Clayoquot Sound Oceanographic Conditions: University of Washington Tacoma Study
Since 2017, the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) has collaborated with the University of Washington Tacoma (UW Tacoma) to conduct ongoing water-quality research on the physical, chemical and biological oceanographic conditions in the fjords of Barkley and Clayoquot Sounds. UW Tacoma has been conducting this research in the region since 2000 and have a vast collection of data as a result. This partnership is mutually beneficial as it provides us with a broader knowledge of local conditions as well as giving the students real world data collection and analysis experience.
For the second year in a row, the UW Tacoma Estuarine Field Studies Class was forced to adapt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was replaced by an Oceanographic Data Analysis course where students were able to analyze and compare data collected by previous classes in the inlets of Clayoquot Sound. The students decided to focus on comparing data from 2013 and 2015. They were drawn to these data sets as they were from the years preceding and following the “Blob,” a patch of warm water in the North Pacific that came ashore in the fall of 2014 and quickly increased water temperatures by 2-4°C. This was a significant and unprecedented change in a short period of time, and the 2021 class was interested to see how it affected the local oceanic conditions.
The class presented their findings in a Zoom meeting to our Research Director and other members of the CBT team, local researchers, guides, and interested members of the public. In this presentation, they compared various environmental conditions in each inlet of Clayoquot Sound for both 2013 and 2015. To explore their data and findings, check out the 2013 website and the 2015 website.
Congratulations to the students on a job well done! We look forward to our continued collaboration in the name of science and discovery.