Saanich Inlet Symposium 2012

Ariel Vies of Saanich Inlet

The 2012 Saanich Inlet Symposium was held at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, 28-29 May 2012.

Recently, evidence has mounted for new and expanding oxygen minimum zones in coastal and oceanic waters; there is an urgent need to increase and broaden our understanding of the effects of increased hypoxia and low pH (acidification) on marine ecological and biogeochemical processes. For much of the year, Saanich Inlet has a strong oxic-hypoxic-anoxic gradient: the Inlet provides a unique opportunity to develop a model system to explore some of the impacts of decreasing oxygen and increasing acidification on ecological and biogeochemical processes driven by changing physical and climate conditions. As we promote discussion on all areas of future research, we expect to develop a multi-disciplinary approach to changing oxygen states in the ocean.

Symposium Goals & Objectives

This symposium will foster a discussion environment concentrating on Saanich Inlet as a Model Hypoxic System that allows researchers to:

  • Review the past and present research in Saanich,
  • Formulate the components that make SI a model hypoxic system,
  • Discuss new facilities and initiatives; and
  • Explore opportunities to design new research programs.

The principle goals of this meeting are to:

  • present overviews of the extensive research conducted in Saanich Inlet to date, and

  • discuss ideas and promote potential collaborations for future research within the inlet.

Possible Outcomes

  1. Plan seed studies for students
  2. Grant proposals for collaborative initiatives
  3. Guidance for use of new infrastructure in Saanich Inlet
  4. A review paper that amalgamates the Saanich story.

Symposium Program

Symposium Proceedings


Short (10 minute) research presentations and posters. The format of the meeting is such that we will hold questions and discussions until the end of each session and then have a group/open discussion where questions to and answers from the authors will be encouraged. Presentations on any area of past or current research in Saanich Inlet are invited. A principal goal of this meeting is to develop ideas and potential collaborations for future research. Thus:

  • Oral presentations will focus solely on research results and findings (no need for backgrounds, summaries, or conclusions).
  • Oral presentations should include a slide or two outlining future research you would conduct in Saanich Inlet if the necessary resources were available.
  • Posters are requested (recycled from other/old events is encouraged) to facilitate breakout discussions.
  • Discussions during the meeting will include sources of potential funding for collaborative efforts, as well as sampling opportunities brought by participants including: the VENUS cabled and profiling system, UVic’s Bluefin AUV, Slocum gliders, the new UVic research vessel and a foundation funded ship and ROV cruise in September 2013.
  • Social Event at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre on May 28 (5-7pm) to help facilitate conversations.


Richard Dewey, Damian Grundle, Steven Hallam, Roberta Hamme, Verena Tunnicliffe, Frank Whitney.

Dates & Venue

May 28-29, 2012
Institute of Ocean Sciences
9860 Saanich Road
Sidney, British Columbia, Canada
Room: Stewart Auditorium