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GGE News - 2002

Monahan Involved in Law of the Sea

Dave Monahan, the Department's Hydrographer in Residence and head of Canada's ocean mapping program, has helped to establish UNB as a crucial source of expertise in the delineation of the legal continental shelf essential to establishing which coastal states will have jurisdiction over valuable seabed resources. It is difficult to predict what the results of UNB's role will be 10 years from now, but we do know that the Department and the University are already playing a critical role in one element of the Law of the Sea - a controversial marine geology project potentially worth trillions of dollars in untapped resources. Dave was quoted in the 6 December issue of Science magazine: "UNB has such a wide breadth of knowledge on this subject and is in the forefront of this issue. If you haven't taken a multi-beam sonar course from UNB, you're not in the game."

The Science article triggered a number of media reports about Canada's plans with regard to the Law of the Sea including interviews on radio and television and articles in the national and international press.

Read more about this story.

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Coleman Attends CFI Book Launch

As one of 25 contributors, Dave Coleman was present when the book, Inno'va-tion: Essays by Leading Canadian Researchers, was launched at the National Press Club and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in December 2002. Edited by Lois Claxton and James Downey, the essays have been published in both English and French by Key Porter in collaboration with the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). As stated by Dr. David W. Strangway, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation:
Among the many valuable partners who contribute to the success of the CFI's programs and goals are Canada's granting councils and the individual researchers they fund. Too often we fail to recognize those who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing innovation in Canada. We should reserve our greatest appreciation and admiration for our nation's researchers.
Click on the thumbnail image to view the press release (a 40 KB PDF document).

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Retreat 2002

On 29 and 30 November 2002 the Department Faculty met at the Holiday Inn on the Mactaquac headpond. On the agenda were such graduate topics as auditing undergraduate and graduate courses, publications-based and course-based degrees, student recruitment (tap into our best undergraduates), and supervisory committees. Excellence in research was the focus of a lively discussion on future endeavours over the next 10 years, and strategies to reach some major goals. Under the undergraduate studies topic there were suggestions on how to sustain the terrific enrolment effort carried out in the 2002-2003 academic year. If this increased undergraduate enrolment continues, what repercussions would there be on class size, teaching methods and teaching assistants, course content, and increased teaching load on professors.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look at the participants, 30 KB.

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Celebrating Geography Awareness Week and Geomatics Day, November 2002

Geography Awareness Week

The National Geographic Society has sponsored Geography Awareness Week since 1987 to promote geographic literacy in schools, communities, and organizations, with a focus on the education of children.

As part of Geography Awareness Week, volunteers from UNB (Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering and UNB Libraries), Service New Brunswick (SNB), CARIS, and the City of Fredericton went to several schools in Fredericton and Boiestown to talk to students about geomatics.

Click on the thumbnail to read more.

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You've Never Seen Fredericton Like This Before!

Click on the thumbnail to the left to pan around a high-resolution image of the City of Fredericton taken from space. You can also zoom in to see the Military Compound, Christ Church Cathedral, or buildings at UNB. You can even make out GGE's concrete survey pillars on the roof of Head Hall!

GGE professor, Dr. Yun Zhang has applied his pan-sharpening technique for enhancing satellite imagery to this view of Fredericton taken by Space Imaging's Ikonos (from the Greek word for image) satellite in the fall of 2001 (Fredericton's fabled trees are sporting their autumn colours).

Dr. Zhang has applied his technique to images from other satellites and is seeking a patent for his invention.

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The Five Daves - Together at Last!

We have been trying to get this picture for the past year! Between August 2001 and September 2002 the Department had the pleasure of attempting to maintain clear, pellucid, and perspicuous communications with five Daves in the Department at one time. Yell "Dave" down the hall and you were in danger of starting a Dave stampede. The Daves were all in town at the same time on 2 December 2002 and we grabbed the opportunity for a photo shoot.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look, 32 KB.

