Integrated Watershed Research in the Nechako River Basin (Phase 1)

NEEF Funding: $500,000.00

Total Project Budget: $1,000,000.00

Start Date: January 2014

End Date: December 2017


The University of Northern British Columbia houses an Integrated Watershed Research Group comprising four research chairs: Stephen Déry (Canada Research Chair in Northern Hydrometeorology), Philip Owens (Forest Renewal BC Chair in Landscape Ecology), Ellen Petticrew (Forest Renewal BC Chair in Landscape Ecology), and Margot Parkes (Canada Research Chair in Health, Ecosystems and Society). The chairs have worked collaboratively for several years on integrated watershed-based research with an emphasis on the Fraser River Basin and other northern BC watersheds including the Nechako River Basin. The researchers view integrated watershed research as linking biophysical, chemical, social, and human-health processes to address important environmental, landscape ecology, and community issues.

The integrated watershed research will focus on the following three areas:

  1. Water security and climate change (Déry and students).
  2. Sediment sources and dynamics (Petticrew, Owens and students).
  3. Tools for integration in watershed management and governance (Parkes and students).

The expected outcomes of the project are:

  • Analysis of recent trends and variability in observed river runoff across the NRB, and a comprehensive water budget for the basin.
  • Determination of the main sources of the fine-grained sediment transported in the Nechako basin (past and present), including an assessment of likely future trends.
  • Development of a watershed portal profiling integrated watershed information, and associated training and knowledge transfer.
  • Training of postdoctoral research fellows, undergraduate and graduate students, and a project manager.
  • Dissemination of research results to the public, via workshops, as well as through academic conference presentations, posters and publications.

Proponent: University of Northern British Columbia