Past grant-funded research projects

Researchers, faculty members, staff, external partners, and students have collaborated on past research projects, solving challenges and addressing the needs of our community, province and world. Delve into our past research projects below (note, not all projects are listed).

 

Internal funding


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2019


 

Why are Women Under-Represented within Leadership positions in Corrections?
  • CARI Headshots-Jeanine WEB.jpg
    Dr. Jeanine Webber
    Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researchers: Dr. Jeanine Webber (Dean, Centre for Justice & Human Services) and Ibrahim Turay (Instructor, Centre for Justice & Human Services) 
  • News story:

We are exploring why women are under-represented in leadership roles within the Alberta Correctional Services Division despite the Division's commitment to diversity and inclusion. We hope to accomplish the following objectives with this study. Firstly, we seek to identify the barriers/perceived barriers, preventing women from ascending to leadership positions. Secondly, we seek to identify the key resources women require to support their leadership aspirations in the Division. Thirdly, we seek to identify the pathways that have proven effective for women to become involved in leadership experiences. Finally, we seek to document the experiences of women who are in leadership positions within the Division. The results of this study will provide direction and insights to the Division as they work to enhance the leadership opportunities for women. 

An Exploration of Possible Barriers to the Successful Completion of the APCAT and ACT by Police Recruit Applicants
  • Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researchers: Dr. Jim Urasaki (Instructor, Centre for Justice & Human Services) and Dr. Jeanine Webber (Dean, Centre for Justice & Human Services)
  • News story:

This research will examine the possible barriers which prevent the successful completion of the Alberta Police Cognitive Abilities Test (APCAT) and the Alberta Communication Test (ACT) by police recruit applicants.  The APCAT and ACT are part of the process to assess a candidate’s suitability for employment as a police officer in the province of Alberta and the tests are used as a screening tool to allow candidates to proceed to the next stages of recruitment.  This research will also explore other possible factors that may affect some applicants’ ability to work as a police officer in Alberta. 

Early childhood education accountability in Southern Alberta: teacher characteristics and classroom quality
  • Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researchers: Dr. Hanako Shimamura (Instructor, Early Childhood Education)
  • News story:

This proposed study has two aims: 1) to examine classroom quality (e.g., teacher-child interaction quality) and its trend in early childhood education settings in Southern Alberta over one academic year; and 2) to explore associations between teacher characteristics (e.g., teacher education, teaching experience) and the provision of classroom quality. Repeated systematic observation will be conducted to assess classroom quality using the CLASS observation tool (Pianta et al., 2008). A teacher questionnaire will be administered to gather basic teacher demographic information. Findings can highlight the current state of provision of quality programs in Southern Alberta and whether there is variation in quality provision in relation to teacher characteristics. 

Financial success predictions from artificial intelligence analysis of time-series data
  • Stephen Graham
    Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researcher: Stephen Graham (Chair, School of Information Technology)
  • News story:

This project will develop an artificial intelligence system to analyse financial spending patterns and attempt to predict what changes would lead to better financial health.

The needs of trans youth and the role of health care professionals in enacting social change
  • CARI Headshots-WEB Jennifer.jpg
    Dr. Jennifer Davis
    Funding for project: CARIF​
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researchers: Dr. Jennifer Davis (Instructor, General Studies)
  • News story:

Trans children are some of the most vulnerable members of society. They face both a pressing need tor timely access to health care and extraordinary difficulty accessing it, which can result in significant and sometimes permanent negative physical and psychological outcomes. The present study uses social action research methodology to (1) bring healthcare providers from across the province together to identify the main issues facing trans youth, understand their root causes, and take action for change and (2) study the group process and the document the core issues they identify that are faced by trans children.

The Green Antibiotics
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    Dr. Sophie Kernéis
    Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researchers: Dr. Sophie Kernéis (Instructor, Biological Sciences); Byrne Cook (Chair, School of Agriculture)
  • News story:

Since December 2018, Alberta meat producers face new major restrictions in how medical antibiotics can be applied.  Previously, antibiotics were included in animal feed to prevent infections and to promote growth.  However, with the urgent goal by the World Health Organization to reduce the threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria, the food industry requires new solutions to support animal production. Our project proposes to identify Green Antibiotics, which can replace medical antibiotics.  We will investigate plants, which are part of animal foods, for their antibiotic properties to develop a safe and economical solution to industrial use of medical antibiotics. 

