Project Title: Integrated EMI–GPR surveys can support precision agriculture by monitoring and evaluating the effects of land uses and agricultural management
Project background and summary:
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada has identified 64,000 hectares of potential areas of interest to increase agriculture development. Expanding of agricultural areas, coupled with the effects of climate change are expected to put accelerating pressure such as more demand, degradation and variable precipitation etc., on land and water resources. To address this challenge, precision agriculture has become a key strategy for increasing agricultural productivity with minimum input and environmental damages. In order to facilitate sustainable management of land and water resources, knowledge of spatiotemporal variability of relevant soil properties are needed. This demands methods for obtaining data at different scales rapidly and cost effectively, enabling the evaluation of soil related properties under variable land and crop management conditions. Based on preliminary investigations, the effects of different land use and agronomic practices on soil properties and soil hydrology can be assessed, adjusted and optimized in supporting precision agriculture. Research goal is on hydrogeophysical characterization of agricultural and natural lands in western Newfoundland to answer: (i) can we use integrated geophysical techniques for estimating said properties over larger scale and what is the depth sensitivity? and (ii) what is variability of soil properties and soil hydrology affected by different land use and agricultural management systems?
Qualifications for Admission
To be considered for admission, applicants shall hold a Bachelor’s (Honors) degree in Agricultural Sciences (Soil Physics, Agricultural Engineering), Earth Science, Civil/Geotechnical Engineering or Environmental Science with at least second class standing, or equivalent, from an institution recognized by the Senate or shall have qualifications and/or experience in environmental science acceptable to the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Grenfell Campus graduate committee (http://www.mun.ca/become/graduate/apply/).
Funding from NSERC, TCII and MUN will be available for two MSc (research) students for two years. A graduate research assistantship of $ 16,500 (minimum) per annum for each student is available.
Expected starting date:
Preferably in Fall Semester 2021 or Winter 2022.