Baseline inventory of key biophysical and geomorphological features along the Lulu Island foreshore and the potential effects of sea level rise on marsh vegetation communities and restoration efforts

This research focuses on creating and implementing a sampling methodology to collect information on vegetation communities and soils along the Lulu Island foreshore in Steveston, BC. This information will be used to examine how the plant communities of natural marsh areas in this area change based on certain environmental parameters (e.g. elevation, salinity, tidal inundation) and how foreshore marsh areas may be impacted by sea level rise.

Using OMICs to assess contaminant related exposure and effects in Fraser River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

The Fraser River watershed, British Columbia provides habitat for Chinook salmon, which delivers food for First Nations, recreational anglers, commercial fisheries and endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Extensive forestry, agricultural, industrial and urban activities take place in the Fraser Valley exposing early life history stages of Chinook to a mix of legacy and new contaminants, including PCBs, pesticides and pharmaceuticals and personal care products.

Prioritizing salmonid connectivity through the removal of barriers in a highly urbanized landscape

Systematic conservation planning tools allow us to use data on species distributions, habitat quality, and cost to and identify optimal areas to invest conservation and restoration resources. These tools can be particularly helpful in highly contested biodiverse landscapes where pressures from growing populations and economic development compete with conservation objectives.

Conservation physiology to inform management of economic activity: using hormones to identify stressors to grizzly and black bears in the Great Bear Rainforest

Wildlife have remarkable adaptations for responding to environmental change; however rapid increases in the magnitude of environmental disturbances may compromise their ability to cope. Physiological measures, such as hormones, provide a window into the responses of wildlife to environmental change. We propose to identify and rank the relative importance of multiple potential stressors that could influence grizzly and black bear physiology on the

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central coast of British Columbia, Canada.

Monitoring the genetic variation and population structure of White bear populations in British Columbia to inform ecotourism and resource management

Spirit bears are a valuable symbol of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. These white bears are an economically and culturally important resource that require effective monitoring to ensure their perpetuation. Safeguarding the future continuation of white bears additionally requires understanding both how the white bear allele is perpetuated and how healthy these populations are. One important component of population health is genetic variation. Genetically variable populations are able to adapt to changing threats better than genetically depauperate groups.

Coupled human-salmon-bear systems of coastal British Columbia

The Raincoast Conservation Foundation pursues conservation initiatives in coastal British Columbia through science, outreach, and sustainable economies, such as ecotourism or community-driven fisheries management informed by local knowledge and ecology. The success of wildlife viewing ecotourism greatly depends on knowing areas and time periods predictably used by target species. The goal of the proposed research is to inform initiatives of Raincoast and its ecotourism partners (e.g. Spirit Bear Lodge, Wuikinuxv First Nation, Nimmo Bay Resort) by research on commercially-valuable wildlife.

Swishwash Island Tidal Marsh Restoration

This project focuses on physical and biological elements of small tidally influenced marsh channels on Swishwash Island in the central arm of the Lower Fraser River Estuary. In addition to fish data; marine invertebrate, vegetation, sediment, and toporgraphic data will also be collected and analyzed. This will provide insight into the practise of monitoring tide channels pre and post restoration and provide a basis for future monitoring and restoration efforts.

Use of non-invasive wildlife detection data to identify habitat of importance to focal species in a conservation and forestry matrix

Understanding how many animals live in a given area, and how those animals move from one place to another, is centrally important for properly conserving and managing landscapes. This project aims to study grizzly bear populations in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, BC. It will use DNA data collectively non-invasively from grizzly bears at sampling stations throughout the region.

Evaluating salmon carcass swabbing as a non-invasive sampling method in comparison with hair to monitor bear foraging ecology and population health in coastal British Columbia

Grizzly bears are an iconic species and the focus of a growing eco-tourism industry in First Nations communities in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Monitoring the effects of eco-tourism and other human activities on bear population health is essential to establish practices that minimally influence bears. This project aims to investigate a novel, rapid approach for monitoring bears using trace amounts of DNA collected from carcasses of salmon chewed on by bears in comparison with the more traditional approach for monitoring bears using hair samples.

Monitoring the genetic health and structure of Grizzly bear populations in British Columbia to inform ecotourism and resource management

Grizzly bears represent a valuable economic, ecological, cultural and symbolic resource for British Columbia. In order to preserve this resource the current population of brown bears needs to be monitored to ensure the health of the population. One marker of health is the genetic health of the population. Genetic monitoring can also tell us important information about how related different bear populations are and how well these populations are adapted to their ecosystem.