Soaring over Nova Scotia’s rugged coastline, researcher Dr. Tim Webster and his team map the white ribbon—the near-shore sea bed between the land and deep ocean—helping to unlock the mysteries long-hidden there.
As the only academic institution in Canada to own a topo-bathymetric Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) system, Webster’s work with Nova Scotia Community College’s Applied Geomatic Research Group is essential to supporting sustainable development in areas related to the coastal zone, and aquaculture sites.
“The possibilities are as vast as the waters we are charting,” says Webster. “Our team is able to map seabed topography by air, unearthing a wealth of data to support initiatives in areas including sustainable harvesting practices, aquatic vegetation health, wave predictions to better define storm surge detail, and nautical hazards plotting.”
Today, the Government of Canada, Acadian Seaplants Limited, and Leading Edge Geomatics, are among those relying on the lidar equipment and research output to inform their specific business needs.
“The maps we’re creating are giving us information about sensitive ecosystems that we’ve never seen before,” says Webster. “This could help with rural economic development; it can lead to more sustainable assessment processes; and help us become better prepared for cleanup in the case of an oil spill.”
Read more in Maclean’s here.