• The Advanced Resolution Terradynamics Monitoring System Laboratory

    Multi-dimensional quantification of the physical environment

    Department of Geography, University of Lethbridge

  • Research Themes

    The terrestrial biosphere is under increasing pressure as a result of climatic changes, human disturbance, and secondary effects of these, including fire and pathogen/insect outbreaks. In many regions, land surface changes may be occurring more rapidly than expected.


    The ARTeMiS Lab is dedicated to the characterization of process feedbacks through the 3D environment in both space and time, and from plant to region. The fusion of spectral and active remote sensing tools, in situ measurements, and long-term environmental monitoring of ecosystems provides process-based understanding at scales that are relevant for making decisions.

    Castle Watershed Hydro-climatology

    Objective: Long-term monitoring of water and energy balance in a Southern Alberta headwater basin

    The West Castle watershed collaboration is a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of watershed dynamics by quantifying long-term climatic influences on water resources and vegetation change. Novel remote sensing methods are integrated with hydro-energy balance instrumentation deployed on towers at different elevations. This extends research by former masters student Tim Collins in the Elbow Creek watershed. Topics of interest include snow depth mapping (left) and treeline migration. For more information check out the West Castle website.


    Latest: We now have real-time hydro-met data from the West Castle Ridge station! Thanks to Reed Parsons, Tough Country and Castle Mountain Resort.


    Recent articles:

    Hopkinson, Collins, et al. 2012. Spatial snow depth assessment using lidar transect samples and Public GIS data layers in the Elbow Creek Watershed, Alberta. Canadian Water Resources Journal. 37(2):69-87.

    Water Level Mapping and Alberta Water Portal 

    Objective: Development of RADARSAT and LiDAR methods for quantifying water levels and extent in Alberta

    The water level mapping project, in collaboration with scientists at the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing and the Government of Alberta fuses province-wide remote sensing and hydrometric data for long-term monitoring of water levels and extents. This project extends from research in the Mackenzie Delta, NWT by previous masters student Neville Crasto. In the image (right), we see water surface and cloud mask extents extracted from RapidEye imagery east of Calgary. This topic of research has been of great interest since the Calgary/High River floods in 2013.


    Recent articles:

    Hopkinson, Crasto et al. 2011. Investigating the spatial distribution of water levels in the Mackenzie Delta using airborne lidar. Hydrological Processes. 25(19):2995-3011.


    Crasto, N. Hopkinson, C. Marsh, P. Forbes, D. Lesack, L. Spooner, I. 2015. A lidar-based decision tree classification of open-water in an Arctic Delta. 2015. Remote Sensing of Environment. 164: 90-102

    ARTeMIS 3D Multi-system Fusion 

    Objective: ARTeMiS system of above and below-ground 3D sensors

    The ARTeMiS system (left) is a multi-instrument 3D mapping system of components purchased through a CFI grant to Dr. Chris Hopkinson (lab lead). The system includes removable Optech Inc. (long-, short-range) ILRIS LiDAR systems, thermal cameras, ground penetrating radar (not shown), position orientation system, inertial measurement unit, and survey-grade GPS on a UTV. This coincides with continuing airborne LiDAR/digital air photo/thermal survey operations of the group in collaboration with Optech Inc. and Airborne Imaging, Calgary. ARTeMiS is used to scale 3D characteristics between plot, transect and ecosystems for monitoring and modelling of local environmental processes.


    Recent article:

    Hopkinson, C., Lovell, J., et al. 2013 Integrating terrestrial and airborne lidar to calibrate a 3D canopy model of effective leaf area index. Remote Sensing of Environment. 136:301-314.


    and the grandaddy...

    Hopkinson, Chasmer, Young-Pow, Treitz 2004. Assessing plot-level forest metrics with a ground-based scanning lidar. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 34:573-583.

    Mapping Change in Boreal Ecosystems 

    Objective: Mapping and monitoring of ecosystem change due to climate change and disturbance.

    The Western Boreal forest of Canada has undergone significant warming and drying over the past 30 years (right). This research quantifies the influence of warming and drying trends on wetland succession, upland vegetation decline/biomass and changes to the water balance. We are also interested in the sensitivity of vegetation health to proximal human disturbance. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Rich Petrone (University of Waterloo) and Dr. Kevin Devito (University of Alberta) through the URSA project.