 

2018


 

The Antibiotic Alberta Plant Project Phase 2

 

The Microbial Research Group of Lethbridge College has launched the Alberta Antibiotic project, which has the goals to identify new antibiotics from Alberta plants and to engage our students in scientific and applied research. Finding new antibiotics is a priority as declared by the World Health Organization and will serve the agricultural, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. Our group has identified several plants with antibacterial activities and are characterizing antibiotic molecules from a plant extract. Our native plant extract library constitutes a valuable resource for local and global industries who are interested in discovering safe alternatives for use as antibiotics.

Commercial scale production of freshwater shrimp (Hyalella azteca)
  • Funding for project: CARIF​
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    John Derksen instructing students
  • Project duration: January 1st to June 30th, 2019
  • Lead researcher: John Derksen (Chair, Aquaculture of Excellence)

 

Freshwater, Ostracod shrimp are an abundant natural form of forage in many lakes in North America and Alberta, providing enhanced growth rates to resident fish species. Though capable of production on a small scale for lab studies, no large-scale production of this species is documented. We wish to produce freshwater shrimp on a commercial scale for the purpose of: 1) providing a live diet to enhance the intensive culture of walleye (Sander vitreus) in recirculating aquaculture systems, and 2) enhancing the recycling of solids in aquaponics systems.

Optimizing academic and professional success through the creation of an inclusive healthy learning and work environment
  • Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration: January 1st to June 30th, 2019
  • Project Leads: Coreen Roth (Vice-President People & Planning) and Shelley Carter-Rose (Director, Student Services)
  • News story:

The ultimate goal of this applied research project is to review and analyze research data to assist in the development of a plan for a college-wide health and wellness strategy, and support the development of student and employee health and wellness plans for 2018-2021.  Faculty will conduct this study, with a project outcome to generate a report with conclusions and/or recommendations regarding the types of initiatives the data supports going forward, and how it can help us identify what an organizational strategy and plan for Lethbridge College should include.

Outdoor Play - What are the realities in Southern Alberta?
  • Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration:  January 1st to June 30th, 2019
  • Lead Researchers: Cheryl Hatten (Instructor, Early Childhood Education) and Dr. Hanako Shimamura (Instructor, Early Childhood Education)
  • News story:

This project will gather baseline data, via an on-line survey, from ECE educators in Lethbridge and surrounding area on their current knowledge and practices surrounding outdoor play, their beliefs and perceptions about outdoor play and outdoor risky play, as well as barriers to outdoor play and outdoor risky play. This data will be used to inform a program of research for the ECE program at Lethbridge College as well as to determine in what areas Lethbridge College can provide leadership and support to community partners.

 

2017


 

The Virtual Home

 

My research asked the following questions:

1. Does an immersive experience change spatial perceptions to increase architectural ‘buy-in’ for smaller, more sustainable spaces, communities and interior finishes?

2. Is there a potential to increase industry partnerships (local architects, designers and furniture/finish suppliers to virtually draw/model and showcase product within the virtual environment?

3. Does interactivity impact the user’s immersive experience. (ie. Turning on lights, moving walls, changing finishes?)

The Virtual Home Project strove to implement true human-centered design thinking practices into a world highly influenced by the corporate media. It was critical to re-think the design process via the use of virtual reality tools and gaming software and to marry these tools with the world of architecture.  Discoveries were made on both the consumer and the designer side and a unique home prototype was ultimately created and experienced in the virtual world.  It was in essence, designed by its own community, through survey results, speaking events, student engagement, social media polls and focus groups.  While the involved consumer provided feedback, I was able to push the boundaries and implement passive, sustainable design features in the structure, design, lighting and finishes.

The home resulted in a fully transformable, high tech, fully closing 600 square foot home, that (when polled) 90 percent of consumers were willing to live in. 

360-Degree Storytelling

 

The overarching goal of this applied research study was to determine how to use 360 video to engage various audiences in journalism. I did this through surveys and six focus groups aimed at three demographics (two focus groups per demographic) – 16-29, 30-59 and 60 and over. I also developed a best practices guide for creators of 360-degree pieces for both technical and narrative aspects of storytelling and presented it at the RTDNA conference in Toronto in June 2018.  It was introduced by our industry partner, Global News and alum of our program, Troy Reeb, Senior Vice President of News, Radio & Station Operations, Corus Entertainment Inc. and Global TV. DCM students also created immersive projects as part of curriculum in their second year of study. 

Supporting Students Through Texting, Photos, and Explain Everything
  • Funding for the project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2017-2018
  • Lead researcher: Jeff Hamilton (Instructor, Academic Upgrading)

 

In his document, Academic Success & Educational Technology: Analysis of Student Needs and Expectations, Andy Benoit lists 7 themes that arose from the Educause Survey of Lethbridge College Students during 2013 - 2015. The first theme, Students want their instructors to be available or “connected” outside of the classroom to provide timely support and information, shows a desire by students to connect with their instructors outside of class time.

