Undergraduate Summer Research Awards

Summer research awards provide paid employment opportunities for students to participate in scientific research at Dalhousie during the summer. If you would like to gain research experience in an academic setting, these awards can provide you with financial support.

NSERC USRA Projects Available in Oceanography for Summer 2021

The following supervisors will be offering NSERC USRA projects in Oceanography for Summer 2021. Below is a list of projects to which students can apply. 

Any interested students should contact the listed supervisor. Those wishing to apply for one of the following NSERC USRA projects should submit the following to the project supervisor: completed application form; transcript(s); updated CV.
The deadline is Monday, January 25, 2021.

2021 Summer Research Awards Application Form [PDF - 190 kB]

2021 Summer Research Awards Guidelines [PDF - 143 kB]

For more information, please contact:

USRA Coordinator:
David Barclay
Phone: (902) 494-4164
Fax: (902) 494-3877
E-mail: dbarclay@dal.ca


: Dr. David Barclaydbarclay@dal.ca

Project Title: Underwater acoustic imaging of snails

Project description: An in-tank lab experiment to measure the acoustic backscatter strength of a small lake snail will be performed. Further measurements of the acoustic signature of snails using a sidescan sonar image will be carried out, along with the development of an automated detector. This project will be carried out in collaboration with Dr. Linda Campbell (Saint Mary's University).

Expected skills to be acquired: Theory of acoustic scattering, operation of single beam and sidescan sonar, sonar data processing, image processing, programming and script writing in Matlab.

Supervisor: Dr. Craig Browncraig.brown@dal.ca

Project title: Analysis and testing of Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS) for benthic monitoring

Project description: Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS) are a recent technology with potential applications in Canadian waters for monitoring benthic ecosystem conditions and health. Stereo BRUVS, which are designed with two cameras and integrated lights, offer a method to identify and measure the size of mobile fauna from the collected video footage/still images. This project will conduct basic processing of BRUVS imagery data sets from initial field trials of these systems. 

Expected skills to be acquired: The student will acquire skills in processing benthic video and photographic data sets collected using BRUVS to extract quantitative information on fauna and environment. They will also acquire an understanding of the maintenance and operation of ocean technology instruments, and basic statistical analysis methods.

Supervisor: Dr. Markus Kienastmarkus.kienast@dal.ca

Project title: Oceans and global change

Project description: The ocean initiates, amplifies and mediates global climate change on time-scales ranging from less than a year to thousands of years. Understanding the ocean’s past variability - recorded in the sedimentary archive – is thus of paramount importance for climate science.

Expected skills to be acquired: Students in my lab get to use different analytical techniques to extract from the sedimentary record detailed information on the ocean of the past. See www.oceanbiogeochem-atdal.org for more.

Supervisor: Dr. Anna Metaxasmetaxas@dal.ca

Project title: Evaluating the resilience of kelp ecosystems designated for protection

Project description: The student will assist with field work documenting the spread of a marine invasive species in the Atlantic Canada, experiments measuring growth of kelp and pilot studies of kelp transplantations.

Expected skills to be acquired: Image analysis, statistical analyses, experimental design, field work conducted with SCUBA and in sampling from small boats.

Supervisor: Dr. Ruth MusgraveRMusgrave@dal.ca

Project title: Internal tides over the Scotian Shelf

Project description: The generation, propagation and dissipation of internal tides over the Scotian Shelf will be investigated using both underwater glider measurements and numerical models. The student will analyze glider data to identify regions and time periods of large amplitude internal tides, and relate this to topography and background stratification. Idealized numerical simulations will be used to explore the generation and propagation of these waves through background currents and over complex bathymetry.

Expected skills to be acquired: The student will: (1) develop skills in the analysis of oceanographic data using a programming language such as Python, Julia, R or Matlab; (2) enhance their understanding of internal tides and the physical oceanography over the Scotian Shelf, and (3) have the opportunity to explore the theoretical underpinnings of internal tide generation and propagation using both analytic and numerical techniques.