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Multi-Media Lab and Demonstration Room Opens

With the help of the Ocean Mapping Group, David Wells, and the Gillin Fund, the Department now has a flexible multimedia laboratory for computer-based instruction of small workgroups. It can also be used as a computer lab and computational room for the various GGE field camps. It will retain its initial use, however, as a software demonstration room for software such as CARIS, Fledermaus, ESRI's ArcInfo, PCI Geomatics's Geomatica, and other tools developed or employed by faculty and students.

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the ceremony, 60 KB.

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GGE Featured Prominently in President's Installation Report

The report "Our University: The Next Five Years - The President's Perspective" issued on the occasion of John McLaughlin's installation as UNB's 17th president highlights some of GGE's research endeavours over the years:
"UNB's international reputation was forged by such scholars as ... Gottfried Konecny (1930- ) who established the Department of Surveying Engineering, an international leader in the field of geodesy and geomatics engineering, and who laid the foundation for New Brunswick's world-class geomatics technology sector.

"Space research has figured large in UNB Fredericton's life. As early as the 1960s, surveying engineers were involved in lunar mapping for the Apollo missions and later the analysis of data from radio observation of quasars and other extragalactic objects for precisely positioning points on the earth's surface. Today ... the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering continues to work closely with the Canadian Space Agency and others in the applications of GPS and other global navigation satellite systems."

Click on the thumbnail image to read the full report.

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Costa Rica Delegation Visits GGE

On 16 October 2002 the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering and the Centre for Property Studies hosted a delegation from the municipality of Aserri in Costa Rica. While the delegates were here, they visited CARIS, Service New Brunswick, the City of Fredericton, and UNB discussing the feasibility of a working partnership on a land project in Costa Rica. Sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and with the cooperation with Michel Brunet of Brunet, Lebel, Leger, this project would entail the regularization of the cadastre and property register.

The University of New Brunswick and the Universidad de Costa Rica have enjoyed a five-year educational collaboration. The most recent event was the preparation and delivery of a Professional Development course entitled: "Property . . . Concepts, Administration and Tools." for the Municipality of Aserri. Sue Nichols and Ivan Ford were the presenters. Among the approximately 35 participants were Edwin Solórzano, Director, School of Topographic Engineering, Universidad de Costa Rica; and Juan Araque Skinner, Director of the Catastro Nacional.

Following the visit, the University of New Brunswick and the Universidad de Costa Rica extended the University Student Exchange, which has been in place for five years. To complement this agreement, the universities also signed a Faculty/Staff and Professional Development agreement for another five years.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look at some of the participants, 34 KB.

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Adam Chrzanowski Awarded Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa

The University of Warmia and Masuria (UWM) in Olsztyn, Poland, awarded Dr. Adam Chrzanowski (Professor Emeritus and Director of the Canadian Centre for Geodetic Engineering at UNB) the degree of doctor honoris causa on 30 September 2002. The awarding of the honorary degree to Dr. Chrzanowski took place during the inauguration of the academic year 2002/2003. The inauguration ceremony at the University of Warmia and Masuria was a central inauguration for the Polish Republic with the President of the Polish Republic, Alexander Kwasniewski, being a special guest and a speaker.

The University of Warmia and Masuria is only three years old, and was created by integrating three separate universities: Agricultural-Technical, Education, and Theology. It is the first university in Poland to combine engineering, arts, and theology faculties. It is a model university in Poland at a time when Poland is entering the European Union.

Click on the thumbnail image for more of the story and to look at photos taken during the ceremony, 149 KB.

For more information, read UNB's press release on the story. The conferment was also featured in the Gazeta Uniwersytecka (a 1.8 MB PDF document in Polish).

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UNB Signs Licensing Agreement with PCI Geomatics

On 27 September 2002, UNB and PCI Geomatics signed a licensing agreement for the use of Yun Zhang's "Pan-Sharpening" algorithms. Yun reports that PCI Geomatics has put the software through its paces and have yet to find a glitch. It has worked well with all the images PCI Geomatics has tested and, in Yun's words, "have found it perfect."

For more information, read the news release.