    Recent articles:

    Hopkinson, Chasmer, Barr, Kljun, Black, McCaughey. 2016. Monitoring boreal forest biomass and carbon storage change by integrating airborne laser scanning, biometry and eddy covariance data. Remote Sensing of Environment. 181, 82-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2016.04.010


    Petrone, Chasmer, Hopkinson, et al. 2015. Effects of harvesting and drought on CO2 and H2O fluxes in an aspen-dominated western boreal plain forest: Early chronosequence recovery. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 45(1):87-100.


    Chasmer, Kljun, Hopkinson, 2011. Characterizing vegetation structural and topographic characteristics sampled by eddy covariance within two mature aspen stands using lidar and a flux footprint model: Scaling to MODIS. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences (invited). 116:G02026.

    Northern Permafrost Thaw Mapping

    Objective: Identify hot-spot areas of permafrost thaw and processes associated with change.

    Through our research and collaboration with Dr. Bill Quinton at Wilfrid Laurier University, we have found a 27% decline in discontinuous permafrost area (illustrated by green LiDAR trees, left) since 1947 (left). Wetland development may propagate positive climate feedbacks through greenhouse gas emissions. Current research is focusing on down-wasting determined from multi-temporal airborne LiDAR data, thermal imagery, energy balance and radiative transfer modelling.


    Recent articles:

    Chasmer, L., Hopkinson et al. 2014. A decision-tree classification for low-lying complex land cover types within the zone of discontinuous permafrost. Remote Sensing of Environment. 143:73-84.


    Chasmer, L., Kenward et al. 2012. CO2 exchanges within zones of rapid conversion from permafrost plateau to bog and fen land cover types. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research. 44(4):399-411.


    Chasmer, Hopkinson, Quinton, 2011. Quantifying errors in permafrost plateau change from optical data, Northwest Territories, Canada: 1947 to 2008. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing – CRSS Special Issue. 36(2):S211-S223.



    Chasmer, L., Quinton, et al. 2011. Vegetation canopy and radiation controls on permafrost plateau evolution within the discontinuous permafrost zone, Northwest Territories, Canada. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. DOI: 10.1002/ppp.724.


    Long-term Glacial Retreat

    Objective: Long-term glacier retreat, energy balance and remote sensing for water resources assessment.

    Warming of the Canadian Rockies has had a significant influence on glacial retreat, affecting downstream flooding and water resources to cities like Calgary. Peyto Glacier shows downwasting of ~190 m over the past 65 years, determined from aerial photogrammetry (1949-1993) and airborne LiDAR (2000 to 2007, ongoing) (right). Thermal signatures of adjacent ice cored moraines indicate slumping over time, but also relatively large frozen water reserves often not included in hydrological models. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Michael Demuth, Canadian Geological Survey.


    Recent articles:

    Hopkinson, C., Demuth, M.N., Sitar, M. 2012. Hydrological implications of periglacial expansion in the Peyto Glacier catchment, Canadian Rockies. Remote Sensing and Hydrology 2010 (Proceedings of a symposium held at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA, September 2010) (IAHS Red Book 352).


    Hopkinson, C. Chasmer, Munro, Demuth, 2010. The influence of DEM resolution on simulated solar radiation-induced glacier melt. Hydrological Processes. 24:775-788.


    Hopkinson, C., Barlow, et al. 2010. Mapping changing temperature patterns over a glacial moraine using oblique thermal imagery and lidar. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 36(2):257-265.


    Collaborative Biomass Research

    Objective: Biomass research using terrestrial, airborne, and satellite LiDAR systems, eddy covariance and plot measurements

    Various projects including:

    1. Biomass change comparisons using LiDAR, eddy covariance and allometric plot measurements (Canadian Carbon Program; CSIRO Australia);

    2. Multi-spectral airborne LiDAR data/methods development for quantifying species, leaf area index and biomass at Vivian Forest (Optech Inc., UQAM, and University of Edinburgh);

    3. Mobile mapping LiDAR data analysis of forest structure and classification methods at Highfields Farm, Ontario (with Optech, Inc.).


    The preliminary image (left) is a subset of three-band composite ms-LiDAR data over our long-term monitoring site, the Vivian Forest (Toronto, Ontario). Lighter green are deciduous, darker green conifer (with two of a number of mensuration plots). Mixed species and soil characteristics are noticeable. Thanks to Optech for developing such an awesome new LiDAR system!


