support within Solar City ($43,000+ over two years)
Dr. Chad Walker and the Climate and Local Energy Action Network (CLEAN) Lab
are now seeking applications for a funded thesis-based student position at Dalhousie University to study questions of a just, inclusive, and equitable solar energy future in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The preferred start date is September 1st, 2023, though alternative dates, including January 1st, 2024, will be considered.
The student will enroll in one of two programs at Dalhousie University:
1. Master of Planning Studies
2. Master of Environmental Studies
The position will provide the student with at least $43,000 (CAD) over two years. Students will also be provided with financial support to attend conferences. Additional support may be available, including through School-level Teaching Assistantships, graduate scholarships, and future CLEAN Lab funding.
3) How might wind energy planning impact political support and longevity? Lessons to shape Nova Scotia’s wind energy future
The province of Nova Scotia is beginning to take bold steps to lower emissions from fossil fuel-based energy and build itself up as a global leader in hydrogen production. Part of this action involves increasing wind energy development in both onshore and offshore contexts. Yet both the academic literature and ‘real world’ experiences show us that planning for and building wind turbines in ways that do not respect local communities can lead to opposition movements and a political unwillingness to support much-needed policy programs. While acknowledging the suggestions from a few case studies from Ontario, Ireland, and the UK, there is no known summary of research that outlines the importance of planning processes to the sustainability of wind energy policy over the medium and long-term.
Students who join this project will conduct a desktop literature review and/or case studies centered around questions including, what is the importance of wind energy planning frameworks and processes to political support and longer-term sustainability?
4) Understanding how to plan and develop Smart Grid projects in ways that lead to high levels of local engagement, equity, and support
To address related issues of climate change, energy security, and fuel poverty, the rollout of smart, local energy systems – and Smart Grid (SG) projects in particular – is beginning to happen across the world, including countries such as Canada. Though largely because these projects are their early or demonstration phases, we lack an understanding of how they are being planned and developed – including what local partners may be involved, and how procedural and distributive justice elements are being valued (or not). Making sure we understand and assess these dynamics is vitally important as we plan for the larger roll-out of SG projects across Canada and the world.
The student(s) joining this project will have the opportunity to conduct a case study of one or more of Natural Resources Canada-funded Smart Grid Program projects. Possible data collection techniques could include in-depth interviews, focus groups, workshops, and/or local resident surveys. Ultimately, the student will help answer questions around how we might plan and develop Smart Grid projects in ways that lead to high levels of local engagement, equity, and project support.
Competitive funding is available for both of these projects as well as any other proposed by the student that falls under the expertise of Dr. Walker. Contact [email protected]
to discuss further.