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Hydrographer in Residence Defends Thesis

The Department's Hydrographer in Residence, Dave Monahan, successfully defended his thesis on 11 September 2002. David has worked for years on the delimitation of the continental shelf under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other maritime boundary issues. In his defence he culminated this work (at least for now - he does promise future texts) with his Masters of Science in Engineering defence. Giving a lively if academically unorthodox presentation on the subject, Dave demonstrated how much hydrographers and geodesists need to understand the legal and political perspectives in marine boundary delimitation.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look, 35 KB. (Photo: Terry Arsenault, 2002·September·11)

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Two GGE Students' Projects Selected for PCI Geomatics Image Gallery

Since April 2002, PCI Geomatics has collected information on applications or research results from PCI Geomatics users worldwide. The research activities and results of two GGE students were recently selected as creative projects for PCI Geomatics's Web gallery.

The students are:

Stephen Burbridge, M.Eng., supervisor: Dr. Y. Zhang
Kevin Pegler, Ph.D. candidate, supervisors: Drs. D. Coleman, R. Pelot (Dalhousie University), and Y. Zhang
Mr. Burbridge's application was urban change detection using a neural-network-based approach. Mr. Pegler developed a target detection technique for marine search and rescue using Ikonos satellite imagery. You can read more about the projects on the PCI Geomatics Web site.

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Record Jump in Number of New GGE Students

The Department is proud to announce a record number of new undergraduate students entering its programs this year. There are 46 new students enrolled in the BScE, Diploma, and Certificate of Academic Proficiency in Hydrographic Surveying programs -- twice the number of new students we had last year. Twelve of the students are entering the first year of the BScE program directly from high school. Others have joined us from various community colleges and other universities. The students come from right across the country -- from British Columbia to Newfoundland. We also have new international students from Australia, Botswana, and the United Arab Emirates. We wish them all a warm welcome.

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Welcome Back Students!

On the second day of classes (10 September 2002) the Third Annual Pizza Party was held in the halls of the Department (see photo). New, returning, and graduate students mingled with the faculty and staff to munch on pizza and Timbits™, and consume coffee and soft drinks. We had an enormous crowd this year (with a record-breaking number of new students) who managed to consume everything you see here.

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UNB GGE Image Featured on Front Cover of GIM International

The August 2002 issue of GIM International magazine features an image created by GGE's Dr. Yun Zhang on its front cover.

The image is a fused 1-metre Ikonos natural colour image of San Diego, California. The fusion method used is a colour-enhancing version of the fusion technique developed by Dr. Zhang. The image was created by fusing 4-metre multispectral and 1-metre panchromatic images provided by Space Imaging of Thornton, Colorado.

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Congratulations to Geomatics Atlantic Scholarship Winner Julie Baglole

It is our pleasure to announce that one of this year's Geomatics Atlantic Scholarships was awarded to an applicant from UNB Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering. We would like to congratulate Julie Baglole for receiving a $1000 scholarship from this fund.

There is usually tremendous competition for these scholarships from university and community college students in institutions across the region. We hope everyone will join with us in congratulating Julie on this important achievement.

The photo shows Julie being presented her cheque by GGE's chair, Dr. Peter Dare.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look, 39 KB. (Photo: Terry Arsenault, 2002·October·2)

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State of the Art GPS Guidance Software Developed at UNBF

The seaports of the world present a huge challenge to those who work there. Shipping containers, 20-to-40 feet in length, have to be stacked within inches of each other, and the slightest mistake could result in thousands of dollars in damage.

Two researchers at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton have developed guidance software to simplify this enormous task. Donghyun Kim and Richard Langley of the department of geodesy and geomatics engineering, contracted by Seoho Electric Company Ltd. of Korea, have created a guidance system to steer giant port cranes using the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Read more here and in GPS World. Movie of the system during testing: QuickTime (low-res, 11 MB) AVI (high-res, 70 MB).

