Charles Nils Burnett, PhD

612 Lampson Street
Esquimalt BC V9A 6A1


Postdoc (Conservation geomatics), Universitat Salzburg, Austria (2003)
PhD (Conservation geomatics), University of Turku, Finland (2002)
MSc (GIS and Remote sensing), University of Victoria, Canada (1999)
BSc (Physical geography), University of Alberta, Canada (1993)

Courses Completed: Marxan for Managers, SELES Modelling for Cumulative Impacts Analysis, Advanced Spatial Statistics for Ecologists, Lidar Analysis for Forest Analysis

Work Experience

08.2017 to Current     Consultant     Charles Burnett & Associates

     Roles: Project Manager, Client Liaison, Web & Mobile App Developer, GIS Developer, Cartographer


  • Looking for new challenges
  • Cedar Box Apps v 8.2 –
    • Extending Cedar Apps for BC/AB First Nations
    • Installations and training services for heritage, referrals and ecosystems projects


10.2016 to 07.2017     Consultant     Cedar Box Ideas General Partnership

     Roles: Project Manager, Client Liaison, Web & Mobile App Developer


  • Cedar Box Apps v 8.1 –
    • A consultation tracking and spatial analysis tool for BC First Nations
    • Used by a dozen Coastal and Interior BC First Nations
    • Code: using GeoDjango, PostGIS, NodeJS, Materialize
  • First Peoples’ Arts Map –
    • An interactive map-based knowledge-mobilization and community-building tool
    • Used by hundreds of artists and arts managers across Canada
    • Code: Drupal CMS, Leaflet, PostGIS


06.2009 to Current     University of Victoria – Adjunct Professor & Sessional Instructor

     I am a published researcher and experienced instructor. Please see for more information on teaching and projects, and for a list of academic publications.

Completed Academic Research Projects:

  • MITACS Research Cluster Project: First Nations Stewardship Tools
  • Spatial Modelling Project: Mountain Pine Beetle Spatial Modelling using SELES


06.2009 to 09.2016     GeoMemes Research Inc (Software Developers & Consultants) – Owner & Projects Lead,

Roles: Project Manager, Web & Mobile App Developer, Cartographer, Researcher, GIS Analyst

Projects Completed:

  • Knowledge Mobilization App: Integrated Range Information System –
  • Community of Practice Project: portal for BC Provincial Health Services Agency
  • Permitting Web App Project: Government of Manitoba Crop Residue Safe Burning Permit System
  • Decisions Support App Project: Peace Forage Seeding Tools
  • Cartography and Climate Impacts Writing: Maps and statistics for Climate Adaptation Report for Agricultural Producers
  • Knowledge Mobilization App: New Relationship Trust Grants Map
  • Knowledge Mobilization App: First Peoples’ Culture Council Interactive Language Map
  • Language Survey Tool to Support Granting: First Peoples’ Culture Council
  • Android App Project: First Peoples’ Culture Council BC Places Audio Map App (Android)
  • GIS Project: First Nations Fisheries Council Regions Drafting
  • Cartography Project: Squamish Seniors Community Poster Map
  • Cartography Project: Highlands Community Tourism Wall Map
  • Hardware Integration Build: UVIC CORAL Laboratory Touch Tables and Video Wall
  • Knowledge Mobilization Project: UBCIC Specific Claims Online Course


06.2005 to 06.2009     MapsWest (GIS Consultant) – Owner (sole proprietorship)

Roles: Project Manager, Researcher, TUS Interviewer, GIS Analyst, Cartographer

Projects Completed:

  • Marine Conservation Tools Analysis Report: PNCIMA/MCMCA process and tools review
  • Land & Marine Use Plan Project: Tsawataineuk Nation Land & Marine Use Vision
  • Knowledge Mobilization Project: City of Victoria Community Asset Map
  • GIS Project: Cumulative Retention and Openings Analysis for the Forest Practices Board
  • Policy Research Project: Lands legislation jurisdiction overlap analysis


06.2002 to 12.2003     University of Salzburg (Researcher)

Roles: Lead Researcher, Project Manager

Projects Completed:

  • Analysis of automated image analysis for wetlands change detection


09.1999 to 06.2002     University of Turku (Researcher)

