The Fraser Basin Council and the Scholarship Selection Committee warmly congratulate Micah May and Ezra Yu, recipients of the 2022 Elizabeth Henry Scholarship for Communities and Environmental Health.
2022 Scholarship Recipient Micah May
Reservoir Shoreline Erosion Control to Reduce Environmental and Community Health Risks
"This scholarship recognizes the challenges faced by Tsay Keh Dene Nation because of the dust storms that occur along the Williston Reservoir and will support the sharing of solutions they are pursuing to improve the health of their land and people." — Micah May
Micah is a MSc candidate at the University of Victoria interested in ecological restoration. He is interested in investigating how the principles of ecological restoration can help in tackling environmental degradation, including in novel ecosystems. He loves the outdoors, and he has a passion for working on challenging environmental issues, particularly those in remote locations, combining technical field work with data analysis and community engagement. Micah is supervised by Dr. Nancy Shackelford, and his research is focused on determining the optimal methods of providing erosion control in reservoir drawdown zones through revegetation while also seeking to increase native species biodiversity, build long-term soil stability, and strengthen local community involvement. His research is taking place around the Williston Reservoir, located in Northern BC, where he hopes to find solutions to help reduce dust emissions that pose environmental and health risks for local inhabitants.
About the Project
Because of the operations of the W.A.C. Bennett dam, the vast sand beaches of the Williston Reservoir in northern BC become exposed each spring and pose severe environmental, social and health-related challenges for the community and Nation of Tsay Keh Dene. Severe wind erosion results in large-scale dust storms that pose health risks to the adjacent village of Tsay Keh Dene, due to silica in the sand and the potential impacts on inhabitants’ respiratory systems. Reservoir shoreline erosion is a major concern for the Nation, and applying standard erosion control techniques is made difficult due to fluctuating water levels and other environmental factors. The goal of Micah's research is to evaluate if and how revegetation, soil amendments and innovative monitoring techniques can help reduce erosion and dust from the Williston Reservoir beaches, thus improving air quality for the Village of Tsay Keh Dene and the health of its residents.
2022 Scholarship Recipient Ezra Yu
Effects of Residential Noise on Children's Language Development, and the Impact of Green Urban Design
“The Elizabeth Henry scholarship helps solidify my aspiration to sustain healthy communities in British Columbia through engaging in knowledge translation that improves policy development in this important yet understudied area of research." — Ezra Yu
Having grown up in cities, Ezra Yu is intimately familiar with the effects of the built environment on quality of life. He has always been interested in public health issues caused by urbanization and how they can be studied using advanced health research methodologies. Ezra has been engaged in several environmental health research projects with a focus on children’s developmental health within his academic journey. He aspires to establish himself as an independent researcher devising healthy developmental environments with urban policymakers.
He is completing a Master’s degree in Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia (UBC). As part of a CIHR-funded study, Born to be Wise, his research focuses on the effects of residential noise on children’s language development and the corresponding remediation effects of urban greenspace. He is actively advocating the shift in health policy that he has envisioned for himself to make positive contributions to local communities.
About the Project
Language development in early life is fundamental to educational achievements and social well-being, but children in British Columbia fare worse than the global average. One prevalent urban exposure, noise pollution, is believed to negatively impact children’s language development, possibly by interfering with speech perception and cognitive function.
The project takes a quantitative approach to examine the effects of noise and greenness on a cohort of 34,000 Vancouver children who participated in an early developmental assessment (EDI) project coordinated by the UBC Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP). Noise exposure at children’s homes was estimated from a Vancouver noise map produced at UBC. Associations between noise and EDI were examined using regression modelling, while accounting for socioeconomic and other factors using health administrative data linked through Pop Data BC. This project seeks to motivate the implementation of real-time city-wise surveillance and evaluate remediation efforts on green urban design to attenuate noise pollution.
Learn about the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship
2021 Scholarship Recipient
The 2021 Elizabeth Henry Scholarship for Communities and Environmental Health has been awarded to Bonny Lynn Donovan who is completing a PhD in Community Engagement, Social Change, and Equity at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus.
Congratulations to Bonny Lynn from the Scholarship Committee and all the Fraser Basin Council Directors and staff.