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Centre for Property Studies Course in Costa Rica

Most Canadians enjoy Costa Rica in the winter, however, Ivan Ford (B.Sc.E. 1981; M.Sc.E. 1990) and Sue Nichols, together with Veronica McGinn from the UNB Centre for Property Studies (CPS), presented a course on land administration for the municipality of Aserri in San Jose in July 2002. They were working with Michel Brunet, a land surveyor and CPS partner from Quebec. UNB is renewing its exchange agreement with the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and we expect to have more direct exchanges of students and staff from GGE and UCR in support of the upcoming Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) Land Administration project.

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the course, 82 KB.

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A Day on the Heron

The office staff in the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering often hear from Dr. John Hughes Clarke how hard his Ocean Mapping Group works. We decided to go on a little road trip to Grand Manan and find out just how hard this work really is and, maybe, we would see a whale.

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the outing, 361 KB.

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Hat Changes

History can predict nothing except that great changes in human relationships will never come about in the form in which they have been anticipated.
Johan Huizinga (1872-1945). The Columbia World of Quotations (1996).
Columbia University Press.
The Department has recently undergone a number of changes. John McLaughlin began his adventure as the University's seventeenth President and Vice-Chancellor on 1 July 2002. He is excited about the future of the university and the challenge of his personal mission "to advance the University of New Brunswick … and … collectively maintain UNB's status as a national university."

Dave Coleman has completed his term as Chair and has taken a six-month sabbatical. Peter Dare was unanimously selected as the new chair for a (renewable) five-year appointment. Peter stepped into the office also on 1 July 2002 and is slowly establishing himself in his new position.

We wish both John and Peter all the best in their new pursuits.

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Peter Dare Recipient of Canada Foundation for Innovation Funding

"The New Opportunities Fund, a program of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, is providing a total of $474,596 to help our newly recruited faculty members establish their academic research careers," says Gregory Kealey, vice-president (research) at UNB. "It will also allow the university to compete better as an international leader and, in turn, bring benefits to the local community and region."

The infrastructure support is reserved for faculty who are taking up their first full-time academic position at a Canadian degree-granting institution.

"It's important for our new faculty to purchase equipment essential for their research work," adds Dr. Kealey. "The fund will help us in our mission to attract and retain academic staff of exceptional quality in areas that are a priority for research."

Peter Dare of the department of geodesy and geomatics engineering is one of four UNB professors who received awards in the recent competition. Dr. Dare will initiate a research program on the development of the Global Positioning System as a method to assist weather prediction. With the $99,710 he received from the fund and other resources, he will purchase a geodetic quality Global Positioning System receiver, meteorological equipment, a water vapour radiometer and associated equipment. These will enable him to meet the requirements and for UNB to become a member of SuomiNet, a network of some 100 GPS receivers worldwide that shares quality data.

Our congratulations to Dr. Dare for such a great start to his career at GGE.

Click on the thumbnail image to learn more about the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

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McElhanney Creates New Undergraduate Scholarship for Cadastral Studies

McElhanney Land Surveys Ltd., of Fort St. John, B.C., has provided a new undergraduate scholarship for those in our Cadastral Option. The initial term is for three years and the scholarship is worth $2,500 per year. Depending on the availability of funds, the first award of this scholarship should take place in the fall of 2002. Following is the description found in the UNB calendar.

Value: $2,500. Number: 1. Duration: 1 year. Conditions: Awarded to a Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering student who has completed or has enrolled in two of the four cadastral surveying option courses: GGE5521 Survey Law; GGE5532 Land Economy and Administration; GGE5313 Urban Planning, or CE5342 Site Planning. Selection will be based on academic achievement (minimum 3.2 scholarship GPA). Demonstrated leadership ability and innovative skills will also be taken into consideration in selecting the recipient for this award. Awarding Agency: The University, on the recommendation of the Faculty of Engineering. Donor: McElhanney Land Surveys Ltd.

Our appreciation goes to McElhanney not only for the financial support of our students but also for their ongoing willingness to employ our students both during their careers at UNB and upon graduation.

Click on the thumbnail image to learn more about McElhanney.

