Investigating Ecosystem Change in British Columbia’s Coastal Habitats

Nearshore marine ecosystems are undergoing change, with ecological, economical and cultural ramifications. Yet, we lack empirical understanding and observation of the nature of this change, over long periods of time and across continental coastlines. Additionally, the drivers of change in coastal systems are numerous: climatic forcing, predator recovery, and development of foreshore areas, amongst others. As such, deciphering the agents of change remains challenging.

Integrated Far- and Near-Field Human Exposure Modelling for Organic Substances

While we enjoy the modern convenience brought by a multitude of man-made organic chemicals, such as surfactants and flame retardants, the exposure to these compounds, some of which are bio-accumulative, persistent and even toxic, may endanger our health. Humans are exposed to chemicals in consumer products during both product use in the indoor environment (near-field exposure), and consumption of contaminated animal- and vegetable-based foods (far-field exposure).

High resolution measurement of earthquake impacts on rock slope stability and damage using pre- and post-earthquake remote sensing

Assessment of the effects of earthquakes on rock slopes requires detailed measurements both before and after the shaking. However, at present, there is a lack of high resolution data that enables this, partly as it is unusual to have good data from prior to earthquakes.

Quantifying the value added by the first large ensemble of high-resolution climate-change simulations over Québec

Regional Climate Models (RCMs) allow generating climate-change projections into the future over a limited region of the globe at high spatial resolution. The production of large ensembles of simulations from a same RCM is an emerging field of research allowing to explore in detail the interaction between climate change, natural climate variability and extreme events, at the local scale where climate impacts occur.

Sustainability Planning and Performance Assessment in the District of North Vancouver

The Centre for Sustainable Development at Simon Fraser University is a leader in sustainable development theory and practice. The Centre conducts sustainable development research in BC and worldwide; carries out sustainable development projects in partnership with communities and agencies, and facilitates effeicient use of university resources in responding to requests for assistance on sustainable development issues. The North Shore Community Foundation envisions a healthy and vital community with enhanced quality of life for all.

Evaluating salmon carcass swabbing as a non-invasive sampling method in comparison with hair to monitor bear foraging ecology and population health in coastal British Columbia

Grizzly bears are an iconic species and the focus of a growing eco-tourism industry in First Nations communities in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Monitoring the effects of eco-tourism and other human activities on bear population health is essential to establish practices that minimally influence bears. This project aims to investigate a novel, rapid approach for monitoring bears using trace amounts of DNA collected from carcasses of salmon chewed on by bears in comparison with the more traditional approach for monitoring bears using hair samples.

Passerine migration and stopover across an urban gradient

To develop ‘green’ cities and to assess environmental impacts in cities, it is essential to understand the spatial distribution of sensitive species, such as migrating birds. Migration is a costly and dangerous time for songbirds, with up to 80% mortality during their first migration. As migratory birds are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Act, there is a need to better understand how we can best protect migratory birds and their critical habitats and stopover sites.

An Investigation on the Detection of Oil-based Pollutant Spills in Ice-infested Arctic Waters Utilizing Active Microwave Remote Sensing

Climate change continues to shrink the sea ice in the Arctic. Consequently, there is an ever-increasing trend of industrial and shipping activities in the Canadian Arctic. This results into a high risk of accidental or deliberate release of oil-related pollutants in the Arctic waters. Satellite remote sensing is a key component in spill detection as an essential step towards any remediation and cleanup effort. Thus, this project proposes to develop a detection algorithm based on microwave satellite data that can be incorporated into a high-level oil spill alarm system.

Using stable isotope analysis to investigate a food web connection between coal waste contamination and a forest community

A coal mine operating on the Snuneymuxw First Nation reserve lands between 1913 and 1939 has left mine waste that has contaminated the soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water with metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Human health and ecological assessments are being conducted in the area to determine how best to deal with the contamination in the area.

Salmon Early Marine Survival Research Program

Salmon are inarguably one of the most culturally, ecologically, and economically important fish in British Columbia, however, their stocks have been declining since the 1990’s. The Cohen Commission of Enquiry expert panel emphasized that juvenile mortality during the first months at sea was the most likely cause of fishery declines. The two leading agents of mortality are hypothesised to be food availability for growth and pathogen / parasite infection. The Hakai Institute Juvenile Salmon Program is explicitly addressing these two hypotheses.

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