The scholarship will help support Bonny Lynn in her collaborative work with Syilx First Nation communities to explore the role that the land, language reclamation, Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Elders can play in developing ecological literacy in young Syilx children.
About Bonny Lynn
Bonny Lynn Donovan is a Métis woman from Saskatchewan who has resided in Penticton, British Columbia since 1994. She graduated from the University of Calgary in 1993 with a Bachelor of Education degree and completed a Master of Education in Educational Practice at Simon Fraser University.
Bonny Lynn taught elementary school for 28 years in School District 67 (Okanagan-Skaha). In 2019 she enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies program – Community Engagement, Social Change, and Equity (CESCE) Theme – at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus (UBCO). Dr. Jeannette C. Armstrong, the Syilx/Okanagan scholar and activist, is one of her co-supervisors. Bonny Lynn is a graduate research assistant on a Syilx Youth Engagement research project and serves as a Community Liaison Coordinator on a multi-year Syilx/Settler Science collaboration through UBCO.
About the Project
Bonny Lynn’s project addresses ecological sustainability in Syilx/Okanagan communities through Nsyilxcn language reclamation and the intergenerational transfer of Syilx Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to early learners (Pre-Kindergarten to Kindergarten). This work will be done through collaboration with Syilx First Nation band-operated schools and environmental sustainability research projects that are already underway in the various Syilx communities.
Her dissertation research will promote dialogue and respectful collaboration between diverse stakeholders, such as families, band school personnel, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and scientists who are conducting environmental sustainability research in the various Syilx communities. Her research objectives are to respectfully determine Syilx understandings of ecological literacy (ecoliteracy), the role that families, Elders, Land and other teachers play in fostering ecoliteracy in young Syilx children, and how ecoliteracy can address settler colonialism in ecological sustainability education.
Bonny Lynn notes that this research addresses recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission regarding culturally responsive early childhood education.
“Being the recipient of the 2021 Elizabeth Henry Scholarship means that I can move forward in my program with confidence, knowing that I have the financial means to meet costs associated with an advanced degree.”
– Bonny Lynn Donovan
2020 Scholarship Recipients
The Fraser Basin Council congratulates Dana Eye and Justin Turner, 2020 recipients of the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship for Communities and Environmental Health.
The Reproductive Ecology of Female Western Rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) in Southern British Columbia
“I am grateful for the gracious support of the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship, and the opportunity to continue to collaborate with the Osoyoos Indian Band and Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre on this vital research.”
— Dana Eye
Dana Eye grew up in a rural town outside of Kamloops where she spent most of her time exploring and learning about local flora and fauna. Dana completed her undergraduate degree at Thompson Rivers University in 2015 and began working for WildSafe BC. In this role, she helped spread awareness of human-wildlife in her community and provided management solutions to local government.
Dana later held a Master of Science position in Karl Larsen’s research lab, studying Western Rattlesnakes. She had opportunity to work directly with this species at risk and also foster working relationships with the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) and the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre (NDCC). Through collaboration with OIB and the NDCC, Dana began the first study on pregnant female Western Rattlesnakes in Western Canada.
About the Project
The Osoyoos Indian Band and Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre have facilitated one of the longest-running snake research programs in Western Canada (2002-present). Over the last 18 years, researchers have tracked rattlesnake movement, identified critical habitat (dens, shedding and mating sites), and assessed the impact of disturbance on local snake populations. Due to limitations, this research has predominantly focused on male rattlesnakes, leaving a large knowledge gap on female ecology and biasing management decisions. In 2017, with the generous support of OIB and the NDCC, and adopted research techniques, Dana began working on the first study on pregnant female rattlesnakes in Western Canada.
To date, she and [her colleagues?] have successfully tracked the movements of a total of twenty-five pregnant female rattlesnakes and have identified 18 gestation sites. Data collected from these sites, and movement and behavioural analysis, will provide critical life history information for future management decisions and conservation of this threatened species.
Wildfire Smoke and Emergency Planning for First Nations People Living with Lung Disease in Remote and Rural British Columbia
“I feel honoured and grateful to receive the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship in support of my collaborative work with Carrier Sekani Family Services, which will contribute to improved wildfire response practices for Dakelh First Nations people in north central BC.
