Our research is focused on the influence of natural resource management and climate change on the hydrology of watersheds. In particular we strive to develop novel methods to better describe the variation in hydrological processes in watersheds influenced by rain, snow and ice. A key focus of our research is to expand weather and water observation networks in remote areas of British Columbia. Access to our current network of real-time weather stations is available here and daily images from our weather station webcams are available here. We work across the Pacific Coast of British Columbia, and are based out of Vancouver Island University (VIU) in beautiful Nanaimo, BC.
Bill Floyd, RPF, PhD – Team Leader
Bill is a Research Hydrologist with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, he is the Leader of the Coastal Hydrology Research Lab, and an adjunct professor in Geography at Vancouver Island University. He is an innovator with a vision for long-term bio-physical research. Bill loves the snow and is an avid skier.
Griffin Fisk, BSc – Cryosphere Research Technician
Griffin started work with the CHRL as a research assistant in January 2019. He has a BSc from Vancouver Island University with a major in biology and minor in chemistry. After graduating in 2013 he worked with the Applied Environmental Research Lab and Environment Canada to develop ultra-sensitive analytical techniques for detecting nutrients in oligotrophic water bodies. After this he worked for several years as a geomatics technician and project manager at a Nanaimo based surveying company. He hopes to apply his knowledge and diverse skill set in collecting and analysing spatial and temporal data in the west coast cryosphere. He is a former member of Nanaimo Search and Rescue, but now spends most of his time rock climbing, hiking, and splitboarding.
Mariella Becu, MSc – Cryosphere Research Technician
Mariella joined the lab as a research assistant in May 2022. She has a BSc in Natural Resources Conservation and a MSc in Forestry from UBC. Her MSc was focused on the contributions of small streams to benthic lake productivity and the downstream impacts of forest harvesting to lakes. As well as working with the CHRL, she is working with the BC Ministry of Forests on a long-term project investigating forestry and climate change impacts on small streams and lakes on northern Vancouver Island. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, biking, and pottery.
Warren Olmstead, BA, ADGIS – GIS Technician
Warren recently joined the lab through the ADGIS program. Originally from Smithers, British Columbia, he holds a degree in Anthropology from VIU, as well as a degree in Medieval Studies from UVic. His fieldwork experience includes time spent with the Wildfire Management Branch across Canada and the United States, as well as in archaeology across B.C. and Bulgaria. He is excited to be able to combine his love of the outdoors, a wonder of the natural world, and his academic skills into something for the better.
Post Doctoral Fellows
Rosie Bisset, BSc, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow
Rosie joined the Hakai Cryosphere Node in February 2022 to work on quantifying the contribution of coastal snow towards freshwater fluxes in British Columbia. Her PhD at the University of Edinburgh was focused on developing satellite and UAV remote sensing techniques for monitoring debris-covered glaciers in High Mountain Asia and the Peruvian Andes. Outside work she enjoys hiking, skiing and swimming.
Sergey Marchenko, PhD, Postdoc focusing on snow modelling
With a background in glaciology and a PhD from the Uppsala University, Sweden, Sergey expands his expertise in empirical observations and modelling of firn at glaciers in Svalbard to describe the spatial and temporal dynamics of the seasonal snow cover on Vancouver Island. The latter involves participation in the field campaigns, processing of the earlier collected data on the energy fluxes at the surface, snow thickness and density and setting up a spatially distributed layered snow model using an empirically-based forcing.
Ali Bishop, BSc, ADGIS – Graduate Student
Ali is a recent graduate of the Advanced Diploma in GIS program at VIU, and has an Environmental Science degree from Dalhousie University. In her GIS practicum, she worked with the Ministry of Transportation’s Avalanche program, and created a geospatial interface for recording avalanche observations. When she is not on her skis, or waiting for snow, she likes hiking, cycle touring, and cooking up a storm.
