2013 Innovative ETD Award
Master of Science in Oceanography
University of British Columbia, Canada
In Evgeniya Lyubomirova (Jenny) Snauffer’s Masters Thesis “Modeling herring and hake larval dispersal in the Salish Sea” she used a 3-D Regional Ocean Modeling System studying the effect of strong winds in the Strait of Georgia on the drift of hake and herring larvae at different depths and locations. Pacific herring and hake are commercially important fish in the Strait of Georgia (the body of water that separates Vancouver Island from mainland British Columbia in Canada), and both species use the Strait as their larval rearing grounds. The larvae are dependent on ocean currents to bring them to areas with enough food to sustain them. Larval mortality is the greatest of any life stages and it determines abundance at an adult age.
The significant innovation is the inclusion of animated time series graphs (AVI movies) showing the drift of hake and herring larvae over time. In addition to many complex graphs in her thesis, Ms Snauffer included four .avi moving graphs as supplementary materials. The moving graphs give a visual of the results that could not be described as clearly in words, and that would be cumbersome to get across in a series of static graphs. This visual method enables the research results to be shared more quickly and effectively, increasing cooperation and collaboration among different researchers.
Snauffer is currently an ocean modeller with an extensive software programming background. Upon completion of her thesis, Snauffer will seek opportunities to apply her modelling and software development skills in the Victoria or Vancouver area.