    Recent articles:

    Hopkinson, Chasmer, Gynan, Mahoney, Sitar. 2016. Multi-sensor & multispectral lidar characterization of a forest environment. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. DOI: 10.1080/07038992.2016.1196584


    van Gorsel et al. 2013. Primary and secondary effects of climate variability on net ecosystem carbon exchange in an evergreen Eucalyptus forest. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 182-183:248-256.


    Hopkinson, C., Chasmer, et al. 2013. Moving towards consistent ALS monitoring of forest attributes across Canada; the C-CLEAR approach. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. 79(2):159-173.

    Propagation of Error through LiDAR Systems and Datums

    Objective: Quantification of errors in ground surface through LiDAR system components.

    Long-term studies (from 2005) on the accuracy with which LiDAR estimates true elevation and reflected laser pulses within tree canopies. More recent work by former Ph.D. student, Dr. Tristan Goulden has concentrated on forward propagation of error through LiDAR system components, the effect of deflection of the vertical and datum impacts on glacier change detection and watershed attributes. Tristan is now a Scientist working with NEON in the US.


    Recent articles:

    Goulden, T., Hopkinson, Demuth, 2013. Sensitivity of alpine glacial change detection and mass balance to sampling and data inconsistencies. The Cryosphere Discussions. 7:55-101.


    Goulden and Hopkinson, 2010. The forward propagation of integrated system component errors within airborne lidar data. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. 76(5):598-601.


    Goulden and Hopkinson, 2010. The effect of the deflection of the vertical on lidar observations. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 36(2):365-375.

    Decadal-scale lidar sampling of changing ecosystems across Canada

    Objective: Monitoring Canadian ecosystem changes at high resolution and in 3D

    Whether as a field manager with Optech, during the latter part of his PhD studies, or as a Fellow at Queen's University, or a Research Scientist at the Applied Geomatics Research Group, or as prof at UofL, Chris has been flying lidar research missions across Canada since 2000 (or 1998 if you include the failed lidar snow transect sampling he and Mike Sitar attempted in the early days!). During this time, the airborne lidar technology has evolved tremendously from 5kHz single return systems (ALTM 1020) to almost 1MHz multi-spectral full waveform systems today (Titan). The basic attribute doesn't change, however; they all measure 3D structure of terrain and overlying biomass. While the data resolutions and specific data properties and capabilities have varied, it is the similarity of these basic structural elements (such as canopy height) that makes these data invaluable for decadal scale change detection in support of other satellite missions and to support a range of government natural resources and environmental monitoring objectives, as well as fundamental scientific questions concerning rates of change across a range of ecosystems in Canada. Building on this legacy of research motivated data collections and partnerships, is a priority of the ARTeMiS laboratory. Image at left is an excerpt from our 2016 MS lidar mission plan. Teledyne Optech are acknowledged for their continuing support of the ARTeMiS (and formerly C-CLEAR) research program objectives.

  • Who We Are

    Quantifying environmental change at scales relevant for making decisions

    Professors, students, and post-doctoral fellows working with the ARTeMiS team

    The ARTeMiS Lab is affiliated with the Department of Geography and the Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta Canada


    Research and learning is highly multi-disciplinary, using state-of-the-art remote sensing technology and data streams, environmental monitoring equipment, and in situ field data collected across Canada and abroad. Students become actively involved in the technical aspects of terrestrial surveying, imaging, monitoring and data modelling. Research dissemination is strongly encouraged through conferences, workshops and academic articles.

  • Dr. Chris Hopkinson

    Lab Director: CAIP Chair in Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Remote Sensing 


    The ARTeMIS Lab was founded in 2013 by Dr. Chris Hopkinson, when he Joined the University of Lethbridge after working as an Environmental Research Scientist with CSIRO in Canberra, Australia. Prior to this, he directed the airborne LiDAR research operations and outreach activities of the Canadian Consortium for LiDAR Environmental Applications Research (C-CLEAR), while employed as a Research Scientist and Lecturer at the Applied Geomatics Research Group in Nova Scotia.



    With a background in engineering and geography, Chris' earliest and still active research interests are water and forest resources and how they change through time. Chris is interested in the integration of in situ, high-resolution remote sensing, spatial and temporal data sources to better understand such processes as glacial and periglacial dynamics in alpine environments to novel carbon balance assessment routines in boreal forest environments.


    Email Chris! C.Hopkinson@uleth.ca

    Check out Chris's interview on 3D Visualization World!

