My PhD research examined the long-term fire history of temperate rainforests located on the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada. My research is primarily located in the Hakai Lúxvbálís Conservancy on Calvert and Hecate Islands (N 51º 38 W -128º 05). I'm very interested in human and climate drivers of historic fire regime variability and how First Nations traditionally used fire as a tool for resource management. More details on my research can be found here https://www.hakai.org/research/kwakshua-watershed-program/fire-history-hecate-island
Salmon berries are a perfect snack in June.
A fire-scarred western redcedar tree.
A ~300 year old burnt and still living western redcedar on Hecate Island.
Owen taking it all in stride.
Sampling a fire scar wedge from a western redcedar.
Charcoal deposited in an organic soil on Hecate Island. Photo by Ian Giesbrecht
This western redcedar lived to tell an interesting story about fire in the bog.
The legacy of historic fire distrubances.
Looking for evidence of ancient fires.
It is hard to imagine this bog burning...but it did.
Moss identification in the field.
Taking a core from a veteran western redcedar.
Edziza Provincial Park
In 2012, I conducted a baseline survey of plant species in Edziza Provincial park, British Columbia in order to assess to what extent invasive plant species are present and how best to manage them. Ranges of invasive species are expanding as a result of an increasingly warmer and drier climate. I recorded five new invasive species that were not previously documented in the Park and I plan to resurvey this 120 km transect in 2017 to assess further changes in plant community composition.
Reflection of the Spectrum range
First plant survey of the 120 km transect
Amazing diversity of plants despite not looking like much. Photo Alex Buri.
Organizing the gear
Drier land. Photo Alex Buri.
High alpine grasslands, photo by Alex Buri
My sidekick Dusty
Well deserved food! Photo Alex Buri
Hiking into the Edziza volcano complex.
I worked as a research assistant in the University of Victoria Tree Ring Lab examining Holocene age glacial advances and recessions and how vegetation, climate and landscapes have changed through time. Our research involved sampling and dating trees previously killed by advancing glaciers at Scimitar, Confederation, and Queen Bess glaciers. My research focused on a 100 year re-survey of Bromley Glacier in the Boundary Ranges of Northern British Columbia, Canada where we documented several late Holocene glacial advances.
Bromley glacier, Northern Boundary Range, British Columbia. Photo by Bethany Coulthard.
Our camp at Scimitar glacier, July 2011.
Bethany examining a tree killed 3000 years ago by an advancing glacier.
Mount Waddington from the backside.
Our camp at Bromely glacier under the Cambria icefield.
Salmon glacier enveloped in fog.
Buried forest at Bromely glacier.
Boring a living tree at Confederation glacier, July 2012.
Camping in the snow made for wet socks at Confederation glacier.
Back in the valley, helping Jodi with her forest mensuration plots.
Great Bear Rainforest
One of the many amazing things about conducting research in remote places is the flora and fauna I encounter and I always have my camera and binoculars at the ready. This coupled with crouching in uncomfortable positions in silence and rising regularly at 5 am increases the probability of crossing paths with cryptic creatures. Here are a few of my favorite images.
This wolf quietly came by our camp each morning. The curiousity was mutual.
King gentian, the blue beauty of the bog.
Morning dew on reindeer lichen.
Sandhill crane highway through the bog.
Early morning flight.
It isn't always sunny on the central coast.
Getting ready for our morning commute.
Two crows chase a red tailed hawk through the fog
Some of my favourite images of the adventures I've had.
Loons calling on the Nation Lakes
Osprey gets the trout
Moonrise on the John Day River
Old ranger cabin on Black Butte, Sisters, Oregon
Jedidiah State Park, Northern CA.
Sunset over Los Padres Wilderness, southern California
Spring in Channel Islands National Park
Butterflies, fire, and Garry oak meadows
I'm currently working with BC Parks and the University of Victoria to understand historic meadow dynamics in Helliwell Provincial Park located on Hornby Island, British Columbia. The purpose of this research is to assess habitat suitability for the reintroduction of critically endangered Taylor's Checkerspot butterflies, which were extirpated from Hornby Island in the 1990s. Taylor's Checkerspots depend on open Garry oak meadows that were historically managed with cultural fire. Therefore, we are reconstructing historic fire activity and mapping changes in meadow dynamics through time. Specifically, we are looking at how mechanical thinning of conifers, planting of native grasses, and prescribed burning can help restore Garry oak ecosystems.
I am excited to begin a postdoctoral fellowship at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre on Vancouver Island, British Columbia this summer. Many more photos and science to follow!