Traditionally at Lethbridge College faculty has been encouraged to provide office hours outside of class time. This still works well for many students. However, with the devices students, and faculty, have at their disposal, alternate forms of communication may be beneficial to many students. This study will research the effects of providing students with an instructor’s cell phone number to communicate through texts, images and customized videos. This research can inform faculty, perhaps, on alternative ways of engaging and supporting their learners.

Optimizing Haskap Berry (Lonicera Caerulea L) Drying Techniques as a Value Added Food Product

 

Haskaps, also known as honeyberry, are being grown locally. The perishable and delicate nature of this berry requires that much of the fruit be processed or preserved. Phoenix Haskaps have asked for assistance in developing value added products for the marketplace.

Drying these berries in the same manner as other fruits reduces the berry’s health – promoting benefits and negatively affects dried appearance. This proposal looks at factors involved in drying whole berries, including drying temperatures, air flow and drying times. The proposed research hopes to identify optimum drying conditions that will produce a high quality, cost effective, shelf-stable product.

Poverty and its Effects among Post-Secondary Students: A Mixed-Methods Study
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    Shaylene Wall, Instructor, General Studies
    Funding for the project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2017-2018
  • Lead researcher: Shaylene Wall (Instructor, General Studies)

 

Poverty is a complex issue that suffers from common misconceptions, especially here in Canada. When we think about students, we do not often consider their challenges with poverty. Previous studies addressing post-secondary students dealing with poverty have only considered their financial challenges through measuring their income levels. The current applied research project, Poverty and its Effects among Post-Secondary Students: A Mixed-Methods Study, focuses on the connection between poverty and how it is related to other aspects of students lives; more specifically; income, health, food security, quality and safety of accommodation, and academic achievement. Using a mixed methods technique of surveys and interviews to examine this existing gap in research, this study has been able to address the following research question: “What is the experience of post-secondary students at the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College who live in poverty?” The results can directly benefit students through informing policy-related decisions and institutional planning, which include but are not limited to student services, financial services, and health services.

Poverty and its Effects among Post-Secondary Students: A Mixed-Methods Study, has also provided a unique opportunity for Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge to collaborate on a research project that has provided deeper insight into the issues of poverty that directly impact post-secondary students. Together, these institutions will have the opportunity to expand the scope of the study by sharing the results to multiple partners both locally and regionally. 

 

2016


 

The Transition of the Practitioner to Instructor
  • Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2016-2018
  • Lead researcher: Dr. Jim Urasaki, Instructor, Criminal Justice

 

This research study will investigate the process of transition that former police officers have undergone in order to become a college instructor. The transition of professional practitioners to instructors is a relevant topic of discussion as a successful transition will contribute to the goal of providing opportunities for student learning from individuals with relevant industry and professional expertise. This study may provide insights into the development of novice college instructors and provide opportunities to facilitate the development of appropriate perspectives and instructional strategies for present and future faculty.

The Antibiotic Alberta Plant Project
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    Sophie Kerneis (2nd from right) and Leanne DuMontier (centre) with student researchers
    Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2016-2018
  • Lead researchers: Dr. Sophie Kerneis-Golsteyn (Instructor, Biological Sciences) and Leanne DuMontier (Lab Technician – Agriculture)

 

Infectious diseases affect millions of people around the world. The discovery and commercialization of antibiotics were able to save many lives. However, the overuse of antibiotics has led to the development of many antibiotic resistant bacteria. Since 2009, the World Health Organization has declared antibiotic resistance has a threat. They stated in their 2017 report that if nothing is done “humans could soon find themselves in an era where simple infections once again kill millions every year.”(1).

The Antibiotic Alberta Plant Project (AAPP) developed at Lethbridge College has the aim to identify new antibacterial molecules towards pathogens from plants that are growing in Alberta. To date, no commercialized antibiotics have been isolated from plants, even though traditional medicines and ethnobotany have shown some antimicrobial properties in many plants around the world (2).  The isolation of antimicrobial molecules from plants is of great importance as it could be the opening to new antibiotic molecules discovery.

