|Year||Title (Author, Description)||File Download|
The Anthropocene: From Global Change to Planetary Stewardship
Will Steffen, A ° sa Persson, Lisa Deutsch, Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams, Katherine Richardson, Ca
Over the past century, the total material wealth of humanity has been enhanced. However, in the twentyfirst century, we face scarcity in critical resources, the degradation of ecosystem services, and the erosion of the planet’s capability to absorb our wastes. Equity issues remain stubbornly difficult to solve. This situation is novel in its speed, its global scale and its threat to the resilience of the Earth System. The advent of the Anthropence, the time interval in which human activities now rival global geophysical processes, suggests that we need to fundamentally alter our relationship with the planet we inhabit. Many approaches could be adopted, ranging from geoengineering solutions that purposefully manipulate parts of the Earth System to becoming active stewards of our own life support system. The Anthropocene is a reminder that the Holocene, during which complex human societies have developed, has been a stable, accommodating environment and is the only state of the Earth System that we know for sure can support contemporary society. The need to achieve effective planetary stewardship is urgent. As we go further into the Anthropocene, we risk driving the Earth System onto a trajectory toward more hostile states from which we cannot easily return.
|Contact ALCES for Will Steffen, A ° sa Persson, Lisa Deutsch, Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams, Katherine Richardson, Ca, 2011|
The Challenge of Developing Social Indicators for Cumulative Effects Assessment and Land Use Planning
Mitchell, R. E., and J. R. Parkins
This paper provides a synopsis on social indicators as relevant to cumulative effects assessment and land use planning. Although much has been done to better understand the social dimensions of environmental assessment, empirical work has been lacking on social indicators that could be used either as measurable inputs or outputs for cumulative effects assessment and land use planning in different kinds of communities and regions. Cumulative effects models currently in practice often fail to address deeper issues of community and regional well-being. Against this gap, social scientists are being asked to make reliable generalizations about functional, measurable relationships between certain social indicators and land use change or scenarios. To address this challenge, the Alberta Research Council held a two-day workshop in 2005 with social scientists. The workshop resulted in a list of prioritized social indicators that could be included in cumulative effects modeling/assessments and land use planning. The top five social indicators included population growth rate, education attainment, self-assessed quality of life, equity, i.e., distribution of benefits, and locus of control. Although consensus on social indicators and social thresholds for cumulative effects models was not reached, the insight gained from the workshop will help inform future cumulative effects assessment and land use planning.
|Contact ALCES for Mitchell, R. E., and J. R. Parkins, 2011|
The effects of Linear Developments on Wildlife: A Review of Selected Scientific Literature.
Jalkotzy, M. G., Ross, P. I., and Nasserden, M. D.
This report is a reference to be used when information is required regarding the effects of linear development on wildlife. It is divided into a number of sections. The basis of the literature review was an electronic search of biological and related electronic databases. The scope of this research is detailed in Section 2. Since the basis for understanding the effects of linear developments on wildlife is the ecology of landscapes, Sections 3 provides an introduction to the basic concepts of landscape ecology and Section 4 outlines the major functions of disturbance corridors. The effects of linear developments on wildlife can be divided into 6 major groupings, and these are outlined in Section 5. Section 6 examines the effects of linear corridors from the perspective of corridor type. Sections 5 and 6 are meant to be brief overviews of their respective topics. Section 7 forms the bulk of the report and examines, in detail, the effects of linear developments on different wildlife species and species groups. Large mammals are dealt with at the species level, whereas medium-sized carnivores are dealt with as a group, as are birds. The final section, Section 8, briefly reviews mitigative measures currently in use.
|Contact ALCES for Jalkotzy, M. G., Ross, P. I., and Nasserden, M. D., 1997|
THE IMPLICATIONS OF ALTERNATIVE GROWTH PATTERNS ON INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Purpose of Report Calgary has seen record levels of growth over the last few years and population and economic growth is expected to continue in the future. Over the next 60 years the population in the city itself is expected to grow from approximately 1 million to 2.3 million persons, with another 0.5 million people in the surrounding region. This level of growth offers the opportunity, and the need, to shape the future land use and transportation patterns of Calgary. Plan It Calgary has commissioned this study to assist in development of an integrated plan for land use and transportation. It examines the infrastructure implications of two growth patterns. The Dispersed Scenario reflects current trends and the continuation of current city policies, while the new Recommended Direction intensifies jobs and population in specific areas of the city, and links them with high-quality transit services. The types of infrastructure investigated in this report are transportation (roads and transit), water and sewer services, police, fire, parks, recreation centres and schools. Key Findings • The land required for Plan It Calgary’s Recommended Direction is 25% smaller than the Dispersed Scenario (which reflects current policy and trends). • The cost to build Recommended Direction is 33% less expensive than the Dispersed Scenario. • The Recommended Direction would be less expensive to operate and maintain over the next 60 years than the Dispersed Scenario. • The cost to build, maintain and replace aging streets has the largest impact when comparing costs between the two growth patterns. Reduced greenfield growth in the Recommended Direction will result in a 36% cost savings for new streets compared to the Dispersed Scenario, and will also reduce maintenance and replacement costs. • Enhanced Primary Transit service proposed in the Recommended Direction would actually be less expensive to build than extending transit to suburban communities in the Dispersed Scenario. Increased transit ridership in Recommended Direction, which provides double the service compared to the Dispersed Scenario, means that it would cost approximately the same to operate transit in both growth patterns. • Reduced greenfield growth in Recommended Direction will result in a 55% cost savings for water and wastewater systems compared to the Dispersed Scenario. There would be no net difference in costs for the existing parts of Calgary since replacement of water and wastewater systems will be required as infrastructure ages. Significant intensification of existing areas and growth in new greenfield communities could both trigger the need to upgrade existing systems.
