Geography, Paul M. Treitz

Dr. Paul Treitz has been appointed as Head of the Department of Geography for a five-year term commencing July 1, 2010.

Dr. Treitz’s undergraduate training in Biology, Geography and Education was obtained at Brock University (B.Sc. (Hons) – 1983, B.Ed. – 1986). His graduate degrees in Geography are from the University of Waterloo (M.A. – 1986, PhD – 1997).

From 1989-1995, Dr. Treitz was a research scientist in the Earth Observations Laboratory at the University of Waterloo. In 1995 he accepted an academic appointment in the Department of Geography and Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. He moved to Kingston in 1999 to accept a faculty position in the Department of Geography at Queen’s University.

Dr. Treitz’s research focus is on the application of remote sensing data for estimating biophysical variables (e.g., percent cover, aboveground biomass, leaf area index (LAI), fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR)) of arctic and boreal ecosystems. These biophysical variables are linked to many ecosystem processes. For example, biomass information plays a significant role in assessing carbon stocks; is an important element in global change and productivity models; and is a measure of vegetation community structure which influences biodiversity. Current research projects include the examination of tolerant hardwood and boreal forests using light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data to characterize forest stand structure and estimate biophysical variables. In addition, he and his team are examining satellite remote sensing data and spectral derivatives to classify arctic vegetation communities and estimate biophysical/ecosystem variables with the purpose of linking these to carbon dioxide exchange at study sites on Boothia Peninsula and Melville Island, Nunavut. Further, they are examining the utility of RADARSAT synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data to model soil moisture across Arctic watersheds. Central to these studies, and his research, is the influence of spatial resolution/scale on the estimation of these ecosystem/biophysical variables.

Dr. Treitz’s research has been funded by NSERC (Discovery and Strategic Grants), International Polar Year (IPY), National Centres of Excellence (ArcticNet, GEOIDE), Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE for Energy and OCE for Earth and Environmental Technologies), Premier’s Research Excellence Award (PREA), etc. He has supervised seven PhD and twelve MSc students. While at Queen’s, he has served the Department as Graduate Chair (2002-2006), Acting Head (2007-2008), and Associate Head (2008-2009).

In making this announcement, Principal Woolf and Dean MacLean wish to thank Dr. Anne Godlewska for her committed leadership and dedicated service to Queen’s as Head of the Department of Geography since July 2004.