    Or this recent article.

    Academic website



  • Current Members

    Dr. Laura Chasmer

    Assistant Professor

    Climate impacts on land cover change, energy balance, greenhouse gas fluxes and hydrology within discontinuous permafrost and central boreal ecosystems. Laura assists with the day to day research and teaching activities in the ARTeMiS Lab, as well as co-supervising some of the students. She teaches hydrology and resources management courses in the Department of Geography.


    Email Laura! Laura.Chasmer@uleth.ca

    Academic website

    Dr. Craig Mahoney

    AMETHYST Post Doctoral Fellow

    ICESat regional and national mapping of vegetation structure and comparisons with airborne LiDAR in the NWT (collaboration with CFS) and Australia (collaboration with CSIRO). Expert in the application of ensemble remote sensing classifications using Random Forest and K Nearest Neighbour approaches.


    Email Craig! Craig.Mahoney@uleth.ca

    Dr. Rihana Peiman

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Rihana joined the lab after studying SAR and GPR at the University of Milan in Italy. She now assists Chris with the day to day activities on the Innovation Alberta Water Resources Monitoring Portal project to optimize SAR-based water masks and apply quality control for automated cloud-based processing using python scripts.

    Hussam Ali

    Ph.D. Student

    Water mask data processing and integration using airborne LiDAR and RADARSAT-2 within the Alberta web-based Water Portal project. Husam's thesis aims to develop a webGIS planning tool to assist with urban development and emergency response in small municipalities.


    Email Hussam! Hussam.Ali@uleth.ca

    Zhouxin Xi

    Ph.D. Student

    Examination of Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) data streams and hardware development for the characterisation of 3D tree metrics. Metrics are used for radiative transfer modeling at leaf to tree canopy scales using voxilized point clouds, computer graphics, scaled to stand-level using airborne LiDAR.


    Email Zhouxin! Zhouxin.Xi@uleth.ca

    Robab Hashemi

    Ph.D. Student

    Robab has background in 'Laser Spectroscopy' with application in green house gas monitoring as well as data analyzing using MATLAB programming. Now studying atmospheric CO2 concentrations, fluxes and biomass monitoring using airborne laser scanning and eddy covariance data. Robab is co-supervised by Dr. Predoi-Cross in Physics.


    Email Robab! Robab.hashemi@uleth.ca

    David McCaffrey

    Masters Student

    Elevation-based tree line migration in mountainous regions of southern and central Alberta using hydro-meteorological instrumentation, multi-temporal LiDAR data and historical aerial photographs.


    Email Dave! David.McCaffrey@uleth.ca

    Joshua Montgomery

    Masters Student

    Quantification of seasonally and annually changing wet area extent and function of wetlands using remote sensing data including LiDAR, RADARSAT-2 and optical imagery in three natural regions present in Alberta. The results of the research will provide better quantification of aquatic, wetland and riparian ecosystems for wide-spread monitoring.


    Email Josh! Joshua.Montgomery@uleth.ca

    Reed Parsons

    Masters Student and ARTeMIS Lab Technician

    Sensor integration, electronics and data streams for LiDAR, ground penetrating radar, LEDDAR, thermal cameras and GPS. Reed has also been working on environmental sensor deployment at the West Castle research site


    Email Reed! nr.parsons@uleth.ca

    Maxim Ohkrimenko

    Masters Student

    Maxim is developing a universal intensity normalization procedure for airborne LiDAR data and mapping active NDVI from multi-spectral LiDAR image channels with further application to wetland and forest classification.


    Email Maxim! maxim.ohkrimenko@gmail.com

    Kelsey Cartwright

    Masters Student

    Kelsey is developing new methods to map and monitor winter snow depth and density in critical mountainous headwater areas in Alberta using active lidar and radar remote sensing technologies.