Roles: Project Researcher

Projects Completed:

  • Analysis of automated image analysis for forest change detection at regional versus stand levels


01.1996 to 06.1998     Natural Resources Canada (Remote Sensing Analyst)

Roles: Forest remote sensing analyst and junior researcher

Projects Completed:

  • Analysis of data quality from airborne CASI for tree crown identification analysis in mountainous terrain

Example Project Leadership Experience

Project 1. Cedar Box Stewardship Apps
Description: Used by dozens of managers and technicians up and down the BC coast, “Cedar” is a set of web-based, secure, map-driven Indigenous data management tools for First Nations’ Stewardship offices. It is used by 12 coastal First Nations from Port Hardy, throughout the Great Bear Rainforest, and up the Skeena River to Terrace. Cedar allows for integrated data management of cultural data and resource permit applications. Sophisticated map analysis tools allow users to generate up‐to‐date proximity reports on what cultural features and ecosystem assets are proximal to a proposed permit (land/water use). Cedar Apps can ingest all sorts of geographic information files formats, from Google KML to ESRI Shapefile, and stores this data in a powerful spatially-enabled relational database, Postgres/PostGIS.
My roles: I led a team of 5-13 through an eight year process culminating in version 8.1 of the Cedar Apps. I led all stakeholder engagement including with First Nations managers and technicians, and with BC Government partners, like the GeoMark team. I led on the business requirements mapping, overall design, UX guide drafting, Agile coding phases, testing methodology, client demos and review cycles, and put in place and monitored support systems. Although we began with PHP/Drupal/MySQL/Ubuntu/Github as our stack, we switched to a GeoDjango coding framework with Python code stored on BitBucket; PostgreSQL PostGIS tables; Leaflet JS maps; Solr/Haystack search; and Tika for extracting text to add to the Solr index. Asana kanban is used for task management/sprints. I produced a 48 page Manual using InDesign and several training assets (checklists, presentations, videos). It is important to note that each instance (Nation) of the App requires significant amounts of data management or ETL: extract, transform, load, as each Nation has legacy data including geo-data that we need to bring into a new schema. I have driven the design and coding for some of the most innovative aspects of Cedar, including: 1-click customized spatial reports, email harvesting per project (for email text and attached files), Threaded Discussion system, and XML machine-to-machine project package exchange between proponents/government and Nations.

Project 2. IRISBC
Description: The Integrated Range Information System is a knowledge mobilization tool for BC Provincial Range Branch staff to look up information on Range science, policy and procedures. In this 18 month project guided by domain expert Allen Dobb, CBI designed and developed a Portal for exploring and maintaining a rich range management knowledge base for provincial government staff. The resulting Portal, now in a broad testing phase, has powerful browse and search capabilities covering the following topics: Range science and technology, Range administration, Range legislation, Range policy and range procedures. It has a dedicated Learning section with videos, but the Portal itself is meant to be an open learning tool. The Portal includes some nifty features like 2-way page references to show users what content mentions a particular policy or procedure, a rich media directory, and, of course, custom maps.
My roles: Systems architecture, UX design, client relations and co‐writing a 50‐page Manual and designing an internal promotional poster.
Key functionality: Complex data in disparate locations centralized and made accessible with a clean user interface and powerful search.
Highlights: Custom hierarchical menus; Quick links, Photo gallery; Notices with notifications; Page maps; Hierarchical Site Map, Map Atlas, rich media system; Learning modules with Video
Technical details: Drupal CMS, PostGIS database, custom modules; Manual and Poster produced using Adobe InDesign

Project 3. First Peoples’ Arts Map
Description: An online map‐enabled knowledge mobilization tool for the First Peoples’ Culture Council. The First Peoples’ Arts Map shows public art and other related sites of interest. This map is open to contributions from Aboriginal artists and arts professionals, as well as those who offer resources for those artists and organizations. The map is a living entity that grows as people contribute to it by entering themselves, organizations, events, sites of interest, or resources that support our arts. Coded in PHP/Drupal, database is MarianDB, maps built using Leaflet JS.
My roles: Project manager, Drupal coder, UX designer, tester, client point, support manager.

