Lakehead Applied Geomatics Research Laboratory

We focus on applications of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies to solve real-world problems. We would like to do hands-on research with industry, startups and community organizations to develop practical solutions for their challenges and to be unique in the field of geomatics.

Discover Unlimited Capacity

The Lakehead Applied Geomatics Research Laboratory focuses on applications of geospatial technologies such as Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to environmental problem solving, agriculture, wildfire mapping and monitoring, climate change, social and health sciences research. We are equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software.            

Our laboratory

The laboratory is based in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the Lakehead University, Thunder Bay campus. The laboratory is headed by Dr. Muditha Heenkenda. Her group consists of undergraduate and graduate students, visiting students, and GIS technicians/research associates from a range of interdisciplinary backgrounds who are committed to developing innovative research in the areas of GIS, remote sensing, and spatial analysis that address pressing social and environmental issues in Canada and beyond.

News & Updates

Looking for a Master of Environmental Studies student

We are looking for a highly motivated and research-driven student with a background in Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), forestry or a related field for a Master of Environmental Studies project. The proposed project title is Exploring potentials to measure tree Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) using iPad Pro Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) Sensor and it is the next step of this study: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2150704X.2022.2051635

The study aims to test the use of the iPad Pro LiDAR sensor for DBH estimation within a natural forest environment. The specific objectives are to (1) acquire LiDAR point clouds using transect and circular plot methods in different situations (forest plantation/natural forest, with/without understory, different tree species); (2) develop DBH estimation methods for different scenarios (for instance: transect point cloud, with understory, red pine); (3) compare results and select the best method for each scenario; (4) develop an automated workflow for DBH estimation using Python programming language; and (5) test the accuracy of the LiDAR point clouds based on the distance from the scanning location to trees. Several forest plots with different tree compositions near Thunder Bay can be selected as study areas. The project requires LiDAR data collection using an iPad and field data collection for calibration and validation purposes. 

The ideal candidate will receive a stipend: $2500/year for two years. Additional funding may be available in the form of Graduate Assistantships and Summer fieldwork. Please note that this is not a fully-funded opportunity.

Required skills: Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR)/Remote Sensing image processing skills and hands-on experience with ENVI and ArcGIS software are required. Python programming language and the experience with forest fieldwork would be an asset.  
Starting date: Starting in Fall 2022
Please contact Dr. Muditha Heenkenda for further information or send the application package: mheenken@lakeheadu.ca. The application package should include unofficial transcripts, a CV and contact information for two references. 


Join the virtual GIS Day event here: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/j/97363431015)

Virtual GIS Day 2021 event

Joint webinar series between Lakehead University, Canada and Henan Polytechnic University, China

Contact US

Department of Geography & the Environmental
Faculty of Science and Environment Studies,
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Canada P7B 5E1

Tel:  +1 807 343 8010  (ext. 8746)    
E-mail: muditha.heenkenda@lakeheadu.ca

Dr. Heenkenda’s Office:  
Regional Centre (RC), Room 2006E