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New Agreement Signed

A new level of cooperation has been reached between the Association of New Brunswick Land Surveyors and UNB's Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering. The new agreement will see increased support from ANBLS for scholarships and awards and will ensure continued financial support to the field of cadastral studies for the next five years. GGE will be increasing its educational support to the Association and both will cooperate in long term plans for eLearning and continuing education.

The new agreement was signed this weekend (15-16 June 2002) by Norman Coté, PEng, the ANBLS President, and Dr. David Coleman, the Chair of GGE. Following the official signing of this new agreement, President Coté presented a cheque to Dr. Coleman as the first important act to take place under this agreement.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look at Mr. Coté and Dr. Coleman signing the agreement, 33 KB. (Photo: Dave Carney, 2002-June-15)

You can also read the Memorandum of Agreement (a 304 KB PDF document).

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Future Directions in Geomatics

The inaugural meeting of a new external Advisory Board to the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering was held this past weekend (15-16 June 2002) at which they were asked to contemplate future developments in geomatics and in undergraduate engineering education at UNB. Board members delivered their report to the incoming President of UNB, the Dean of Engineering, and the Chair of GGE on Sunday morning. They are recommending dramatic changes to the geomatics program at UNB to position it to lead in future developments in space-based navigation and imaging systems, ocean mapping, precise engineering surveys, land administration, and other high technologies where geomatics engineering will be in the forefront of developments.

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the meeting, 195 KB.

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GGE 2013 Practicum II - 2002

Following on the success of Practicum II - 2001, this year's practicum (a.k.a. survey camp) was again based upon a combination of the following:
Practicum II - 2002 took place at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre (HMSC) located in St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick. The residential period was from 29 April - 6 May; this was followed by a week of computations, analysis and report writing back at UNB in Fredericton.

The Camp made use of high precision GPS, total stations and levels. The goal of the Camp was to produce a topographic plan of the lower campus of the HMSC. This was achieved through a combination of Trimble Geomatics Office and AutoCad - a copy of the final plan can be seen here (a .6 MB PDF document). The final mounted plan was presented to the HMSC on 18 July 2002. This date was chosen as it coincided with meetings at the HMSC of the HMSC Board of Directors and the HMSC Advisory Board - by clicking here you can see a picture of the presentation of the final plan to the Chair of the Board of Directors, Professor Paul Hebert of the University of Guelph by the Chair of GGE, Professor Peter Dare, the Camp tutor. (Photo: Mary Colbourn-Green)

A picture poster illustrating many of the different elements of the Camp can be seen by clicking here (a 2.8 MB PDF document). By being collocated with the Hydro Camp (GGE5083), Practicum II students were exposed to this senior Camp and all students were able to spend some time on the Dept's new survey launch "The Heron."

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GGE Well Represented at FIG/ACSM/ASPRS Congress

UNB Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering was well represented at the joint FIG/ACSM/ASPRS Congress held in Washington, D.C., April 21-26th. This year's event attracted more than 3,200 delegates from over 30 countries. Almost 50 Canadian registrants attended (the second largest group there) and a number of Canadian firms could be found in the exhibit hall. As part of a larger contingent of Atlantic Canada organizations exhibiting at the Congress, one of the special hits of the show was the Atlantic Canada reception held on the Wednesday evening, April 24th.

A contingent of 5 professors (Adam and Anna Chrzanowski, Peter Dare, John McLaughlin and Dave Coleman) and 7 graduate students (Sara Cockburn, Garfield Giff, Greg Mulholland, Sam Ng'ang'a, Boipuso Nkwae, Kevin Pegler and Michael Sutherland) attended the event. UNB faculty and students either delivered or co-authored 13 papers in sessions dealing with engineering surveys, hydrography, remote sensing, land administration and spatial data infrastructure.

The Department's display of educational programs and research projects was one of only two University booths located inside the Exhibit Hall. Faculty and students alike pitched in to make sure the Department's booth included the latest information on our programs and research projects. If the number of visitors and the level of discussion around the booth was any indication, the Department continues to make a good impression on our colleagues around the world.