    Hossein Naseri

    Research Associate

    Hossein is a Ph.D. student in Physics and is assisting the ARTeMiS Lab with the development of an online water portal for near-real-time monitoring of remotely-sensed surface water attributes and meteorological variables. He is automating online extraction of high-resolution global water masks using RADARSAT-2 SAR images in combination with LiDAR DEM data

    Independent Studies Students

    Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to assist with and learn from Lab activities. Some recent students and projects include:

    Ike Allred: Meteorological instrumentation, programming and tower installation at West Castle, Alberta


    Mark Derksen: LiDAR applications for snowpack monitoring in open terrain. Use of LiDAR data at West Castle to better understand changing snow pack distribution trends based on ground surface morphology and scaling to the watershed


    Pierre Dillon: Developing data fusion methods for classifying wetlands using structures within the environment and high resolution spectral imaging


    Ethan Kutanzi: Impact of long-term climatic change on wetland change using hydro-meteorological data and remote sensing


    Scott Lamb: Quantifying vegetation species distribution and type using high resolution multi-spectral imagery in the NWT


    Alissia Paluck: Integrating airborne thermal infrared with LiDAR data to assess permafrost thaw in the NWT (right: geo-registered image of land surface temperature overlaid onto a LiDAR DEM hillshade model created by Alyssia)


    David Tavernini: Exploring snowpack distribution processes in a mountain forest environment using lidar snowpack maps.

  • Recent News

    New Developments at the ARTeMiS Lab

    24.07.2016: Titan Airborne Multi-spectral lidar surveys across Canada about to commence

    Chris and the gang are once again airborne for more cross country lidar surveys from Ontario to NWT to AB. The projects relate to Chris' NSERC Discovery, Alberta Innovates provincial water resources research, and NRCan wetland and forest biomass modeling projects in the north. The data will provide key ground truth for RadarSat II and ICESat satellite mission data validation and model calibration. The over-arching theme is biomass and cryospehric change detection in northern and high altitude ecosystems as the team revisits sites and transects previously overflown by Chris and partners in 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015. Laura will accompany Chris on the aerial surveys until they reach Slave Lake, AB at which point she will join Josh for ground surveys around Ft McMurray and Slave lake fire areas. Reed, Craig, Maxim, Zhouxin and Kelsey will be playing key ground support roles at sites in southern Alberta. We hope to maintain a blog of activities as we get chance. See below.

    11.07.2016: Hydromet installations & repairs at the Castle watershed

    Chris, Craig and Reed traveled to Castle today to check on met site status and begin new installations as part of our new AIEES Castle watershed study. Before we can install new equipment, repairs must be completed on our ridge and mid mountain towers. The day got off to a good start after recce on the north side of the ski hill found a good spot of NW aspect tower but then deteriorated quickly when Chris and Reed found themselves 5km in the back country with a dead UTV battery! After a couple sat phone calls and a lengthy hike out in the pouring rain, we soon discovered how nimble an F150 truck really can be when it was put into service to rescue the UTV on trails even the UTV - and Chris' RAM 1500! - found challenging!

    19.04.2016: New forest carbon biomass partitioning paper published in RSE

    Chris, Laura and co-authors Alan Barr, Natascha Kljun, Andy Black and harry McCaughey just published a study in Remote Sensing of Environment using lidar biomass change estimates and eddy covariance CO2 monitoring to partition forest carbon pools at a chronosequence of stands in the Canadian Boreal forest. Check out the oipen access paper here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425716301547

    06.04.2016: Alissia Paluck wins the 2016 ESRI Canada GIS Scholarship for the U. of L!!

    Congratulations to 4th year student Alissia Paluck who won a 2016 GIS scholarship from ESRI Canada ( for her poster titled: Identifying Vegetation and Topographic Characteristics Associated with Permafrost Conditions in the Northwest Territories (Paluck, Chasmer, Hopkinson and Mahoney). Way to go!

    01.04.2016: Recent Paper Success!

    Five New Papers Accepted to International Journals in March/April: Chris, Craig and Laura have recently had four papers accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing of Environment, and Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. 

    • Hopkinson, et al. Monitoring boreal forest biomass and carbon storage change by integrating airborne laser scanning, biometry and eddy covariance data. (RSE)
    • Hopkinson et al. Multi-sensor and multi-spectral lidar characterisation and classification of a forest environment (CJRS special issue on Advanced Forest Inventory)
    • Chasmer et al. A physically-based terrain morphology and vegetation structural classification for wetlands of the Boreal Plains, Alberta Canada (CJRS special issue on Advanced Forest Inventory)
    • Mahoney et al. Continental-scale canopy height modelling by integrating national, spaceborne and airborne LiDAR data (CJRS special issue on Advanced Forest Inventory.
    • Mahoney et al. ICESat/GLAS canopy height sensitivity inferred from airborne LiDAR.

    21.03.2016: Forests Journal special issue on lidar!