We were able to establish at Lethbridge College, the Alberta Prairie plant library with 89 extracts ready to be tested towards different infectious agents. The techniques and equipment are also in place. From our first screenings we were able to identify active extracts towards S.aureus,  A.baumanii, and P.aeruginosa, bacteria of the ESKAPE group (bacteria causing hospital acquired infections and showing more resistance towards antibiotics). One extract was fractionated in collaboration with Dr Raymond Andersen, natural chemist, UBC, Vancouver, allowing the identification of two molecules with antibiotic activities. We will continue the isolation of more antibiotic molecules from the plants showing antibiotic activities. In collaboration with the Cancer Cell laboratory at the University of Lethbridge, we will determine the cytotoxic dose of the active molecules on human cell lines. The ideal molecules would be the ones for which the cytotoxic dose human cells would be higher than the active dose to bacteria. We will look for industry partners that would be interested by the isolated antibiotic molecules. The application of these molecules can be broad as antibiotics are now commonly used in our everyday life, to cure, or prevent infections in humans and animals.

References: 1.  WHO. Prioritization of Pathogens To Guide Discovery, Research and Development of New Antibiotics for Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infections, Including Tuberculosis. 2017; 2.  Nciki S, Vuuren S, van Eyk A, de Wet H. Plants used to treat skin diseases in northern Maputaland, South Africa: antimicrobial activity and in vitro permeability studies. Pharm Biol. 2016;54(11):2420–36. 

Toward Understanding and Reciprocity among Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People: The Impact of the Lethbridge College Experience on Student Bias
  • Funding for project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2016-2018
  • Lead researchers: Terry Dreaddy (Instructor, Criminal Justice) and Dr. Jennifer Davis (Instructor, School of Liberal Arts)

 

Lethbridge College has committed to increased understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.  In education, implicit bias can add to this crisis if there is a lack of awareness of its influence on students. This study was designed to bring awareness to the issue of bias and measure the impact of the college experience on negative biases held by students.  It was intended to either affirm that our efforts to prepare students to be more culturally sensitive are succeeding or to identify the need for more specific intervention. Using a variety of validated instruments designed to measure explicit and implicit bias, we have shown that a Lethbridge College education does not affect the level of student bias against First Nations peoples, at least in the four programs we measured. This opens the door for futher research to identify and embed successful ways of reducing bias into the curriculum so that in the future Lethbridge College won't just offer training in cultural diversity, we will be able to say that we offer training that makes a demonstrable difference.

Feel The Heat

 

Decision-making for crop management can be improved with detailed, frequent observations of soil, weather, and plant conditions. The temperature of a crop reveals information on its well-being: the cooler the crop is compared to the air temperature, the more successful it is at obtaining water. In this project we built and tested a wireless infrared camera to measure the temperature of plants in an agricultural field. From this data, we developed a computer program that translates the images into an indicator of water stress level that is useful for irrigation scheduling.

 

2015


 

Engaging Students in a Flipped vs. Traditional Classroom
  • Funding for the project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2015-2016
  • Lead researcher: Jeff Hamilton (Instructor, College and University Preparation)

 

Lethbridge College provided active classrooms and opportunities to "flip" a course. Research shows that active learning spaces promote student engagement. Research also shows how using a flipped class approach can also promote student engagement. However, little, if any, research has related the environment of flipping a course on student engagement. This project asked the question, "Does a flipped classroom in an active learning space lead to greater student engagement than in a traditional space?"

Dry Lips Oughta Move to Lethbridge College: A Theatre Initiative to Create New Ways to Teach and Learn in the FNMI Career Pathways Program (Phase One)
  • Funding for the project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2015-2016
  • Lead researcher: Dr. Chris Gringard (Instructor, General Studies)

 

Theatre was incorporated into the FNMI Career Pathways Program as a way to develop teaching and learning in NAT 1150: Exploring FNMI Perspectives. Students were part of the research and development of a play they were studying (Thomson Highway’s Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing); their contributions in this exploratory stage (Phase I) were carried forward to the play production in May 2016 (Phase II). Highway will join us offering a Master-Class and a public presentation to the community. The process was documented, demonstrating how theatre works and how Phase I reflects an Indigenous research methodology.

Effect of Personality on Program Choice and Likelihood of Retention in a College Setting
  • Funding for the project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2015-2016
  • Lead researchers: Dr. Jennifer Davis and Shaylene Wall (Instructors, School of Liberal Arts)

 

Our previous research established that the incoming students at Lethbridge College self-assort into different programs based partly on personality. This study combined previous data, collected in 26 different Lethbridge College programs, with data from a final pre-graduation personality assessment. These results allowed us to (1) assess whether a person’s goodness of fit to the personality of their program affects their likelihood of completing their program and (2) assess the degree to which participation in a specific academic program changes a students’ personality over time.

Undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing Students’ Involvement in Simulation during Speciality Nursing Practice
  • Funding for the project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2015-2016
  • Lead researchers: Liz Cernigoy and Sheri Wright (Instructors, School of Health Sciences NESA/SPHERE programs)

 

The purpose of this SoTL research was to explore the preparation of students for specialty nursing practice through the use of simulation. Students participating in the research were in the second year of their nursing program within a clinical practice course at the time of their participation. Research indicates that including simulation in nursing education enhances learning and promotes student engagement.

GO! History
  • Funding for the project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2015-2016
  • Lead researcher: Marda Schindler (Instructor, General Studies)

 

Lethbridge has a rich history of community development encompassing the growth of social and cultural institutions combined with industrial and agricultural industries. Several aspects have been studied, but an integrated accessible, online public resource is missing. What people see every day had no link with the past. The multidisciplinary GO! History project created an interactive app that forms the basis of a self-guided tour composed of local historic sites significant to community development. The initial project in Lethbridge historical research served as a methodological and technological framework to create a Lethbridge tour, which can be expanded into surrounding counties.

The Informed Pop Music Consumer in the Digital Age
  • Funding for the project: CARIF
  • Project duration: 2015-2016
  • Lead researcher: Dr. Brent Cottle (Instructor, Liberal Arts)

 

The popular music industry is at a critical juncture – the industry, artist and the distributors are all asking how to continue to ‘make a buck’ off music at a time when recorded music is available in so many free or nearly-for free digital venues. This project will examine the popular music consumption habits of students at Lethbridge College over a year-long period and will examine whether or not these consumption habits change based on the amount of information these students have about the critical issues facing musicians and the industries that serve them.

 

External funding


NSERC

A Rotary Evaporator, an High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) and a Plate Spectrophotometer for the discovery of new antibiotics from native plants

Antibiotics are widely used in medicine and food production. They have saved many lives directly as treatments for infectious diseases or indirectly by giving access to surgical procedures, cancer treatments and so on. Antibiotics have also changed the way we raise animals for food. However, with the increase in the use of antibiotics there has been an increase in the number of antibiotic resistant bacteria present in food industries, hospitals and the environment. The World Health Organization (WHO) is taking measures to discover new antibiotic molecules. Lethbridge College through the Microbial Research Group has also engaged in this important research. The Microbial Research Group has developed the Antibiotic Alberta Plant Project (AAPP) in which they identify native plants with antibacterial activities and isolate antibiotic molecules. The ARTI grant will be used to purchase three pieces of equipment that will improve the quality of this research as well as its efficiency: A Rotary Evaporator to remove the solvents used in the extraction; a High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) system that will permit a first analysis of the active extracts and to compare the active extracts with the goal to find unique molecules. These two instruments will be the first ones in place at Lethbridge College. The third piece of equipment is a microplate spectrophotometer that is essential to conduct antibacterial screening, and will join the one in the laboratory, which is already at capacity. This increased capacity will place our region on the WHO map of antibiotic partners. Moreover, the additional equipment will also position the Microbial Research Group favourably to attract partners in the natural product, food (especially beef production), and pharmaceutical industries. Finally, these pieces of equipment will significantly contribute to student-training, one of the main goals of Lethbridge College.

 

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Measuring crop water use for precision irrigation

The water use of the irrigated production sector in southern Alberta is constrained by the finite volume of water that is present in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in the region. In order to continue growing a diverse selection of crops, expand high-value cropping areas, and adapt to climate change within the boundaries of Alberta's water licensing system, irrigation farmers try to ensure that the majority of their irrigation applications is used by plants and not lost to the atmosphere or deeper soil layers. This requires measurements of the volume of water available in the soil, the volume of water applied via irrigation or rainfall, and the amount of water transpired by a field crop. Unfortunately, the latter is difficult to measure and in the majority of practical studies, a maximum potential crop water use rate is calculated instead from weather conditions and crop characteristics. However, due to the variability of water available for uptake by plants, the actual crop water use may be quite different from the potential. This introduces uncertainties in the determination of irrigation water use efficiency. With the purchase of an Eddy Covariance system, Lethbridge College will be able to measure actual crop water use rates in irrigation research projects. These measurements will help us develop precision irrigation management strategies and identify measures that increase irrigation water use efficiency.

