Climate Change

Biosphere Reserves are both learning laboratories and priority sites for monitoring climate change. In the 1990s, citizens involved in the Clayoquot Biosphere Project — which preceded the UNESCO Biosphere designation — constructed an observatory site at the mouth of a pristine river valley located in northern Ahousaht territory in Clayoquot Sound. The unlogged valley, river estuary and steep mountainous slopes contain old-growth Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir forests, making it an ideal site for climate change research, both on land and in the water. Much of the recent research conducted from the site has focused on “Soundscape ecology,” which includes studying the sound signature of a land or marine scape, including the composite biophony, geophony and anthrophony of a place, based on the sound patterns they generate.  

Research Cabin

Located within Sydney Inlet Provincial Park, the CBT research cabin is an off-grid facility that can accommodate up to six researchers. Facilities include a woodstove, a propane stove, and a pit toilet outside the cabin. The cabin was constructed with permission from Ahousaht Chief and Council, and CBT is excited to collaborate with Ahousaht on research happening at the facility and share results of monitoring. The cabin has been the base for scientific research including flora and fauna surveys but has also housed a "writer in residence" initiative to allow for qualitative literary observations, as well as serving as a special healing site for Ahousaht. 

Contact CBT Research Director, Dr Laura Loucks for more information.  

Remote Listening Project

The Sydney Inlet research cabin is now the base camp for a remote listening station, an innovative means to collect long-term monitoring data while engaging locals and visiting researchers interested in studying ecosystems by looking at the sound patterns they create. We use special microphones designed to record environmental sounds and an audio-remote sensing video camera provides supplementary information that we use for audio-interpretation.

The soundscape project began as a pilot demonstration of how to gather, index, and use monthly sound recordings, and is now expanding to be a multi-year, large scale project focusing on the acoustic ecology of marine ecosystems in Sydney Inlet in addition to land-based ecosystems.