US-Canadian Border Surveillance

Posted by admin on May 11th, 2008

>From Indo-Canadian Voice:


Researchers who took to the skies to capture data on simulated mass gravesites below will use similar research methods to track clandestine trails between the Canadian and U.S. border. Margaret Kalacska, a research fellow in Simon Fraser University’s School of Criminology, will use a Canadian International Council (CIC) fellowship – one of eight recently awarded nationally – to examine border security, using remote sensing and advanced mapping techniques to track unmanned portions of the border – and locate potentially vulnerable routes for illegal border crossings.

Kalacska says enhancing the knowledge base of law enforcement and border services of the most vulnerable locations means “a better allocation of resources could be achieved in securing and monitoring the border against
trafficking and illegal crossings.”

The study will be beneficial to the Canadian Border Security Agency’s Strategic Outcome for the Intelligence and Enforcement Initiative, she notes.

Kalacska was earlier involved in two NASA / Costa Rican Centre for High Technology experimental imagery collection projects. Data from one of the projects was used for searching a simulated mass gravesite in Costa Rica.

The study involved burying cattle carcasses (free-range and antibiotic-free) and collecting data in the field over a 16-month period, and aerially one month following burial.

Kalacska and SFU criminologist Lynne Bell assessed the effectiveness of airborne technology in relation to such factors as vegetation growth. A paper on their study has been submitted to the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

Kalacska has spent the past two years at SFU as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) postdoctoral fellow. She’ll join McGill University as an assistant professor in the fall but will maintain her research affiliation with SFU.

Kalacska is also the co-editor of Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Tropical and Sub-Tropical Forests, published in February by the Taylor and Francis Group. The book explores remote sensing technology’s potential to assess ecosystems in tropical regions.

The newly established CIC Fellowship program seeks to attract eminent established researchers as well as Canada’s most promising young minds and provide them with the opportunity to help guide Canada on pressing foreign policy problems.

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