 

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Below The Surface: Using Soil Moisture Observations And Simulations To Optimize Installation And Operation Of Subsurface Drip Irrigation Systems In Southern Alberta

 

Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) is an extremely water-efficient irrigation technology that delivers water at very low rates right into the root zone where plants can take it up. SDI systems can be used on irregularly shaped fields, can be fully automated, and can deliver nutrients as well as water, which creates an opportunity to increase crop yields without increasing water use. These aspects of SDI systems are fueling an increasing interest in SDI technology in southern Alberta. Lethbridge College and Southern Irrigation are partnering in a project that explores management of subsurface drip irrigation systems in terms of water and nutrient use efficiency.

The project combines laboratory, field, and computer experiments. In the extensive laboratory experiment, we will construct three wooden bins with common southern Alberta soils and seed alfalfa as a test crop. In each bin, two SDI systems with different emitter spacing will be installed at two depths for a total of four systems per bin. We will evaluate the ability of each system to deliver water to the crop under various irrigation management schedules with > 40 soil moisture sensors. In a second phase of the project, we will also evaluate the ability of the SDI systems to deliver P fertilizer to the crops. The insights gained in the laboratory experiments will be applied in the irrigation management of SDI systems in real fields during the growing season of 2018. Complementary computer simulations will help us explore what-if scenarios of irrigation water management in soils and weather conditions other than those experienced in the lab and field. The large setup in the laboratory creates a unique opportunity to test an irrigation technology destined for field crops in an indoor setting. Because of this, we can run experiments outside of the growing season and experiment with a large range of water management schedules without compromising a producer's yield and profit. The integration of the laboratory, computer model, and field results will allow us to generalize our findings into better SDI installation and management strategies for producers in western Canada.

 

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Determination Of The Efficacy Of Nitrogen Injection/Gassing To Prevent Oxidation In Prepared Artisan Mustard

Culinary Careers at Lethbridge College has been working with food producers for more than 25 years, providing insight and support for our partners. In addition to menu development, quality testing and yield testing, the applied research area of Culinary Careers has recently been involved with organoleptic research on fish and produce (Integrated Fish and Plant Systems IFPS) and the value-added food product development of haskap berries (Lonicera caerulea).

Luco Farms has developed a line of artisan mustard formulations and have slowly been expanding their business in Southern Alberta. Before expanding their operations further, Luco Farms wants to reduce the discoloration that commonly occurs in their prepared artisan mustard product. Therefore, Lethbridge College is partnering with Luco Farms to develop methods which can help to reduce the discoloration in their prepared mustard without the use of artificial additives. Nitrogen injection/gassing may be a technology that can be used for this purpose.

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Development of Highly Productive Zero-Waste Food Production Platform Based On Microfiltration and Nutrient Recycling (2017-2018)

Lethbridge College has partnered with 1722497 Alberta Ltd. to develop a zero-waste food production platform based on microfiltration and nutrient recycling designed to provide a highest yield output in the greenhouse space. The partnership would enable the removal of suspended smaller micro- and nanoparticles that can create problems in the drainage system of the vertical farms developed by the company. This project will utilize the uniquely designed microfiltration process using biochar's micro- and nanopore network that can efficiently trap these particles. Besides solving this problem, it will also minimize the need for aquaponics growers to add plant nutritional supplements to their systems, thus mitigating the ongoing industry problem of nutrient mismanagement in Canadian aquaponics production. In addition, the platform will create a niche value added product – highly concentrated nutrient solution active biochar, which has the potential to significantly reduce the operational costs of the aquaponics industry.

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Merging Realities: An Event of Multiple Perspectives (2018)

 

The Virtual Reality (VR) industry is growing exponentially and the School of Media and Design at Lethbridge College (LC) is striving to take the lead though program development and research. 'Merging Realities: An Event of Multiple Perspectives' is a full-day conference on VR that will focus on the latest developments in technology and the opportunities for industry and academia. Keynote speakers include Google Daydream's Alex Katzen and MetaVRse Co-founder and CEO, Alan Smithson. 

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Vision and Leading Outdoor Play Symposium In Alberta (2017)

 

There is an urgent need in Alberta and across Canada to enhance the quality of children’s outdoor play experiences and environments through applied research, curriculum in early childhood programs and professional development. The Symposium will bring together, related industries, community stakeholders, researchers, educators, students, employers, and policy makers to address the current issues around children’s outdoor play in the early years.

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Enviro-Span Modular Culvert Systems Six Mile Coulee Creek Project (2015)
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John Derksen (right)

 

Lethbridge College wishes to partner with Enviro-Span Modular Culvert Systems and the City of Lethbridge to test the environmental impact of a new product called the Enviro Span Modular Culvert System (ESMCS). Invented in Canada, the ESMCS represents a new paradigm in both structural and environmental stream crossing technology. The ESMCS takes the old technology of corrugated, galvanized steel, open bottomed arch culverts, and overhauls it with a combination of new material technology and advanced design.

