Location: Canada Partners: Queen’s University, The University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University
BGC is supporting capstone engineering design projects at several universities across Canada. Engineering students, typically in their final year of undergraduate study, work collaboratively with BGC to solve an open-ended earth science problem. BGC contributes by providing a design project idea and regular mentorship throughout the year, and students benefit from the ability to participate in real-world engineering projects under the guidance of experienced mentors. Current projects involve optimizing an open pit mining sequence, designing a tailings facility, and analyzing risk associated with landslide geohazards.
Location: Vancouver, Canada Partners: Telus World of Science
Girls and STEAM is an annual event hosted by the Telus World of Science, in Vancouver, BC. This event inspires girls ages 11-13 to discover and pursue their interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Design, and Math (STEAM) while learning from professional female mentors working in STEAM careers. In 2019, BGC supported this event by participating in workshop sessions under the theme of ‘mining done right’ with hands-on activities that included dam building and failure, 3D visualization using the Microsoft Hololens and 3D slope scanning, using a hand-held scanner. In 2020, BGC developed an educational video on landslides including how you can build one in your kitchen to learn about natural hazards. BGC’s participation in this event contributed to inspiring the leaders of the future to pursue careers in STEAM.
Location: Dominican Republic Partners: NASA’s DEVELOP Program and Landslide Team
NASA’s DEVELOP Program has the mission of integrating earth observations with society to foster future innovation and cultivate the processionals of tomorrow by addressing diverse environmental impacts today. As part of this program, NASA’s DEVELOP and Landslides Team worked with the Servicio Geológico Nacional and Oficina Nacional de Meteorología of the Dominican Republic to integrate various earth observation data sets and local data to map landslide susceptibility and exposure of infrastructure in parts of the northern region. BGC supported the NASA team with providing local knowledge on geology and landslide mapping to support calibration of these models.
Location: Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh Partners: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR)
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) administer the Rohingya refugee camps located south of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. These camps are constructed in rugged hilly terrain where the steeper slopes are prone to landslides that pose a credible risk to life for camp refugees. At the request of UNHCR, BGC Squared carried out a desktop and field assessment of landslides in the camps to develop a preliminary understanding of the landslide hazards and provide recommendations for risk management. BGC identified that landslides in the camps were nearly all, at least to some degree, a result of human activity or human alterations of the landscape. Most notably, this included the removal of vegetation, slope regrading with construction of cut and fill slopes, and disruption of natural or man-made drainage patterns. BGC recommended that landslide hazard management focus on human factors, which are controllable to some extent, and that UNHCR adopt a landslide risk management approach.