Maarsi (thank you in Michif)."
— Justin Turner
Justin is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student at UBC. He has lived and worked as an occupational therapist for the past several years where the Fraser and Nechako Rivers meet on unceded Lheidli T’enneh First Nation territory (Prince George). He previously completed a Master of Occupational Therapy (UBC, 2017) and an Honours BA in Psychology (University of Lethbridge, 2015).
Born and raised in the southern Alberta Badlands, Justin grew up underneath beautiful prairie sky and along the saskatoon berry-laden banks of the Red Deer River. He is a proud Métis Nation of BC citizen with mixed Red River Métis and European settler ancestry. Justin enjoys any activity that involves connecting with the land, such as hiking, snowshoeing and berry picking.
Justin is fascinated by people’s relationships with the environment. In his doctoral work, Justin seeks to understand how increasingly severe wildfires in northern BC are affecting local First Nations communities.
About the Project
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) appears to be highly prevalent in north central BC First Nations communities. Meanwhile, people with COPD often experience negative health effects during wildfires, which are becoming more frequent in BC due partially to climate change. In this mixed-methods and CIHR-funded research project – underway since 2019 – UBC’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Research Laboratory is collaborating with the First Nations-led healthcare/research organization Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) to answer the question: What are the communication and respiratory health focused components of an effective wildfire air quality emergency response strategy for north central BC First Nations?
Every step of this project is led by CSFS. Quantitative data is being gathered from air quality and wildfire monitoring records, while qualitative data is being gleaned from document analyses and interviews with First Nations community members and other wildfire stakeholders. CSFS will use results to develop improved emergency preparedness and response strategies.
The Elizabeth Henry Scholarship is an annual award of $3,000 to a graduate student whose proposed research is based in British Columbia. Learn more about the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship, eligibility criteria and application process.
Check back soon or subscribe to Elizabeth Henry Scholarship mailing list to learn about the next round of applications.
Community Dialogues on Revitalizing Cultural Practices around Seaweed posted on 11:45 AM, October 1, 2020
“Many thanks are due to the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship’s support of our project which works with Hul’qumi’num Elders and younger generations to connect and revitalize knowledge and practices related to lhuq’us.” — Jack Baker
The Fraser Basin Council congratulates Jack Baker, recipient of the 2019 Elizabeth Henry Scholarship
Jack Baker was born and raised on Vancouver Island where he quickly developed a fascination with the surrounding environments and the changes taking place in them. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria (UVic) in 2016. He is currently completing a Master’s in Anthropology at UVic.
During his undergraduate degree, Jack worked in the Department of Anthropology’s Ethnographic Mapping Lab, developing various mapping projects focused on land and governance rights of Hul'qumi'num communities and their relation to ongoing conservation and resource development issues on South Eastern Vancouver Island. The creation of these maps and other online materials illuminated the pressing environmental and legal concerns of the communities he grew up beside and the ongoing work in these communities toward self governance and cultural revitalization.
About this Project
Hul’q’umi’num’ peoples in the Salish Sea have concerns about the environmental health of their lands and waters and a desire to establish a baseline of information about the status of culturally significant species in the Salish Sea. The culturally important edible marine seaweed lhuq’us (the Hul’q’umi’num’ language name for red laver pyropia spp.) is frequently identified by Elders as important. These species have achieved little systematic attention from federal and provincial regulatory agencies because they are neither economically significant as commercial species nor identified as vulnerable as “endangered species.”
This project engages community members in dialogue around reviving /revitalizing cultural practices around seaweed. The project draws on the methodologies of both anthropology and geography to ethnographically engage with knowledge holders on lhuq’us and the places it is found, and to use UAV survey methodology to map the extent and health of lhuq’us within Hul’q’umi’num’ peoples’ territories.
2020 Project Details & Update
Hul’qumi’num communities on south eastern Vancouver Island have concerns about the status and safety of marine foods potentially impacted by environmental change and the urbanization and industrialization of their territories. Collaborative research undertaken with the Hul’q’umi’num’ Lands and Resources Society is part of a broader effort to revitalize cultural practices, language, and food systems.
