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Grant supports nearshore research

June 5, 2013
Susan Down

Royal Roads University marine geologist Audrey Dallimore will be expanding her innovative coastal research through a $99,000 research Leaders Opportunity Fund grant, announced the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) today.

Associate professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University, Dallimore studies the coastal marine sediment record of past offshore and coastal hazardous events such as earthquake, tsunamis and slope failures along the west coast of Vancouver Island. Until now, she has gone aboard federal research ships to collect her data.  

The new grant will allow her to invest in a 24-foot aluminum boat to perform cost-effective, targeted marine mapping surveys and research in the nearshore. The boat will be ready by summer 2014.

The boat will be equipped with a new multibeam sonar system, the first small boat-mounted, user friendly system of its kind in BC, to accurately map the bottom to international hydrographic survey standards set by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).  Fully equipped, the boat will be capable of bottom mapping IHO standard multibeam surveys, sub-bottom sounding, bottom sediment sampling, bottom photography and videography, and water column property surveys.

“The coastal nearshore is a critical ecosystem forBritish Columbiaand it is vitally important that detailed mapping and monitoring capability is available,” said Steve Grundy, vice president, academic and provost at Royal Roads University. “This vessel and associated equipment will enable Dallimore to accurately study the nearshore in a way that was previously impossible. This research will enable advances in coastal zone management in areas such as fisheries and risk assessments for natural hazards in the coastal zone, all critical elements of a sustainable future for B.C.”

This research is important to Canada as the nearshore is an area of increasing interest for coastal planners and scientists interested in the so-called “white zone” of the nearshore, located between the shore and 50-metre depth. This area is critical for sustainable coastal planning, specifically in relation to ecosystems and natural hazard assessments related to earthquakes and tsunamis.

“The investments being announced today for Royal Roads University will further enhance our country’s reputation as a destination of choice for outstanding researchers,” said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the CFI.    

Link to announcement   

About the Leaders Opportunity Fund:

The Leaders Opportunity Fund supports Canada’s quickly evolving research environment by giving Canadian universities the flexibility they need to attract and retain the world’s finest researchers.

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation:

The CFI invests in facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, to attract and retain the world’s top researchers and support innovation.