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Adam Fenech, PhD

Adam Fenech, PhD


Associate Professor, UPEI Climate Research Lab

EXPERTISE

  • Environmental sciences
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Climatology
  • Physical sciences

RESEARCH AREAS

  • Geovisualization
  • Multispectral sensing
  • Ecological modeling
  • Greenhouse gas accounting
  • Sustainability science

CAPABILITIES FOR INDUSTRY COLLABORATIONS 

  • Applications of drone technology to environmental sciences
  • Coastal erosion studies
  • Climate risk assessments
  • Precision agriculture
  • LIDAR, thermal and multispectral imaging
  • Training modules
  • Investigations of local, past and future climates

If pictures are worth a thousand words, Adam Fenech’s climate pictures are worth even more. When it comes to shoreline erosion, numbers can be hard to comprehend, unless you have Fenech’s 3D video-game-like view to let you digitally fly over your property or town. Imagine seeing a time-lapse view that shrinks decades into seconds, showing exactly how much the water level has crept up over the years and predicting future shore losses.

Backed by scientific data, Fenech’s images present a stark reality as well as projections to spur important decisions and plans addressing coastal erosion, infrastructure, crops, development and communities. After his 25-year career as a federal climatologist and academic at the University of Toronto, he moved east in 2012 to direct the UPEI Climate Lab. There, he and his team design innovative tools and combine historical survey data with the power of advanced cameras, aerial drones, GPS data, specialized radar and lasers, and scientific modeling.

Initially, his work focused on CoastaL Impacts Visualization Environment (CLIVE), a tool he co-developed with Simon Fraser University. Increasingly, his research partners and clients benefit from his fleet of drones, equipped with technology to see through vegetation, assess the health and yield of crops, conduct aerial investigations of wind turbine blades, capture fine-resolution images of shorelines and deliver detailed data.

Under Fenech’s guidance, the lab is earning a solid reputation for applying drone technology to environmental sciences and real-world applications like agriculture. He envisions hyperspectral instruments letting him measure water or air chemistry, as a way of adding valued data points. Until then, he keeps innovating and sharing his team’s research to bring people together with data, and to encourage governments and individuals to take act­ion.

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