    Chris, Laura and Craig have been invited to guest edit a special issue of the journal Forests, titled "Lidar remote sensing of forest resources". Check out this link for more info: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/forests/special_issues/lidar_resources

    15.03.2016: Mini LiDAR workshop hosted by ARTeMiS Lab and Rapidlasso

    Martin Isenburg joined us this week to showcase his LAStools software to students and colleagues for the fourth time in three years. Chris gave Martin some 'challenging' datasets with known problems to see how well quality assurance routines could be applied 'on the fly'. See: www.artemislab.ca/portal/portal.html for an example of radio interference on the sensor. LAStools was able to clean this up in no time.

    11.03.2016: Josh wins WDCAG best poster!

    The ARTeMiS Lab was well represented at the Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers meeting in Prince George, BC this year with 6 presentations by Dave, Josh, Reed, Alissia, Maxim and Craig. Josh Montgomery just won best poster for his work titled: "Fusing Lidar, SAR and Optical Data to Monitor Wet Area Extent of Prairie Pothole Wetlands in Southern Alberta". Well done Josh and the rest of the gang!

    Chris and Laura teamed up with lead author, Martin Beland from University of Berkeley, along with Geoff Parker (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center), David Harding (NASA Goddard) and Alex Antonarakis (University of Sussex) to develop lidar biomass sampling and scaling guidelines for terrestrial above ground Carbon monitoring at flux sites. Download the report here.

    17.10.2015: Lidar remote sensing workshop hosted by ATIC Nov 4th - 5th

    Amethyst Hyperspectral Science and Technology Workshop 2015

    Hosted by the Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre in partnership with the Canadian Remote Sensing Society

    Anderson Hall Rm AH100, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA

    Speakers from the Artemis Lab include: Chris Hopkinson, Laura Chasmer and Craig Mahoney. See agenda

    16.10.2015: Prestigious recognition from Canadian Geographic

    Chris just named one of Canada's greatest Canadian Explorers 2015 for being a national leader in the use of remote sensing technologies for environmental and natural resources assessments and applications

    18.09.2015: Ridge weather station data at West Castle are now being collected in real-time!

    Thanks to the hard work of Reed Parsons and our collaborative partners Tough Country wireless internet and Castle Mountain Resort, meteorological data are now being collected and is downloadable in real-time! Stand by for real-time graphs of air temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction (and a number of other great meteorological data products) in this high elevation environment, available soon.

    23.07.2015: Chris is now surveying with Optech Aquarius Bathy/waveform LiDAR!

    In support of Chris's NSERC Discovery Grant, Chris obtained the use of an Aquarius bathymetric and full-waveform LiDAR system for two weeks to survey 8 study areas within Alberta and the Northwest Territories! This will continue our long-term LiDAR monitoring and scaling program at these sites.


    Update: The fixed-wing has had a tire blow-out upon landing yesterday in Fort McMurray. Crew are working on data processing and quality control while the tire gets replaced. Let's hope they are ready to go for the nice weather window in the coming days!

    15.06.2015: Field Activities, Summer 2015

    Students and staff are scattered around Southern and Central Alberta this summer collecting field data and setting up equipment:

    • Reed and Dave are working at West Castle on hydro-meteorological equipment, dendrochronology and mensuration.
    • Josh is at the Peace Athabasca Delta working on water levels validation for the LiDAR/RADARSAT-2 overflight missions.
    • Laura and Zhouxin are heading to the Utikuma Regional Study Area and will meet up with Chris and Josh to work on wetland to upland transect validation for LiDAR/RADARSAT missions.

    20.06.2015: Multi-spectral LiDAR field validation now underway at the Vivian Forest!

    Chris, Laura and Zhouxin have gone to the Vivian Forest, Newmarket Ontario to continue their long-term monitoring of forest structure program, this time armed with a prototype multi-spectral airborne LiDAR (courtesy of Optech, Inc. and in collaboration with partners at the UQAM and the University of Edinburgh), two terrestrial laser scanners, mensuration equipment, and hemispherical photography!

    11.06.2015: Dr. Laura Chasmer is awarded the CRSS Bronze Medal!

    Dr. Laura Chasmer was awarded the Canadian Remote Sensing Society Bronze Medal award for Outstanding Research Productivity and Early-Career Achievements at the Canadian Remote Sensing Symposium. Congratulations Laura! See announcement here.

    05.05.2015: Josh Montgomery heads to Ottawa to work on RADARSAT-2 data with CCRS!

