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2003

 

Environmental Legislation Enforcement

(Prof. Jaye Ellis, McGill School of Environment & Faculty of Law)

 

Voluntary Regulatory Initiative and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

(Prof. Jaye Ellis, McGill School of Environment & Faculty of Law)

 

Environmental and Health Impacts of Genetically Modified Organisms

(Mr. George McCourt, McGill School of Environment)

 

Field Tests in Biopharming

(Mr. George McCourt, McGill School of Environment)

 

Construction Waste Options

(Prof. Madhav Badami, McGill School of Environment & School of Urban Planning)

 

Feasibility of Composting at McGill University

(Prof. Garry Peterson, formerly with McGill School of Environment)

This study aims to assess the feasibility of a composting system for McGill University. The study is broken down into two sections: 1) the sources, amount and character of organic waste and 2) how this waste can be composted and diverted from landfills. The study comprised characterization of the organic waste stream through waste auditing, a literature review carried out to identify possible composting management options, and interviews conducted to explore these possibilities.

Six potential management options were identified: partnership with NGO, partnership with the municipality, partnership with other Montreal universities, contracting with a private waste management firm, independent management on the downtown campus, and composting at the Macdonald Farm. These six options were assessed using the following criteria: institutional capacity, ease of management, end use, cost, space, elasticity, timeframe, education and research, ethical concerns, public health and perceptions, environmental concerns, and legal regulations.

Assessing Ecosystem Services at McGill University

(Prof. Garry Peterson, formerly with McGill School of Environment)

 

Toxics and First Nations - Mapping

(Prof. Raja Sengupta, McGill School of Environment & Departmetn of Geography)

 

Toxics and First Nations - Health Risks

(Prof. Bruce Case, Associate Member, McGill School of Environment & Department of Pathology)

Traditional sustenance practices such as hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering are integral to the preservation of First Nations cultures and are of great benefit to the health and well-being of aboriginal people in a multitude of ways. This project surveys the effects of two environmental toxins, mercury and dioxins / furans on First Nations communities of Quebec, in view of recommending means by which they may mitigate dietary exposure to these contaminants without compromising traditional ways of life.

Due to the fact that most dietary mercury exposure occurs through the consumption of fish, our study aimed to evaluate whether mercury contamination of local fish could pose a danger to the inhabitants of Chisasibi, Eastmain, Obedjiwan, Ouje-Bougoumou, Nemaska, Kipawa, Pikogan, Lac Simon, and Temiskaming. Data collected by Environnement Québec on the mercury concentrations of fish in regional water bodies was used for this purpose. We have compiled tables comparing the contamination levels of different species and sizes of fish in each locality and have used this data to make recommendations to the people of each community concerning which types of fish are safest to eat with regards to mercury, and how often each fish type may be safely consumed.

Montreal Sewage Overflow - Modeling

(Prof. Raja Sengupta, McGill School of Environment & Departmetn of Geography)

 

Montreal Sewage Overflow - Health Assessment

(Prof. Bruce Case, Associate Member, McGill School of Environment & Department of Pathology)

The objective of our research project was to suggest to the City of Montreal a more beneficial monitoring process for determining water quality in recreational waters of Lac St-Louis, Montreal, Quebec. Our main focus was to assess the accuracy of the presently used fecal coliform indicator, which is used to monitor the bacteriological water quality of Lac St-Louis. A review of the available literature supported the argument that Escherichia coli, a specific type of fecal coliform, is a better indicator of bacteriological freshwater quality used for recreational purposes when compared to fecal coliforms. This is due to the fact that E. coli amounts have a higher correlation with gastrointestinal diseases. Gastrointestinal diseases can lead to severe complications principally in infants, elderly, and people with a weakened immune system. This lead us to our research question: to determine any difference between overall fecal coliform counts and E. coli counts as indicators in assessing water quality for recreation purpose in Lac St-Louis, Montreal, Quebec.

Land Trust Handbook

(Prof. Amelia Clarke, formerly with McGill School of Environment)

Les fiducies foncières sont des organismes sans but lucratif (OSBL) qui ont pour but de protéger les espaces verts, les terres agricoles et les bâtiments historiques. Les fiducies foncières donnent l’opportunité à des propriétaires terriens de donner ou vendre leur terre à un OSBL qui la protégera à perpétuité. Pour cette recherche nous nous sommes intéressées plus particulièrement aux fiducies foncières qui ont comme mission de protéger les terres agricoles. Nous voulions déterminer l’état actuel des fiducies foncières agricoles ainsi que leur potentiel futur au Québec.

Afin de répondre à cette question nous avons fait des recherches littéraires, des entrevues et des études de cas de fiducies foncières au Canada. Pour analyser l’information recueillie nous avons regardé les facteurs internes et externes ainsi que les forces, les opportunités, les faiblesses et les obstacles qui s’appliquent aux fiducies foncières agricoles au Québec.

Environmental NGO Strategic Plan

(Prof. Amelia Clarke, formerly with McGill School of Environment)

The objective of our research is to help the Sierra Club of Canada (SCC) Quebec Group (QG), develop a strategic plan to allow it to increase its capacity for growth within the Province of Quebec. Building capacity will help the SCC further its mission of increasing environmental awareness and protection. Our research consists of assessing the selected external factors of funding, media, and language and culture. Factors influencing the SCC are identified as opportunities and/or threats affecting the Group’s growth in Quebec. By providing a deeper understanding of the external environment in Quebec, this project should be able to establish for the QG challenges that will influence the Group’s ability to grow. Internal strengths and weaknesses relating to our factors provide necessary project context.

To conduct our research, we sought quantitative, statistical information using three methods: member questionnaire, a population survey and a media study. The media study compared environmental coverage between the French and English media in Quebec. Through interviews and questionnaires the Quebec Group, the ECan Chapter and the Sierra Youth Coalition provided qualitative data. We triangulated our findings and sorted our data into opportunities and threats.

Cree Project in Wemindji

(Prof. Colin Scott, Department of Anthropology)

Over past decades, ideologies of environmental protection have been shifting from strict prohibition of human activity toward concepts recognizing the rights of local communities to manage the land, practice subsistence activities, and utilize the area for educational and cultural development. The Crees (lyiyuuch) of Northern Quebec (lyiyuuschii) have experienced significant environmental and social changes over the past 40 years. Responding to these forces, and a desire to enhance local knowledge and culture, the Cree Nation of Wemindji is considering protection of an historically important area in their territory.

This project examines culturally appropriate protection of the Old Factory watershed (Paakumshumwaau) and adjacent marine coast. A long-term research commitment and a cooperative relationship with the community are essential. The project's multiple-year research question asks: Why create a protected area in the Old Factory watershed and adjacent marine coast; what are the design features of culturally appropriate protection in this area? This first-year report provides a preliminary assessment of feasibility, and proposes design features that will help evaluate the success of culturally appropriate protection in the area. Specifically, four goals are outlined: 1) Explore the social, cultural, political, economic context: 2)assess the ecological context; 3) review, analyze and compare existing models for protection; 4) propose design features of a protected area and make recommendations for future research.