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the event, 218 KB.

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NSERC Post-Graduate Scholarship Winners

We are pleased to congratulate Jonathan Beaudoin and Jason Bond both of whom were awarded NSERC Post-Graduate Scholarships covering Master's-level studies over the next two years. NSERC scholarships are designed to provide high-calibre scholars with the financial support necessary to focus on their work and seek the best supervisors in their chosen fields. Winning one of these scholarships is no mean feat - the field is very competitive - and reflects the fine work both Jonathan and Jason did during their undergraduate studies here at UNB.

Our Department has been fortunate to have a number of NSERC scholarship award winners among the graduate students in the past. Further information on NSERC postgraduate and undergraduate scholarships may be found at

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First Annual Student Technical Conference Held

Until this year, the students' technical paper presentations had been held both in the fall and in the spring. This year, however, it was decided to combine both events into one annual student technical conference. The event was held over two days, specifically, 26 and 27 March 2002. The graduate student organizers were David Mayunga and Samer Diarbakerly. The undergraduates were organized by Kevin Pegler.

For the complete program, click here (a 62 KB PDF document).

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the conference, 63 KB.

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Canadian Centre for Geodetic Engineering Opens

On 25 March 2002, Adam Chrzanowski and The Focus Corporation "cut the ribbon" on the new Canadian Centre for Geodetic Engineering (CCGE). Housed within the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering (GGE), the Centre, as described by Adam Chrzanowski, "...offers interdisciplinary expertise, which is unique in North America, in engineering and mining surveys of high precision." The Focus Corporation is the fastest growing geomatics and engineering company in Alberta. In return for financial support, the Centre will share any research and development results with Focus.

For more information, read the news release.

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the opening, 101 KB.

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President-Designate Visits Department

Within days of the official news that "our" John McLaughlin would be UNB's 17th President, we were able to throw a Timbit® party for him with a congratulatory cake and coffee. Again, we wish him all the best.

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the visit, 66 KB.

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GGE's John McLaughlin Nominated by UNB Senates, Board as Next President

John McLaughlin, Vice-President (Academic) of the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, has been selected by a joint meeting of the university Senates and Board of Governors to serve as the institution's next President and Vice-chancellor. The appointment must be approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council before it becomes official.

More ...

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Boipuso Nkwae Winner of Guma Fellowship

Boipuso Nkwae, a Ph.D. candidate from Botswana under the supervision of Dr. Sue Nichols, was informed on 18 January 2002 that he was the recipient of a $3,299 fellowship. The Dr. S. M. Guma fellowship, established by Dr. S. M. Guma and Dr. Colin B. MacKay, is open to a candidate for either a master's or doctoral degree. The applicant must be a citizen of Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho, or South Africa, or a resident of Namibia.

Our congratulations to Boipuso!

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Sutherland Goes National

Michael Sutherland, a Ph.D. candidate under the supervision of Dr. Sue Nichols, has been appointed as the student representative on the executive of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS). Michael, a former president of the UNB Graduate Student's Association, is also currently the vice chair (Research) of the Graduate Students' Association of Canada (GSAC).

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GGE's Sam Ng'ang'a Wins $5000 Alberta Land Surveyors' Association Scholarship

The research of a University of New Brunswick student on marine boundary issues has earned him a $5,000 scholarship.

Sam Ng'ang'a, a Ph.D. candidate in geodesy and geomatics engineering, is the first recipient of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association Graduate Studies Scholarship.

Mr. Ng'ang'a is examining whether a system of marine rights and interests will lead to better decision making, reduced uncertainty in decision making and greater efficiency in the management of natural resources.

"This truly represents a new frontier in boundary surveying," said Ken Allred, president of the Albert Land Surveyors' Association. "Mr. Ng'ang'a's work could ensure the peaceful and orderly development of offshore property rights for many, including the oil and gas industry."

Click on the thumbnail image to read the full news release.

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