    Josh is in Ottawa for two weeks working with Dr. Brian Brisco on RADARSAT-2 water masks at the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing.

    03.05.2015: Summer conferences

    Students and staff presented research at three conferences this summer: The CGU/AGU in Montreal (May 3-7), the Canadian Remote Sensing Symposium in St. John's (June 8-11), and the IAHS/IUGG conference in Prague (June 22-July 2). 

    01.04.2015: NSERC-Funded Discovery Grant awarded to Dr. Chris Hopkinson.

    Chris's NSERC DG was funded: A multi-scale approach to assess hot spots, rates and trajectories of ecosystem change in mid-western Canada

    01.02.2015: Dr. Craig Mahoney goes to CSIRO, Australia for two weeks!

    Craig has just left us for two weeks to work in Australia on national carbon mapping using ICESat and airborne LiDAR datasets with lead scientists at CSIRO!

    09.03.2014: LiDAR/SAR water and wetland monitoring workshop June 26th-27th 2014

    The ARTeMiS Lab and the Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre hosted a two day workshop in late June to present on and understand water-related classification and monitoring challenges, as well as potential solutions based on integrating lidar, optical and radar imaging data products. Guests speakers from across Canada, US and Europe were in attendance, with over 60 participants from government, industry and academia. The first day focused on seminar style presentations on a range of topics, which was followed the second day by a training workshop into LiDAR and SAR operations and processing procedures.


    Check out the presentations here!

    Check out the YouTube playlist of Lidar-related talks in Alberta here!

    09.07.2013: Alberta Airborne LiDAR Stakeholder Meeting July 8th-9th 2013

    Alberta has the largest aerial coverage of airborne LiDAR data of any province in Canada. Government and private sector industry have proactively engaged the technology to support a range of applications in the engineering, environmental, energy and natural resources sectors. The objective of the meeting is to explore ways in which the value of airborne LiDAR data holdings can be enhanced for public, private, and academic sector stakeholders. For more information check out the Alberta Airborne LiDAR Stakeholder Meeting website.


    Check out the Stakeholder Questionnaire and Forum Report Here!

  • Opportunities

    We are always interested in hearing from keen and talented grad student, research associate or postdoctoral prospects. If what you see above interests you then get in touch with Chris to see if we have any opportunities aligned with your talents and interests.

  • The Blog

    This Monday (July 25 2016), Laura and I fly to Ontario to drop kids off with their grandparents, then commence refresher training at Optech to borrow a State of the Art Titan multi spectral lidar system. We hope to blast off north and westward late Friday or early Saturday out of Oshawa with stopovers in Saulte Ste Marie, Pickle Lake, Flin Flon, Prince Alberta, Ft McMurray, Yellowknife, Norman Wells, Ft Simpson, High Level, Slave Lake, Calgary, Pincher Creek, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Saskatoon and back. All being well we'll be finished by mid August. Fingers crossed for good weather and few fire delays! There are multiple mission objectives in partnership with colleagues at the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing and the Canadian Forest Service but primarily we are concerned with mapping changes across Canadian landscapes over the last decade or so. Changes in the northern and in mountainous ecosystems are occurring at an unprecedented rate and we are perfectly positioned now to quantify these rates of change using the 3D data captured by lidar. I hope to post to this blog regularly but as we will be flying almost non stop for over two weeks and for most of that in remote parts of Canada, the blog is likely to be erratic!

    New model of canopy gap fraction derived from GLAS footprints for Australian ecosystems calibrated using airborne lidar: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/9/1/59
    In a recent paper, Chasmer and Hopkinson illustrate substantial permafrost thaw over the last 7 years within the sporadic to discontinuous permafrost zone, NWT. This video illustrates changes in ground surface elevation (in meters) associated with thaw using multi-temporal airborne LiDAR data...
    Congratulations to Zhouxin Xi, who just had his first paper accepted into the journal Forests: "Automating Plot-Level Stem Analysis from Terrestrial Laser Scanning" Check out the abstract: http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/7/11/252
    Some visitors from the lab and friends of Rihana! The amazing spread Rihana put together for us!! :) Rihana, Dave and Chris enjoying some of the food Rihana and Hussam, SAR water level mapping partners! Jim, Laura, Elan (buried), Leanne and Chris later in the evening
    Zhouxin setting up the ILRIS 3D at Cypress Hills.
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