C. Ralph Wright


10936 16 Ave. NW
Edmonton, AB, T6J 5G%
Phone: (780) 988-5239
email: ralph.wright@gov.ab.ca


EDUCATION

  • 1993 - Master of Science - University of Manitoba, Soil Science Department
  • Major: Soil Physics
  • Thesis Title: Modelling Soil Erosion Due to Natural Rainfall in Manitoba
  • 1989 - Bachelor of Science in Agriculture - University of Manitoba
  • Major: Soil Science
  • 1984 - Diploma in Environmental Science - Lethbridge Community College
  • Major: Watershed Management

EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE

2004 to Present
Agrologist II - Soil Moisture Specialist
Alberta Agriculture, Conservation and Development Branch
  • Manage 7 permanent staff members and several contractors.
  • Managed Alberta Agriculture and Rural Developments Near Real Time (NRT) network of 117 weather stations that meet WMO standards for station/sensor sighting and Meteorically Service of Canada’s (MSC) standards for instrumentation.
  • Established of 69 new NRT weather stations across the province over two years
  • Lead scientists in the development of soil moisture models for Pasture and Wheat crops grown in Alberta.
  • Lead the development of a state of the art weather data quality control and quality assurance (QA/QC) application that screens hourly NRT weather data and flags suspect values and fills missing or invalid values, providing near continuous time series. This application ultimately engages a human operator and provides a tool set for making the final decisions regarding data quality and data filling.
  • Responsible for the collection and archival of historical weather records from MSC.
  • Lead in the development of a web site (www.agric.gov.ab.ca\acis) that serves weather data. This includes an archive of regularly updated static maps, allows users to create custom maps in NRT, view historical data as well as view (graph) and allows download of NRT weather data.
  • Lead the development of software that manages station meta data.
  • Provide and improve on the interpolation of weather data on a township grid for Alberta
  • Chair of Alberta Environments Hydrometric and Meteorological Science Technical committee.

2002 to 2004
Agrologist II - Drought Modeler
Alberta Agriculture, Conservation and Development Branch
  • Member of the Alberta Drought Risk Management Committee.
  • Provided input into the development of the Drought Information Management System (ADIMS)
  • Supervised members of the soil moisture unit in developing data handling protocols and soil moisture sampling programs and climate station maintenance activities.
  • Maintained and enhanced the SAS Drought model.
  • Wrote computer programs in Visual Basic and SAS for manipulating analysing and interpreting input and output data associated with the Drought Model
  • Developed over winter snow accumulation and snowmelt routines.
  • Maintained large databases.
  • Developed mapping products and performed GIS analyses using ArcView.
  • Analysed and interpreted soil moisture and climate data for the purposes of drought monitoring and reporting

1999 to 2002
Agrologist III - Soil Scientist
Alberta Agriculture, Conservation and Development Branch
  • Lead scientist for the rainfall simulation component of the Phosphorous Mobility Study.
  • Developed field and rainfall simulation experiments designed to study nutrient transport in runoff.
  • Collaborated internationally with American researches in developing rainfall simulators and experimental protocols as part of the US National Phosphorous Research Project.
  • Developed the Edge of Field Phosphorus Export Model (EFPEM). This is an empirical model that couples with existing hydrological models for use in estimating edge of field P export.
  • Supervised technologists and support staff and developed work methods and procedures.
  • Sat as a key member on the P-limits technical committee, which consisted of a diverse group of scientists collaborating in an effort to set science based phosphorous limits for agricultural land.
  • Presented research findings at local, international conferences.
  • Wrote a variety of custom software applications permitting interactive data analysis, data manipulation, extraction and visualisation.

1998 to Present
Consultant (Programmer/Analyst)
Wright Consulting
  • Improved the BC water quality index methodology resulting in the Alberta Water Quality Index.
  • Developed the software application needed to compute index values.
  • The Alberta Water Quality Index was adopted in its entirety by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) as the national Canadian Water Quality Index (CWQI).
  • Managed a large database and wrote visual basic programs to aid in the exploration and development of the Water Quality Index equations.

1994 to 1998
Soil Scientist
Alberta Agriculture, Conservation and Development Branch
  • Designed and managed a three year research project that had two primary objectives: (a) characterize and measure the erodibility of major agricultural soil types throughout the province, and (b) evaluate the USDA Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) soil erodibility prediction equations for use in Alberta.
  • Developed equations for estimating WEPP soil erodibility parameters for Alberta soils.
  • Developed data base queries designed to aid in site selection.
  • Designed and built research equipment.
  • Supervised technologists and support staff and developed work methods and procedures.

1994
Consultant (Soil Scientist)
Wright Consulting
  • Stratified the susceptibility of the Peace River soils to erosion through analysis of disaster assistance data files, provincial databases and existing literature.
  • Interfaced provincial Disaster Assistance files with the SIDMAP soils database.
  • Structured queries and identified thematic layers to be used in a spatial analysis that was designed to identify high erosion risk soils.
  • Reviewed and compiled data from existing provincial soil erosion research studies.

COMPUTER EXPERIENCE
  • Fluent programming skills using Visual Basic and SAS. Ability to read, interpret, and modify FORTRAN source code.
  • Used a wide variety of software applications for; multiple linear and non linear regression analysis and other statistical analysis, graphing, mapping, data base management, spread sheets, word processing, and designing presentations.
  • High level of proficiency in the following: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Corel Draw, SAS, SYSTAT, and ArcGIS

PUBLICATIONS
Amrani, M., C. R. Wright, M. Zhang, D. J. Heaney, A. T. Jedrych, and D. S. Vanderwel. 2000. Influence of source factors on phosphorus losses in runoff. In Proceedings Soil Phosphorus Workshop, Lethbridge, Alberta. April 10-11, 2000.

