In 2010 I began an 8 month internship, through the Faculty of Agriculture Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) Industrial Internship Program at the University of Alberta (U of A), with the Canadian Forest Service (CFS)-Climate Change Group at the Northern Forestry Center (NoFC) in Edmonton, Alberta. At NoFC I participated in data collection for the Boreal Forest Transect Case Study (BFTCS), but was primarily involved in measuring autotrophic and heterotrophic soil respiration fluxes on hybrid poplar (HP) plantations throughout central Alberta, under the supervision of Jagtar Bhatti and Carmela Arevalo. I continued working at NoFC and began collaboration with the University of British Columbia Biometeorology and Soil Physics Group (BIOMET) using eddy covariance (EC) instrumentation to measure turbulent fluxes of CO2, H2O and sensible heat above a young HP plantation (HP09 established in June 2009 near St. Albert, Alberta. In June 2011, under the same collaboration another EC system (HP11) was established near Winnipeg, Manitoba.
After completing my BSc in Environmental and Conservational Science at U of A I joined BIOMET and began my MSc in Soil Science under the supervision of Dr. Andy Black and Paul Jassal. My research focuses on measuring (e.g. EC) and modelling soil evaporation and plant transpiration throughout the life history (canopy development) of HP plantations to understand HP water-use efficiency and annual water balance. Our research will hopefully give insight regarding the impact HP water balance is having on local and regional water supplies in Canada’s aspen parkland.