Lhuq’us (the Hul’q’umi’num’ language term for pohrpyra/pyropia spp. (commonly known as red laver or black gold)) is a flavourful and nutritious intertidal seaweed that grows on rocky beaches across the Pacific Northwest. Hul’q’umi’num’ language, cultural values, teachings, and family histories are all interwoven into the harvesting and consumption of lhuq’us in Hul’qumi’num territories. Lhuq’us is one of the species that have been persistently mentioned in conversations with state regulatory agencies and though these concerns have been raised for at least two decades there has been no systematic monitoring of the species.
There are two broad streams of inquiry taken by this thesis. The first, employing ethnographic methodology including interviews and observant participation, seeks to both document the cultural values, oral histories, lived experiences associated with lhuq’us as well as concerns for the future collaborators have for lhuq’us and lhuq’us beaches. The second stream, based in a geographic approach, asks whether Unoccupied Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technologies could be employed to record the status of lhuq’us as a baseline for monitoring. Two study sites in the Salish sea were surveyed using UAV techniques: ȾEL,IȽĆ and St’utl’qulus. The overall accuracies of the UAV imagery classifications and the particular accuracies of the class representing lhuq’us suggest that UAV technologies paired with Google Earth Engine (GEE) object-based image analysis (OBIA) methodologies can effectively detect lhuq’us. There are serious concerns and cultural values and practices deeply interconnected with culturally important species like lhuq’us. Through holding these concerns and values side by side with systematic observation and analyses maps and materials were created which communities can use to assert their rights, enact their own monitoring of territories and re-prioritize environmental decision-making done by federal, provincial, and municipal management agencies.
“The generous support from the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship made possible several key components of the project. Funds from the scholarship were allocated for analyzing the heavy metal content of samples of lhuq’us harvested and dried in culturally important places in the gulf islands to assess the safety of continuing to consume these foods. The aerial survey of lhuq’us on the St’utl’qulus study site was also largely made possible by the support provided by the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship. Many thanks are due to the Fraser Basin Council for their support of this community lead project and attaining tangible materials which will be used to continue to care for and protect Hul’qumi’num culturally important seaweeds in the future.” – Jack Baker
Mapping Waste Governance in Relation to the Informal Recycling Sector posted on 2:58 PM, November 13, 2019
“I am indeed grateful for, and highly motivated by the support of, the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship of a project that seeks to empower marginalized individuals who work assiduously in promoting environmental sustainability through waste recovery” — Dare Sholanke
Congratulations to Dare Sholanke, recipient of the 2018 Elizabeth Henry Scholarship
Dare is a Masters student in the Department of Geography, University of Victoria, British Columbia. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Environment Management and Toxicology at Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria in 2015.
During his undergraduate program, he had an internship at the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) where he worked concurrently with the pollution control department and the laboratory services department. After graduation, he worked for a year at the Niger State Environmental Protection Agency as an Environmental Officer. His passion for community and environmental health and sustainability was born out of his experiences working with these Environmental Protection Agencies in a developing nation.
His current research under the supervision of Dr. Jutta Gutberlet seeks to map waste governance in relation to the informal recycling sector, with the aim of empowering marginalized individuals who contribute immensely to environmental sustainability through waste recovery.
About this Project on the Informal Recycling Sector
As waste generation continues to increase globally, its management has become problematic. Through waste recovery, the informal recycling sector has contributed significantly to reducing landfill jam and carbon footprints. However, individuals in this sector are generally marginalized, impoverished, and are mostly excluded from the formal waste management system — and Canada is not an exception.
Using a comparative case study approach and mixed method, this study examines waste governance in two Canadian cities with the aim of identifying how through policymaking, political actors affect waste recovery and the level of inclusiveness in the waste management system. The study will investigate the role of grassroots social innovations in improving the livelihoods of these individuals. Results from this research will help inform authorities, policy makers and practitioners on the need for an inclusive waste management system and will provide strategies for improving the livelihoods of this sector while promoting sustainability in the city.
Gitxaala Nation's Community Garden Program: A Case Study of Operationalizing Food Sovereignty posted on 6:39 PM, September 12, 2017
Ada grew up on a small farmstead in rural Wisconsin where her family’s vegetable patch was surrounded by endless rows of corn and soybeans, sparking her interest in questions around food security, food sovereignty and food literacy.