Cash, K.J., K.A. Saffran, C.R. Wright. 2001. Application of the Canadian Water Quality Index (CWQI) to PPWB monitoring program. National Water Research Institute Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. PPWB report No. 157

Grant, R.F., Amrani, M., Heaney, D.J., Wright, R. and Zhang, M. (In press) Mathematical Modeling of Phosphorus Losses from Land Application of Hog and Cattle Manure.

Jedrych, T.A., R. Wright, D. Vanderwel, D. Heaney, D., Zhang, M., and Amrani, M 2001. Investigating phosphorus (P) export from field scale catchments. Annual Alberta Soil Science Workshop. Feb 27 - 29. Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Li, X., J. Slaski, Y. Feng, T. Goddard, B. Olson, D. J. Heaney, M. Amrani, M. Zhang, D.S. Vanderwel, S. Cooke, R. Wright, A. Howard, C. Chang, J. Whalen, X. Hao and N. Sawatsky. 2000 Phosphorus Mobility in Soil Landscapes: A Site-specific Approach.. In Proceedings Manure Management Conference Calgary, Alberta, June. 26-28, 2000.

Martin, T.C. and C. R. Wright. 2001 Phosphorus, AGRASID, WEPP and PERL: Water Erosion Modelling as a Part of the Soil Phosphorus Limits Puzzle. Annual Alberta Soil Science Workshop. Feb 27 - 29. Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Olson, B.M. T,Martin, R. Wright, A.-M. Anderson, A.E. Howard and A. Svederus. 2001. Soil phosphorus limits for agricultural land in Alberta. Final report for the Canada Adaptation and Rural Development (CARD) Fund. Sol Phosphorus Limits project, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. 52 pp.

Zhang, Z. M. Zhang, R. Wright, E.D. Solberg, D. Heaney, R. Andreiuk, B. Olson. 2000. The relationship of manure application and soil water holding properties. Alberta Soil Science Workshop, Feb.22-24, 2000 Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Wright C.R., T.C. Martin, D.S. Vanderwel, M. Amrani, A.T. Jedrych, and A.M. Anderson. in prep. Developing Phosphorus Limits for Agricultural Lands in Alberta.

Wright C.R., M. Amrani, A.T. Jedrych, A. Atia. D. Heaney, and D.S. Vanderwel. in prep. Phosphorus Loading of Soil Through Manure Application and Subsequent Transport with Runoff: The P-Mobility Study

Wright, C.R. and D.S. Vanderwel. in prep. The development of soil erodibility prediction equations for determining WEPP soil erodibility parameters Ki, Kr and c in Alberta.

Wright, R., M. Amrani, A.T. Jedrych, D. J. Heaney, M. Zhang, D. S. Vanderwel. 2000. Predicting Phosphorus Export from Manured Agricultural Lands. In Proceedings Manure Management Conference Calgary, Alberta, June. 26-28, 2000.

Wright, C.R., K.A. Saffron and A.M. Anderson. 1999. A water quality index for agricultural streams in Alberta: The Alberta Agricultural Water Quality Index (AAWQI). Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Program. Resource Monitoring Water Quality Monitoring Component. August 1999.

Wright C.R. and D.S. Vanderwel. 1997. Measuring WEPP rill erodibility parameters (Kr and c) in Alberta. 34th Annual Alberta Soil Science Workshop Proceedings, Calgary, Alberta, pp. 35 39.

Wright, C.R. and D.S. Vanderwel. 1997. Soil erodibility studies. Pages 35-36 in: Irrigation and Resource Management Division Applied Research Report, 1996-1997. Irrigation and Resource Management Division, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

Wright C.R. and D.S. Vanderwel. 1996. Erosion of agricultural land in the Peace River region of Alberta. 33rd Annual Alberta Soil Science Workshop Proceedings, Grand Prairie Alberta.

Wright, C.R. and D.S. Vanderwel. 1996. Soil erodibility studies. Pages 43-44 in: Irrigation and Resource Management Division Applied Research Report, 1995-1996 Irrigation and Resource Management Division, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

Wright, C.R. and D.S. Vanderwel. 1995. Summary of in-field water erosion measurements on agricultural land in Alberta. Phase 2, Appendix B3, Selection of Soil Landscape Units and Study Design Considerations for the Surface Water Quality Monitoring Program. Canada-Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Agreement.

Wright, C.R. and D.S. Vanderwel. 1995. Erosion of agricultural land in the Peace River region of Alberta. Phase 2, Appendix B2, Selection of Soil Landscape Units and Study Design Considerations for the Surface Water Quality Monitoring Program. Canada-Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Agreement.

Wright, C R. and D.S. Vanderwel. 1995. A method for determining WEPP rill erodibility parameters for use in water erosion modeling. Pages 147-156 in: Irrigation and Resource Management Division Applied Research Report, 1994-1995. Irrigation and Resource Management Division, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

References are available upon request

Storage

Goals for the Institute

Developing Countries:
To develop sustainable agricultural risk management programs for developing countries that result in economic stability and new sources of “risk capital” for their agriculture sectors.

Developed Countries:
To provide a training, succession planning, and “analytical research capability” environment for developed country governments and private companies engaged or expanding their work in agricultural risk management.




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