World Oceans Day

We hope you took a moment to celebrate World Oceans Day! We love living on the coast and studying the science that happens along the coastal margin. Some of our research focuses on the flux of terrestrial carbon into the sea. From the sky, it’s easy to see the organic carbon-rich river water entering the estuary environment around Hakai. The landscape of Calvert Island is dominated by bogs, which are rich in organic carbon and contribute huge amounts of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to the surface waters. That DOC is transported via surface runoff, in rivers and streams, out to the ocean. The dark colour is characteristic of tannins and other coloured organic compounds.  The breakdown of terrestrial carbon in the marine environment is a topic of oceanographic research and is important for food webs, global carbon cycling and ocean acidification.

Upcoming Field Season

The Coastal Hydrology & Climate Change Research Lab is gearing up for another great field season. We’re planning installations of hydrometric stations and a new high elevation weather station. Keep up with our travels and progress; follow us on Instagram (@viuhydromet) and visit our website (

VIU Science and Technology Lecture Series 2017

If you missed Dr.Bill Floyd’s presentation, “Rain, Snow and Ice: The Hydrology of Coastal Watersheds in SE Alaska and British Columbia,” here is a brief re-cap and summary. This presentation provided an overview of the regional hydrology for coastal BC and SE Alaska, highlighting the importance of snow and ice in our aquatic and marine ecosystems, and some current initiatives to improve our understanding of these systems. The Coast of BC and SE Alaska is one of the most hydrologically diverse regions on Earth. The wide range in latitude, coupled with mountain ranges that extend up to 4000m above sea level, results in hydrological systems that are influenced by snow, rain and ice, sometimes at the exact same time. The region is also susceptible to very intense storms known as Atmospheric Rivers, which can cause extensive flooding and landslides over very specific geographic areas. These characteristics make the region a very exciting place to work, live and play, with the majority of people living in the southern portion. It also makes it a region that is highly susceptible to climate change, especially the areas where we like to settle.