Dynamic dune restoration for endangered species in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Ucluelet, British Columbia


As part of ongoing collaboration with Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the intern will engage in the first phase of a 5-year dune restoration effort at Wickaninnish Beach near Ucluelet, B.C.  Invasive beach grass (Ammophila spp.) was introduced to stabilize the dunes in the 1940s and has since colonized the fore dunes, reduced active windblown sediment transport, and lowered species diversity. The research will assess morphological and sedimentological responses of the dunes to mechanical removal of the beach grasses using remotely sensed data (LIDAR), onsite experiments of wind flow and sand transport, and repeat topographic surveys within restored (mechanically cleared) vs. non-restored areas.  The ultimate objective of the larger program is to restore an active, dynamic fore dune ecosystem that will host viable populations of federally-recognized endangered species including Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) and the Pink Sand-verbena Moth (Copablepharon fuscum). The research will provide a scientific assessment of the dynamic restoration strategy and will inform future restoration efforts by Parks Canada. 

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Ian Walker


Ian Darke


Aruncus Consulting


Geography / Geology / Earth science


Fisheries and wildlife


University of Victoria



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