Dr. John Nychka & St. Clair, Dr Colleen & Backs, Dr. Jonathan (University of Alberta)

2022 Winner: Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Sustainability – Innovative Applications

WINNER: Dr. John Nychka, Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering,. Vice-Provost (Learning Initiatives), Provost & Vice-President Academic – Admin (University of Alberta)

Dr. Colleen Cassady St. Clair, Professor, Biological Sciences – Behavioural Ecology, Conservation Biology in the discipline of Conservation Behaviour.

Dr. Jonathan Backs, Engineering Scientist, Wilson Analytical

Initiative: Warning Systems to Improve Train Detectability and Reduce Collisions with Wildlife

University of Alberta – In response to deaths of grizzly bears and other wildlife from train collisions in Alberta’s mountain parks, the team developed and tested a warning system, consisting of light and sound that are triggered by approaching trains, similar to road crossing signals that reduce risk of train collisions for people. This pioneering work on warning system technology and understanding of collision risk has the potential to support mitigation of wildlife–train collisions in Alberta and beyond, both for existing railways with known collision hotspots and new projects where high-risk locations could be predicted in advance. Recognized by National News and the Discovery Channel – this team’s work was supported by Alberta Innovates, the Alberta Conservation Association, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Pacific, and the University of Alberta.