Amrit Lally, BA, ADGIS – Graduate Student
Amrit is currently working on his Master’s in Geographic Information Systems at Vancouver Island University using a distributed hydrological model to calculate mean monthly stream discharge between SE Alaska and Northern California . For the past 8 years, he has been employed as a GIS and Data Analyst at Lorax environmental Services. Amrit has experience in geospatial analytics, computer programming, data manipulation, and water quality monitoring. He holds a BA in Geography from VIU and an Advance Diploma in Geographic Information Systems from BCIT. During his down time, he enjoys rock climbing, tending to his garden and spending time with his family.
Affiliate Team Members
Alex Cebulski, MSc – Climate and Hydrology Analyst
From January 2018 to present, Alex has worked on various projects including writing research reports, managing our real-time weather network database, conducting various geo-spatial analyses, collecting data in the field, and installing and maintaining weather stations. His Master’s research involved collecting sediment cores from the glacier-fed Cariboo Lake, BC which were used as glacier and climate proxies for the past 2000 years. In his spare time he enjoys spending time outdoors rock climbing, sailing, and skiing.
Margot Vore, MSc – Research Assistant
Margot has been doing glacier and hydrology work for over 4 years, both in the United States and British Columbia. Originally from Colorado, she did her undergraduate degree in mathematics and then got her master’s degree from the University of Idaho in Geography, exploring subglacier waterflow using seismic signals. While she loves environmental science work, she has become enamored with programming, data analysis and data science. These skills will be put to use automating workflows and performing data analysis on the extensive network of data the coastal hydrology research lab has. She is an avid skier, backpacker, and hiker, spending much of her free time outside exploring all British Columbia has to offer. When she’s not outside she is baking, reading, or playing board games!
Stewart Butler, BSc – Research Assistant
Stew is currently working with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy as a Snow & Groundwater Networks Technology Specialist. Stew has experience in geophysical mapping, metallurgical chemistry, marine conservation, and has worked as a Search and Rescue crew member for the Canadian Coast Guard, and volunteered with the public education group Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research (ACER).
Maartje Korver, MSc
Maartje is currently doing her PhD at McGill University with prof. Bernhard Lehner (wp.geog.mcgill.ca/hydrolab), researching the temperature and mixing dynamics of lakes on a global scale. She did her MSc thesis under the co-supervision of Dr. Bill Floyd, setting up hydrometric stations and calculating streamflow for seven rivers at Calvert Island, BC, followed by 5 years of employment at the Hakai Institute as a staff hydrologist and field technician.
Former Team Members
Courtney Daly, BSc, ADGIS – GIS Technician
Courtney is an Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications student at VIU and has an undergraduate degree in Conservation Science from UBC. She spent four years working in wildfire management in Burns Lake and Kamloops, B.C. which sparked an interest in the way climate change is impacting B.C.’s landscapes. She completed her practicum with the CHRL and hopes to continue her focus on climate change in the future. When she is not hiking with her dog Timber, she is running, skiing, and painting. Courtney now works for the Wildfire Management Branch of the Ministry of Forests.
Trevor Dickinson, BA – Graduate Research Assistant
As an undergraduate student at VIU, Trevor began working at the CHRL in 2016, assisting with winter field work at the Russell Creek Experimental Watershed. Upon completion of a BA double major in Geography and First Nations Studies in the spring of 2018, Trevor’s role expanded as an NSERC USRA research assistant, assisting with drone survey fieldwork and weather station construction. Trevor will be starting his Master’s degree at UVIC under the co-supervision of Dr. Bill Floyd and Dr. Randy Scharien. He will be working to develop a workflow to quickly, inexpensively, and accurately map snow volume using drones in a variety of treed and alpine mountain landscapes. Trevor has extensive mountaineering and backcountry skiing experience which he utilizes in our field work throughout the coastal mountains.
Hannah McSorley, BSc – Graduate Student Research Assistant / field technician & water quality analyst
From 2016 to 2018, Hannah assisted in the construction of five high-elevation weather stations, led a synoptic river sampling and analysis program, and contributed to maintenance on the Kwakshua watershed program. In 2018, she started her Masters degree at UBC under the co-supervision of Bill Floyd and Mark Johnson (Ecohydrology); her research involves profiling water quality changes in stormflow across a second-growth forested drinking water supply area. Hannah is grateful to call coastal BC home, and is thrilled to be conducting research in the field and the lab. Hannah now works for BC Hydro.