This combination allows the stream crossing structure to adapt to change over time in a manner similar to smart material technology. It also allows the ESMCS to be installed with minimal environmental disturbance and degradation. This is significant because there is a pronounced need by private sector resource extraction industries as well as the Federal and provincial governments for clear span, environmentally friendly, arch culverts to protect fisheries and other sensitive ecosystems across Canada.

In this project, Lethbridge College will investigate the impacts of the ESMCS on the aquatic ecosystem by installing an ESMCS over Six Mile Coulee Creek which is located on City of Lethbridge property directly behind Lethbridge College. The ESMCS will serve as a permanent stream crossing for the City of Lethbridge's public hiking trail system and as an ongoing aquatic testing and training site for Lethbridge College. The results of this initial project will benefit Enviro Span who will use the research to improve and develop the product for broader application throughout Canada. Resource extraction industries such as forestry, oil & gas, and mining will benefit by having an affordable, environmentally friendly stream crossing that is durable, long-lived, and if needed, recoverable and reusable.

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Six Mile Coulee Project (2015)
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John Derksen (right)

 

The intent of the Six Mile Coulee project is to create and produce a video that will both create community awareness of an industry/post-secondary/government research partnership and serve as a marketing tool for a unique industry product that has been achieved through an NSERC Level 1 Engage Grant. This video will be tailored to the specific needs of each partner and will be available in its various forms online through YouTube, partner websites, and through industry presentations.

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Optimizing and Expanding Commercial Aquaponics Systems (2013 - 2015)
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Charlie Shultz

 

Building on ten years of experience in aquaponics and at the direct request of industry, Lethbridge College used NSERC funding to assist commercial aquaponics producers to optimize their systems and to overcome existing and potential technical and policy issues such as organic certification and pest management.

Moreover, Lethbridge College investigated the use of higher value fish species and their suitability for aquaponics through the use of experimental aquaponics mini-systems. Such activities have the potential to further establish aquaponics as a secure method of commercial food production while increasing efficiency and profitability. This program also generated innovation as existing aquaponics technologies and practices were adapted to meet the needs of current and potential producers in the region, across Canada and internationally.

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Identification of Giardia Species from Water Samples by PCR and Genotyping (2013)

 

Lethbridge College partnered with Hyperion Research Ltd (Hyperion) to develop a rapid genotyping method for characterization of positive Giardia water samples. In this project a simple molecular diagnostic laboratory method was developed using nested polymerase chain reactions (PCR), DNA sequencing and pyrosequencing techniques to differentiate human pathogenic Giardia strains from non-pathogenic strains isolated from Giardia positive water samples. These tools gave Hyperion Research Ltd. the ability to inform their customers of the public and human health risks of a positive Giardia test from a water sample.

This project also highlighted Lethbridge College as a centre for biotechnology innovation in Canada. Lethbridge College was also able to use the techniques developed through this project to attract new students, as well as additional research and partnerships. This will attract industry and private company funding that will fuel the market driven biotechnology, environmental, public health and agricultural innovation cycle in the future.

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SSHRC

Why are Women Under-Represented within Leadership positions in Corrections?
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    Dr. Jeanine Webber
    Funding for project: SSHRC Explore
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researchers: Dr. Jeanine Webber (Dean, Centre for Justice & Human Services) and Ibrahim Turay (Instructor, Centre for Justice & Human Services) 
  • News story:

We are exploring why women are under-represented in leadership roles within the Alberta Correctional Services Division despite the Division's commitment to diversity and inclusion. We hope to accomplish the following objectives with this study. Firstly, we seek to identify the barriers/perceived barriers, preventing women from ascending to leadership positions. Secondly, we seek to identify the key resources women require to support their leadership aspirations in the Division. Thirdly, we seek to identify the pathways that have proven effective for women to become involved in leadership experiences. Finally, we seek to document the experiences of women who are in leadership positions within the Division. The results of this study will provide direction and insights to the Division as they work to enhance the leadership opportunities for women.

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An Exploration of Possible Barriers to the Successful Completion of the APCAT and ACT by Police Recruit Applicants
  • Funding for project: SSHRC Explore
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researchers: Dr. Jim Urasaki (Instructor, Centre for Justice & Human Services) and Dr. Jeanine Webber (Dean, Centre for Justice & Human Services)
  • News story:

This research will examine the possible barriers which prevent the successful completion of the Alberta Police Cognitive Abilities Test (APCAT) and the Alberta Communication Test (ACT) as identified by police recruit applicants.  The APCAT and ACT are part of the process to assess a candidate’s suitability for employment as a peace officer in the province of Alberta and the tests are used as a screening tool to allow candidates to proceed to the next stages of recruitment.  This research will also explore other possible factors that may affect some applicants’ ability to work as a police officer in Alberta. 

