Seminar Series Fall 2021

Where are they going? A real-time forecasting system for the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales

Marine Randon

Postdoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University


The Salish Sea is an area of intense marine traffic with considerable industrial developments being planned. This intense traffic may disturb the marine ecosystem, and especially marine mammals, through physical and acoustic disturbances. Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW), an iconic population of cetaceans living in the Salish Sea year-round, use underwater sounds to communicate, navigate and hunt. With only 73 individuals remaining, the population is endangered in Canada and the United States, and the marine traffic is considered one of the main threats affecting the recovery of SRKW. To reduce the risk of collisions and acoustic disturbances on SRKW, Dr. Marine Randon, under the supervision of Dr. Ruth Joy and Dr. Michael Dowd, is developing a real-time forecasting system to predict the future positions and trajectories of the whales. The seminar will be an opportunity to present the meteorological-inspired methodological framework behind the forecasting system, demonstrate the high flexibility of the model used, and emphasize the value of this operational management tool to protect endangered marine wildlife from marine traffic. 


Date: November 5th @3:30pm

Location: Zoom

Bear-Salmon-Human Systems in Coastal British Columbia: Community-Driven Applied Conservation Research

Christina Service 

Kitasoo/Xai'xais Stewardship Authority


Date: November 19th @3:30pm

Location: Zoom

Global change in the Alpine of North America: Impacts on Biodiversity

Scott Hotaling

Washington State University


Date: December 3rd @ 3:30pm

Location: Zoom

Past Speakers

A Tale of a River and Three Dams

Dr. Shawn Chartrand

Assistant Professor at SFU School of Environmental Science  

Overcoming the ‘Soft’ Climate Change Denier in Each of Us

Dr. Patrick Belmont 

Department Head of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University


Climate change denial has historically been defined as the overt refusal to accept scientific understanding that climate change is happening, humans are causing it, and that it will have severe consequences for humans and ecosystems. But as that viewpoint has become untenable in the face of overwhelming evidence, this talk explores various forms of 'soft' climate change denial that are still pervasive in the 2020s. By recognizing these soft forms of denial, we can overcome them and focus our efforts on real, actionable solutions to the climate emergency.

Wildfires in British Columbia: Causes, Consequences and Coexistence

Dr. Lori Daniels

Professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia


Wildfire is an essential process in forest ecosystems, but can be incredibly destructive in the wildland-urban interface, as we experienced again during the 2021 fire season. Wildfire is driven by climate, weather and fuels that vary among ecosystems and through time. Combined, land-use change, fire exclusion and global warming have made many forests highly susceptible to intense fires that are difficult to control and spread to large sizes. Revolutionizing forest and fire management will improve ecosystem resilience to climate change, but we will not stop future fires from burning. Successful adaptation must also include individuals and communities learning how to coexist with wildfire.