|Contact ALCES for IBI Group, 2009|
The Sediment Delivery Problem
The linking of on-site rates of erosion and soil loss within a drainage basin to the sediment yield at the basin outlet, and improved knowledge and representation of the associated processes of sediment delivery, represent a major research need within the field of erosion and sedimentation and also an important scale problem in drainage basin studies. This paper reviews the limitations of the sediment delivery ratio concept by considering the problems of temporal and spatial lumping and its blackbox nature. Some recent advances in our understanding of the sediment delivery system and its modelling are described and the lack of empirical investigations is highlighted. The significance of recent concern for the role of sediments in the transport of nutrients and contaminants to sediment delivery studies is introduced, and the need for further work in this field is emphasized.
|Contact ALCES for D.E. Walling, 1982|
Triage for conserving populations of threatened species: The case of woodland caribou in Alberta
Richard R. Schneider, Grant Hauer, W.L. (Vic) Adamowicz, Stan Boutin
Prioritization of conservation efforts for threatened and endangered species has tended to focus on factors measuring the risk of extirpation rather than the probability of success and cost. Approaches such as triage are advisable when three main conditions are present: insufficient capacity exists to adequately treat all patients, patients are in a critical state and cannot wait until additional capacity becomes available, and patients differ in their likely outcome and/or the amount of treatment they require. The objective of our study was to document the status of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) herds in Alberta, Canada, with respect to these three conditions and to determine whether a triage approach might be warranted. To do this we modeled three types of recovery effort – protection, habitat restoration, and wolf control – and estimated the opportunity cost of recovery for each herd. We also assessed herds with respect to a suite of factors linked to long-term viability. We found that all but three herds will decline to critical levels (<10 animals) within approximately 30 years if current population trends continue. The opportunity cost of protecting all ranges by excluding new development, in terms of the net present value of petroleum and forestry resources, was estimated to be in excess of 100 billion dollars (assuming no substitution of activity outside of the ranges). A habitat restoration program applied to all ranges would cost several hundred million dollars, and a provincial-scale wolf control program would cost tens of millions of dollars. Recovery costs among herds varied by an order of magnitude. Herds also varied substantially in terms of their potential viability. These findings suggest that woodland caribou in Alberta meet the conditions whereby triage should be considered as an appropriate conservation strategy.
|Contact ALCES for Richard R. Schneider, Grant Hauer, W.L. (Vic) Adamowicz, Stan Boutin , 2010|
Warning Signs Mitigate Deer–Vehicle Collisions in an Urban Area
Rob Found, Mark S. Boyce
Increasing collisions with deer (Odocoileus spp.) and other large animals, and the rise in associated public safety risks and economic costs, have made mitigation strategies a priority for both transportation and wildlife managers. Deer-crossing warning signage is one of the oldest forms of mitigating deer–vehicle collisions (DVCs), but despite their low cost and logistical simplicity, the effectiveness of standard-sized permanent warning signage at reducing DVCs has not previously been adequately determined. We used historical DVC data, based on deer carcass retrieval, to identify and target areas and periods of high collision frequency. We installed warning signs at these high collision frequency locations and then compared DVCs to un-signed control locations. The total number of DVCs at signed hotspots was significantly different in the year after the signs were installed, compared to the 3 prior years (F13 ¼ 4.99, P ¼ 0.004). Although the single year of posttreatment data means the long-term efficacy of warning signage remains unknown, we showed that in the first year after installation, deer-crossing signs targeting high collision locations can be effective at reducing DVCs.
|Contact ALCES for Rob Found, Mark S. Boyce, 2011|
Water Quality Study of Waiparous Creek, Fallentimber Creek and Ghost River
Increased usage of the Ghost -Waiparous basin for random camping and off-highway vehicles (OHVs) has raised concerns among stakeholders that these activities are affecting water quality in the Ghost, Waiparous and Fallentimber Rivers. This report to Alberta Environment attempts to determine whether there is a linkage between these activities and water quality in these three rivers and documents baseline water quality prior to the implementation of an access management plan by the Alberta Government.
|Contact ALCES for Daniel Andrews, 2006|