Alexander Landry, BGIS – Research Assistant
Alex started his undergraduate studies in geography at Concordia University in Montreal and completed his degree in GIS at Selkirk College. During his final year at Selkirk, he completed a thesis which focused on developing a new method of using lidar to improve wildfire hazard mapping. He then moved on to work for a private company specializing in high accuracy UAV mapping services. Alex is now motivated to leverage his background in geospatial sciences and his passion for exploring the mountains year-round to contribute to research related to the cryosphere and coastal hydrology. On his own time, he’ll be found happily ski touring, climbing or sailing.
Alyssa Bourgeois, BSc – Graduate Student
Alyssa is currently working on an MSc at the University of Alberta under the co-supervision of Dr. Suzanne Tank and Dr. Bill Floyd from VIU. Alyssa has a fascination with the impacts of humans on water quality and supply, which was initially spurred by a documentary on the Earth’s dwindling water supply. This fascination led her to pursue a BSc from McGill University where she studied water and environmental change. She has a desire to conduct important and practical research to improve understanding and find solutions to regional water problems. She will be doing her research under the forWater project focusing on how forest management affects drinking water quality, specifically total suspended solids and dissolved organic carbon concentrations and compositions. Outside of water research, she enjoys attending barre classes, eating ice cream, and listening to podcasts. Alyssa works for EcoFish Research.
Tomas Kulaja, BSc – Graduate Student
Originally from the Czech Republic, Tomas did his undergraduate degree in Geography and spent a semester studying in Slovenia. At the moment he is finishing off the Advanced Diploma in GIS applications program at VIU, hoping to spend more time outdoors working with CHRL. When he is not crunching spatial data, or flying his drone, he skis, hikes, skateboards and spends his free time exploring all the Island has to offer. Tomas works for Coastal Resource Mapping in Nanaimo, BC.
Sam Anderson, BSc – Graduate Student
Sam is currently working on his MGISA at Vancouver Island University. Sam has an undergraduate degree in Forest Resource Management from UBC and has spent the last couple years working in the BC forestry industry from Campbell River to Williams Lake. He spends most of his free time ski touring, mountain biking and hiking.
Eric Courtin, MSc
Eric is a weather station and hydrometric contractor, based on Vancouver Island. His background includes an M.Sc in climatology with UVIC and field work for the VIU Coastal Hydrology Research Lab and the University of Saskatchewan Coldwater Lab in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Godson Umeokwochi, BSc, ADGISA
Godson was a Student member of the Advanced Diploma in Geographic Information System Application (ADGISA) Practicum program. He has a BSc in Earth Science and an interest in sustainability of renewable energy, which includes using GIS and Geostatistics in modeling groundwater flow. Godson is now a GIS Technician with the BC Provincial Government.
We work with a lot of talented and interesting collaborators. Check out some of our partners sites:
Vancouver Island University
NSERC forWater Network
Applied Environmental Research Labs, VIU
Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, VIU
UNBC, Brian Menounos Lab
UVIC, Randy Scharien (Ice Lab)
SFU, Forest Ecology and Management
Univeristy of Alberta, Tank Lab
University of Alaska Southeast
University of British Columbia
Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network
BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Devlopment (FLNR)
BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Strategy, Snow Survey Program
River Forecast Centre, FLNR
BC Timber Sales
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Municipal & Regional Services
Regional District of Nanaimo
Sunshine Coast Regional District
Village of Queen Charolotte
Arrowsmith Water Service and Englishman River Water Service
Comox Valley Regional District
Capital Regional District
Specialty and Independent
The Tula Foundation
Hakai Energy Solutions
The Hakai Institute
Unlimited Fabrication Inc. (custom-built weather station towers)
Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network
West Coast Helicopters
Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre
Mosaic Forest Management