She completed her BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Wellesley College where her honors thesis focused on food security and environmental justice on the small island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. That research took Ada back to the Caribbean where she spent two years developing an Edible Schoolyard and permaculture garden curriculum at an alternative education center for girls in the Dominican Republic.
Her current research as an MA Candidate working under the supervision of Charles Menzies at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC expands upon her academic interests and real-world experiences in seeking to understand what the key components or mechanisms are needed to successfully "operationalize" food sovereignty for remote First Nations communities in BC.
"The support of the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship exemplifies, in the Sm'algyax language, bax laansk – or how we can come together in collaborative research and in decolonizing approaches toward a just and sustainable food system." - Ada Smith
In July 2017, working in partnership with Gitxaala Nation, Ada began her research, seeking to understand the role of Gitxaala’s community garden project and other local food production activities in supporting food sovereignty in their community. Specifically, Ada’s role is working in collaboration with Gitxaala’s Health Services and Lach Klan School during the months of July and August to bring garden and "food literacy" activities into the summer reading program and school curriculum. Both the research process and outcome aim to support Gitxaala’s effort toward cultivating a community garden program that will provide more sustainable mode of food production for the community while offering fun learning opportunities for youth.
“We Monitor by Living Here”: The Gitga’at Environmental Knowledge Project posted on 6:38 PM, September 12, 2017
Kim-Ly is a Masters student at the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies (Coast Salish Territory). She is of Vietnamese, Scottish and Irish ancestry and was raised along the shores of the Grand River in Southwestern Ontario (Haudenosaunee Territory). She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Environmental Studies at McGill University in 2015 (Haudenosaunee Territory).
During the last two summers of her undergraduate studies, Kim-Ly was privileged to be welcomed to the Territory of the Gitga’at Nation where she studied the feeding behaviour of local humpback whale populations. Upon completing her B.Sc., she worked for the Gitga’at First Nation as a biological data analyst, working closely with the Gitga’at Guardians to study the health and abundance of traditional foods and other environmental indicators. Through her Masters project, she hopes to contribute to the well-being of a place and people who have offered her innumerable lessons.
"I am very grateful for Elizabeth Henry Scholarship’s support of a project that aims to bolster the voice of Gitga’at harvesters and knowledge holders in the ongoing stewardship of their territory in a time of rapid social and ecological change." - Kim-Ly Thompson
Ninety percent of Gitga’at people consume traditional seafood on a daily basis; the relationship held between Gitga’at and the ocean since time immemorial is alive and well. However, this social-ecological system is being stressed by a changing climate, resource mismanagement, industrial shipping proposals and other barriers to passing on ancestral teachings. Kim-Ly’s Masters research was designed with community leaders and seeks to inform a Gitga’at-owned monitoring program to document information and knowledge produced by Gitga’at people while harvesting and preparing traditional coastal resources. In the words of Hereditary Chief Albert Clifton: “We monitor our environment by living here”. The program will inform Gitga’at marine resource management, climate change adaptation, and bolster intergenerational knowledge transfer.
MATTHEW WAGSTAFF, B.Sc.
Characterizing the impacts of residential wood burning on air quality in British Columbian communities posted on 3:26 PM, October 19, 2016
I am a Master’s of Science student in the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene program at UBC. I am passionate about environmental health issues and the focus for my thesis research is on characterizing the impacts of residential wood burning on air quality in British Columbian communities. I hope to continue working in this field in the future, contributing to our understanding of, and working to address environmental health issues in Canadian communities. When at home in BC, I spend as much of my spare time as possible skiing or hiking and also have a passion for traveling and exploring new places and cultures. I am very grateful to have been awarded this scholarship and the opportunity it has provided me in continuing to focus on my thesis research.
Wood burning is an important source of fine particulate (PM2.5) in many rural Canadian communities, however there is limited monitoring designed to characterize its impacts. In a number of BC communities where wood burning is common, PM2.5 levels currently exceed the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards. While believed to be a major contributor, differentiating woodsmoke’s contribution to PM2.5 is very challenging. Current assessment methods are costly and inefficient for application in rural communities; therefore, we propose to develop a new cost-effective method using innovative mobile monitoring equipment to detect the specific signature of PM2.5 from woodsmoke in order to characterize its impact on small BC communities. We will establish and assess the precision of this new method in both previously monitored and unmonitored communities, while also assessing the oxidative potential of woodsmoke to improve understanding of the chemistry and potential health impacts of woodsmoke.
