Dr. Wenjun Chen

Image Wenjun Chen
Research Scientist

Conduct scientific research and manage research projects

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Chen’s current research uses satellite imagery and ground observations to map and assess cumulative effects on caribou lichen and habitats in the Northern Ontario Ring of Fire Region and the Northern Quebec and Labrador Mining Region. He also contributes to mapping fugitive dust on snow around the Mary River Mine operations in Buffin Island, Nunavut.

Research and/or project statements

  • Canada has excellent potential for mining and manufacturing critical minerals, and the Government of Canada has launched a critical minerals initiative. Developing critical minerals requires impact assessments for individual projects and regional cumulative effects. This project will contribute to impacts or regional cumulative effects assessment on caribou, one of the top-priority valued components.

  • Mary River Mine represents an industry pillar in Nunavut. Fugitive dust has emerged as a key community concern of the mining project. This research will provide objective information on the spatial extent and timing of fugitive dust around the mine project and thus enable evidence-based decision-making and mitigation options.  

Professional activities / interests

Dr. Chen’s other research interests included the Canadian forest carbon budget and climate change mitigation, Canada’s report to UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) on greenhouse gas emissions from land use changes over Canada’s arctic and sub-arctic, vegetation biomass and phenology mapping for ecological integrity assessment of National Parks, baseline maps of Arctic vegetation and snow changes over caribou habitats, and footprints of mining disturbances on caribou in Northwest Territories.  

Education and awards

Ph.D., Biometeorology & Soil Science, University of British Columbia, Canada, March 1997.

M.Sc., Agrometeorology, Nanjing Institute of Meteorology, China, March 1988.

B.Sc., Agrometeorology, Nanjing Institute of Meteorology, China, June 1983.

 

  • Strategical Policy and Innovation Sector-NRCan Merit Award (2022-23) for “Integrating Earth Observation into Cumulative Effects.”
  • Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing Second Best Paper Award (2022) for the paper “A new U-net based convolutional neural network for estimating caribou lichen ground cover from field-level digital photographs.”
  • NRCan Departmental Achievement Award (2021), Excellence in Science category, for “Using artificial intelligence and open geospatial platforms to support lichen mapping.”
  • Strategical Policy and Innovation Sector-NRCan Merit Award (2021), Excellence in Science category, for “AI-assisted Caribou Lichen Mapping.”
  • Strategic Policy and Results Sector-NRCan Merit Award (2017), Collaboration category, for “Remote Sensing Science to Assess Resource Development’s Impact on Caribou.”
  • Earth Science Sector-NRCan Merit Award (2012), Excellence in Science category, for “ParkSPACE.”
  • Public Service Award of Excellence (2009), Government of Canada, Innovation category, for “Permafrost Thaw Impact Assessment Team.”
  • Earth Science Sector-NRCan Merit Award (2008), Excellence in Science category, for “Monitoring ecological integrity of national parks using satellite remote sensing.”
  • NRCan Departmental Merit Awards (2008), Excellence in Science category, for “A tool for Assessing Permafrost Thaw Impact on Land and Infrastructure.”
  • Nobel Peace Prize (2007), as an author contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Mr. Al Gore.
  • Earth Science Sector- NRCan Merit Award (2007), Excellence in Science category, for “A tool for Assessing Permafrost Thaw Impact on Land and Infrastructure.”
  • Earth Science Sector- NRCan Merit Award (2006), Excellence in Science category, for “Land use change and greenhouse gases inventory over Canada’s North.”
  • NRCan Departmental Merit Award (2005), Collaboration category, for “Canadian Council of Forest Minister’s Framework of Criteria and Indicator review team.”
  • Canadian Forest Services- NRCan Merit Award (2004), Collaboration category, for “Canadian Council of Forest Minister’s Framework of Criteria and Indicators review team.”
  • Certificate of Appreciation (2004), Chair of Canadian Council of Forest Minister (CCFM) Archie Lang, for “CCFM’s Framework of Criteria and Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management.”
  • Certificate of Recognition (2004), Dr. Josef Cihlar, Earth Sciences Sector Climate Change Program manager, for outstanding leadership and project management.
  • Earth Science Sector-NRCan Merit Award (2003), Collaboration Category, for “CCRS team on Environment and Sustainable Development Indicators (Forest Cover Indicator and Extent of Wetland Indicator).”
  • St. John’s Fellowship, University of British Columbia, in the academic years 1993-94 and 1994-95.
  • Tu Changwang Youth Meteorological Science and Technology Award (1990), the first class (only one recipient), Chinese Meteorological Society, China, for “Simulation of tillering and earring dynamics of winter wheat based on the cybernetic theory.”

Key publications

As of February 2024, Dr. Chen has 96 publications: 77 journal articles, four book chapters, and seven peer-reviewed conference papers in English. Full details of Dr. Chen’s publications in English can be found at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Wenjun-Chen-7/research. In addition, Dr. Chen has also published eight papers in Chinese (contact Dr. Chen for access).   

Research facility

580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0E8
Canada

Affiliations

Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation, Strategic Policy and Innovation Sector, NRCan

Language

English