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Cultural Assemblages: Using Creative Writing as Tool to Explore Questions of Contemporary Identity
  • Funding for project: SSHRC Explore
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researchers: Dr. Brent Cottle (Instructor, General Studies)
  • News story:

In this project, I will use the strategies of short fiction to address cultural questions about identity and its formation in the age of social media saturation and celebrity adulation. The creation of character, setting, and figurative imagery are uniquely intimate ways of exploring these questions. The deliverables of this project are two short stories (6000 - 10,000 words each) to be submitted for publication to notable literary journals. I have published short fiction in the past, and look on these anticipated publications to enhance and add dimension to those credentials.

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A Conversation About Homelessness in Post-Secondary Students
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    Shaylene Wall, Instructor, General Studies
    Funding for project: SSHRC Exchange​​
  • Project duration:  July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020
  • Lead Researchers: Shaylene Wall (Instructor, General Studies)
  • News story:

Nobody should have to be homeless. Anything that addresses the needs of this vulnerable segment of our population is highly important and significant. The issues of post-secondary students facing homelessness, in particular, have not been carefully addressed, and are important to understand and alleviate. The workshop outlined in this proposal will help Lethbridge College to address this issue by deepening our insight into the challenges of poverty among our student population, increasing community awareness of the issues and barriers faced by our vulnerable student population, and mobilizing the community to creatively address the needs of our students.

 

 

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Other funding

VRI Potatoes (2017)
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Dr. Willemijn Appels

 

A section center pivot near Chin, AB, has been instrumented with Trimble Irrigate IQ technology, which allows control over each nozzle on the pivot. The field is subdivided in four quarter sections, one of which is always in potatoes. In this project we evaluate the performance of the technology and most importantly, the effect of precision irrigation on the field water balance and crop performance. We instrumented the field with soil moisture sensors based on maps of topography & soil EC, and point soil samples. The producers increased the complexity of the irrigation rate prescription map throughout the season based on information from these sensors and field scouting. After the growing season, hydrological modeling will be performed to provide possible driving mechanisms for some of the in-season observations and to improve irrigation mapping for future years. Partners in this project are GrowTEC, Sunrise Ag, and the Potato Growers of Alberta.

UAV Technology In Irrigated Agriculture (2017)

 

Lethbridge College purchased a fixed-wing UAV in spring 2017 with three sensors for visual, multispectral, and thermal infrared imaging. The UAV was used to obtain imagery at the polycropping and VRI field sites. The images were then used for spatial detection of plant (water) stress after validation to measurements on the ground.

Polycropping For Water Use Efficiency (2017)

 

This plot size study examines if the mixing of wheat cultivars can compensate for yield losses under water stress conditions.

Manz Biofilter Project (2015-2017)

 

This research project involved the testing of a small scale back flushing slow sand filter system developed by Manz Engineering Ltd. (Calgary, AB). The filter was tested for its ability to remove inoculated Cryptosporidium oocysts, Giardia cysts and E.coli from municipal water at different filtration flow rates both by direct filtration and back flushing. 

Building Capacity – Creating Specialized Outdoor Play Training to Empower Children’s Experiences (2016)
  • Funding for the project: The Lawson Foundation
  • Project duration: 2016
  • Lead Researcher: 
  • Post-secondary partner: Okanagan College
  • News Story: Lethbridge College has received a major grant for a special research project, advocating childhood outdoor play.

 

The goal of this project is to develop and implement specialized training about children's outdoor play that may be delivered face-to-face or on-line, at no cost to the participants.

Lethbridge Storm Water Outfalls Monitoring Study: Microbiological, Pesticides and Nutrient Analysis (2012-2015)
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John Derksen (right)

 

This three-year storm water monitoring project sought to determine water quality within Lethbridge storm water discharges and the Oldman River. Monitoring focused on measurements of turbidity, and analysis of thermophilic fecal coliforms including Escherichia coli, pesticides, and nutrients in storm water at eight outfalls and catchment areas, as well as three Oldman River sites and one creek site (Six Mile Coulee Creek), all within the City of Lethbridge. Sites were sampled once a month from April until September from 2012 to 2014, as well as during major rainfall events.