News + Events

Coastal Margins scientists to lead Hakai Cryosphere Node at UNBC

CRMRN scientists Bill Floyd and Brian Menounos will lead a joint $2.4-million research project between the University of Northern British Columbia and Vancouver Island University. Supported by the Hakai Institute, the project will focus on understanding the role of seasonal snow cover and glaciers in the hydrology of key watersheds along B.C.’s Central and Southern Coast.

Read the full story at Hakai or the Prince George Citizen.

Earlier this month, Floyd and his team installed two new weather stations in the Homathko and Kliniklini watersheds, which drain the biggest icefields in the province. Snow depth, weather and other data collected at these stations will be useful in improving climate models, flood and avalanche forecasting, and more. Check out all twelve locations in the High Elevation Weather Station Network and view real-time weather data on the Coastal Hydrology and Climate Change Research Lab website.

A weather station and other sensors are installed above the Klinaklini Glacier in October 2018. Photo by Bill Floyd

Hakai Coastal Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow Position

Linking the land and sea on the British Columbia coast: How dynamic nutrient fluxes from small rainforest watersheds shape cross-system connections.

Applications are invited for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Hakai Coastal Initiative at the University of British Columbia.

Coastal temperate rainforests of the world are linked to coastal oceans through the riverine flux of freshwater and terrestrial materials. The coastal temperate rainforest of North America is a global hotspot for carbon storage on land and carbon transport from land to sea, suggesting a potential hotspot for marine processing of terrestrial materials. This transport is variable at scales ranging from individual storm events, to seasons, to inter-annual climate anomalies, suggesting a land-ocean connection that may turn ‘on and off’ depending on climatic conditions. Since 2013, the Hakai Institute has been collecting year-round measurements of stream chemistry and discharge to the ocean in a Critical Zone Observatory consisting of seven small watersheds in the BC coastal rainforest. The dataset spans over 5 years and 3 climate anomalies (including the extreme El Nino year of 2015-2016).

Hakai seeks a post-doctoral fellow to analyze the stoichiometric relationships of freshwater nutrient exports as well as the dynamic coupling of nutrient export with weather and climate. The project aims to characterize the magnitude and dynamics of key fluxes in comparison to other regions of the world, through the lens of the receiving marine ecosystems. A complete biogeochemistry and hydrology dataset is available as well as rich ancillary data from the Observatory (e.g., weather stations, detailed soil mapping). The project is supported by Hakai Institute staff with expertise in data collection, data management, and data publishing. Collaborating scientists have expertise in biogeochemistry, hydrology, oceanography, microbial ecology, and landscape ecology.

Necessary qualifications:

  • A PhD in biogeochemistry, ecohydrology, or aquatic ecosystem ecology
  • Knowledge of catchment science concepts and methods
  • Proficient with the use of R or other relevant statistical packages for analysis of time series and other data
  • Proven publication record
  • Excellent collaboration and team communication skills
  • Commitment to data archiving and sharing in the Observatory context

Beneficial qualifications:

  • Prior knowledge of coastal ocean biogeochemistry and food web processes
  • Process modelling experience, including the simulation of constituent flux
  • Use of optical techniques for characterization of dissolved organic matter


The candidate will be based at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. The candidate will be under the supervision of Dr. Brian Hunt and will work closely with Dr. Suzanne Tank of the University of Alberta, Dr. Ken Lertzman of Simon Fraser University, and Ian Giesbrecht of the Hakai Institute.Periodic field trips to Hakai Institute field stations will be required (

Application closure date: September 15, 2018
Start date: As soon as possible
Position Length: Two years
Salary: CA$65,000 / year including benefits.


Applicants should submit:

  • A CV, including the e-mail and phone number for three references;
  • A short cover letter explaining the applicant’s motivation for working on the project and how previous experience qualifies them for this position;
  • Reprints of 3 published papers, if available

Submit applications to:
Dr. Brian Hunt (; Ian Giesbrecht (; and Dr. Ken Lertzman (

Equity and diversity are essential for academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nations, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

Scientist Exchange Program now accepting applications

The Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network (CRMRN) is currently accepting applications for the Scientist Exchange Program (SEP). The goals of this exchange program are to facilitate new collaborations between scientists; build new skills in field, laboratory, or statistical techniques; and assist with production of a deliverable product of the collaboration (e.g., manuscripts, data sets, research proposals). Continue reading “Scientist Exchange Program now accepting applications”

Ad hoc instrumentation methods in ecological studies produce highly biased temperature measurements

In any region-spanning collaborative effort, using (as-much-as-possible) unbiased methods is of course desirable.

Check out the recent paper by Terando et al. It’s open access, available here:

They experimentally compared 11 different sensor brand and shield combinations to weather station data, and found that quite a few methods had a positive bias. It’s not something we haven’t known is a danger, but this is a nice way to standardize methods with some experimental backing behind it.

Workshop 2: Marine-terrestrial Interactions in the Coastal Temperate Rainforest Domain

Applications are now closed.

During this second workshop we will bring together a select group of oceanographers, biogeochemists, biologists, modellers and others interested in processes occurring at the land-sea interface in temperate regions. Although the workshop will focus heavily on the Pacific Coast, our findings are expected to have applications to temperate coastal rainforest domains globally. Continue reading “Workshop 2: Marine-terrestrial Interactions in the Coastal Temperate Rainforest Domain”

Longest running successional plot network in the world: All photos

The longest running ecological plot network in the world looking at succession (1916-present) is in Glacier Bay, and now all available photographs have been compiled.  They show a plant community evolving, from mostly bare rock to a variety of current states – spruce, alder, and willow, very different endpoints and something apparently unique to this portion of the bay.  For more information, higher resolution, and some data, see


New map of yellow-cedar decline published

A new map of both the range and decline of yellow-cedar has been published in Global Change Biology with help from researchers in Alaska, BC, and Washington.  The high resolution range map stretches from northern California to southcentral Alaska, from sea level in the north to treeline in the south.  The decline, now quantified at ~400,000 ha (about 7-8% of the total range area), covers southeast Alaska and central coastal BC, down to about 50 degrees north.  It is primarily located in areas where the mean winter temperature is between -2 and +2 degrees C, as anticipated.  The future climate of the region is expected to warm to that threshold by 2070 in most locations.  However, there are a few places above that threshold where cedar is apparently healthy, probably due to a lack of cold winters to trigger the decline when there is no snow on the ground like the outside of Vancouver Island.  How representative these sites are of the population at large needs to be further quantified.  Next steps include a predictive model of decline and comparison of the decline maps to other sources of mortality data.

Buma B, Hennon PE, Harrington CA, Popkin JR, Krapek J, Lamb M, Oakes LE, Saunders SC, Zeglen S.  Emerging broad-scale mortality driven by climate warming and loss of snowpack.  Global Change Biology.  In press.


New range layer of yellow-cedar and observed mortality.  Insets show detail at extreme range edge.   A:  Northern California and southern/eastern Oregon (red box).  B:  Prince William Sound and Icy Bay.  Inset arrows show small, disjunct populations.