At the Hakai Institute, we take pride in our ability to integrate technology with our scientific capability, and that of our partners. The ingenuity and diverse skills of our staff and affiliates allow us to tackle challenging applications in settings that would deter other organizations.
Sensors and Sensor Networks
With our partner Hakai Energy Solutions, we design, build, and deploy telemetry systems and sensor networks to collect data in real time. On land, we monitor weather, streamflow, water chemistry, and other variables in coastal watersheds. In the ocean, we have deployed autonomous systems that monitor oceanographic variables using surface and subsurface moorings, cabled observatories, and ocean gliders. This allows us to collect information from across the land and seascape even when scientists cannot be physically present.
Everything we study at Hakai—both above and below the water—has a strong sense of place. To digitize the habitats we study, we use advanced tools, including: satellites, LiDAR, orthophotography, drones, multi-beam SONAR, and remotely operated vehicles. Inventory and mapping allow us to gather baselines and track changes in the environment.
The environment is full of genetic material from organisms that live there. These unique strands of DNA are a rich source of data for scientists to unlock information about the ecosystem. Genomic techniques are helping us solve countless biological mysteries. We can explore the microbial world, discover new species, and track populations as they move through the environment.
The Marna Lab on Quadra Island is filled with custom aquaria—called mesocosms—that mimic a natural ocean environment. Within each mesocosm, scientists can finely control water properties to mimic past, present, or future conditions. In this environment, we can test the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on marine creatures and move beyond correlation to understanding causation and mechanisms.
Our research generates a massive volume of data spread across many disciplines. We manage and store these diverse data types, so that all research programs can access them. This allows researchers to examine the data in ways that would otherwise not be possible if research is unnecessarily siloed. Through this we facilitate the non-trivial challenge of processing data into knowledge.