Project 4. Manitoba Burn Permit App
Description: Working for Peak Hydromet and the Government of Manitoba, we coded a simple to use map‐enabled crop residue permitting system. The application has authentication (Google Captcha spam control) and email notifications for farmers and government delegates. The internal-to-government part of the system is the review tools, which allow Manitoba Government representatives to review and issue or reject permit applications. The App has built‐in links to weather forecasting maps for the area of the permit. The final part of the system allows for printing of all outstanding permits, so that partners (law enforcement) can obtain an up-to-date copy of where burning is authorized.
My roles: ArcGIS data preparation, GeoDjango coding sprint management, PostgreSQL ETL, client outreach and support.

Project 5. Healthspaces Community of Practice Portal
Description: Working for the Provincial Health Care Authority, the GeoMemes team created a custom themed Drupal CMS multi-site for health practitioners around BC. The goal was to remove barriers to sharing of evidence-based best practice between Health staff working in all of BC’s health authority silos, and to include researchers and practitioners outside of government systems.
My roles: Client and stakeholder communications, design and planning, business process analysis, templating and client review reporting, code sprint planning and supervision, Privacy Impact Statement analysis and reporting, launch planning and implementation, 3 years of improvements and support.

Project 6. Peace Forage Tool Portal
Description: Online Seed calculator and seed species encyclopedia
My roles: Client and stakeholder communications, design and planning, business process analysis, templating and client review reporting, code sprint planning and supervision, launch planning and implementation, 4 years of improvements (including a seed suppliers database) and support.

Example Reports and Publications
Please see full listing at

Riel, W.G., Burnett, C., Fall, A. (2011). Impacts of climate change on mountain pine beetle habitat connectivity in western Canada. 2011. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper 2010-04. 26 p.

Canessa, R, Loos, S. & C. Burnett (2008). BC Marine Conservation Analysis, Final Project Report prepared for Skeena First Nations, Central Coast First Nations, Haida Fisheries Program, and Turning Point Initiative, 60p.

Burnett, C. & P. Hayes (2008). Cumulative Retention and Functional Openings Analysis, Final Project Report prepared for Forest Practices Board, Government of British Columbia, 22p.

Burnett, C. & P. Hayes (2008). Strategic Plan: Provincial Projection of the Current Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak – Integration of Year of Death Mapping, Final Project Report prepared for Research Branch, British Columbia Forest Service

Langanke, T., Burnett, C. and S. Lang (2007). Assessing the mire conservation status of a raised bog site in Salzburg using object-based monitoring and structural analysis, In. Sepp, K. and O. Bastian (Eds.), Special Issue on Studying Landscape Change: Indicators, Assessment and Application, Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 79, Issue 2, Pages 160-169.

Burnett, C. & L. Taves (2006). Implications on land and resource use of overlapping land use plans, 33p. Report + wiki website + GIS analysis + 36 maps[R8] Burnett, C. & J. Pratt (2006) Land and Marine Use Vision Project Report, including a draft land-use plan (47p), a public information pamphlet (12p), GIS analysis and maps

Leckie, D.G., Gougeon, F.A, Tinis, S., Nelson, T., Burnett, C.N., and Paradine, D. (2005). Automated tree recognition in old growth conifer stands with high resolution digital imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 94: 311-326.

Tsawataineuk First Nation Traditional Use Study Report (2005). Including TUS interviews, policy drafting and GIS analysis to produce 30+ maps including coarse filter ecosystem maps, old cedar maps.

Blaschke, T., Burnett, C., & A. Pekkarinen (2004) New contextual approaches using image segmentation for object-based classification. In: De Meer, F. and de Jong, S. (eds.): Remote Sensing Image Analysis: Including the Spatial Domain, Kluver Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. ISBN 1402025599

Burnett, C., A. Fall, E. Tomppo, and R. Kalliola (2003). Monitoring current status of and trends in boreal forest land use in Russian Karelia. Ecology & Society 7(2): 8.

Burnett, C. & T. Blaschke (2003). A multi-scale segmentation / object relationship modelling methodology for landscape analysis. Ecological Modelling Vol 168(3), pp. 233-249.