ANDREA LYALL, PhD Candidate
Research: Indigenous perspective of the forests and how forest governance could become more culturally relevant posted on 3:09 PM, October 19, 2016
Andrea Lyall, PhD Candidate and Registered Professional Forester (RPF) has over 18 years of natural resources management experience and has worked directly with over 30 indigenous communities with their forestry initiatives in British Columbia, Washington, Alaska and Ontario. Andrea joined UBC Faculty of Forestry in 2012 as Aboriginal Initiatives Coordinator and instructs a third-year course, Aboriginal Forestry. By provincial order in council, Andrea was appointed to the Forest Practices Board of British Columbia for a third and final term in 2012. She is a member of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation that is 1 of 15 Nations that make up the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw (translates into Kwak̓wala speaking peoples) on the midcoast of British Columbia.
July 2016, Andrea began her fieldwork for a PhD dissertation that will look at an indigenous perspective of the forests and how forest governance could become more culturally relevant. Using indigenous and transformative methodologies this study will engage the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis citizens in participatory action research. This research will consider sustainable land use that provides for a local economy and protects traditional uses of the forests. Most of the Kwakwakwa’wakw Nation is not within the 80% of the forests to be protected in the Great Bear Rainforest.
MICHELLE WALSH, B.Sc.
Identifying thermal refugia and their use by Chinook salmon in a temperature sensitive stream posted on 1:00 PM, October 19, 2016
Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, Lhtseh Yoo (frog) Clan; my community is part of the larger Dakelh Nation in the Central Interior of BC.
My passion and respect for salmon was initiated by my late Grandparents Ida and Frank George. I can recall from a very young age the seasonal fishing activities and the excitement that went with it.
My first opportunity to work with salmon was at a local fish fence in highschool and since then I’ve worked throughout the Fraser River and Okanagan with all salmon species and life stages conducting all aspects of salmon management. As a fisheries biologist for the Secwepemc Fisheries Commission in Kamloops I have the honor of working with the Secwepemc Nation to assist them in providing stewardship for the fisheries and to assert their traditional fisheries rights within a co-management framework - this is accomplished as they are building capacity for self-government.
As a mom of two very beautiful and amazing girls Olivia (6) and Kaya (4), finding time to do both work and graduate school (TRU, Kamloops) has been challenging but rewarding - I think they have trained me well at running on as little sleep as possible. I am thankful to everyone for all the support and the opportunity and, with this environmental science training, I hope to lead many more fisheries research projects to improve salmon health and management for all.
Salmon habitat rehabilitation efforts often require significant resources of time and money to effectively plan and implement, resources which are frequently limited. Habitat assessment and monitoring limitations can lead to assumptions that can affect the methods, tools, and ultimately the success of our rehabilitation efforts. At a time when many salmon populations are facing poor productivity, understanding how salmon are interacting with their habitat can form a key part of the habitat assessment. Stream-type, spring-run chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Deadman River have been managed by fisheries managers as a conservation concern for many years. Semi-arid conditions and land used for agricultural and forestry purposes are thought to influence temperature regimes in this and other Southern Interior streams. Stream temperatures frequently approach or exceed the upper thermal limits for both adult and juvenile salmon, and are likely a limiting factor for this population. Migration to cool water refuges such as outlets of cooler creeks and groundwater seepage sites is crucial during such situations; however, these microhabitats must be abundant and available if they are to mitigate high ambient stream temperatures.
My thesis aims to document the quantity and quality of cool water habitats in the Deadman River, currently a data gap. Specifically I will:
- Characterize spatial and temporal patterns of thermal habitat (cool and warm areas)
- Determine chinook habitat use of cool water areas at different life stages
Techniques to collect temperature data will include aerial thermal infrared radiation (TIR) scans and continuous water temperature monitoring. Chinook habitat use surveys will entail thermal-radio telemetry (adults).