Thesis Defence: Lisa Rickard (MSc NRES)

Friday, March 31, 2023 - 10:30am

The Office of Graduate Administration is pleased to announce that Lisa Rickard will be defending their thesis entitled “COMPARISON OF RECENT MAJOR SPRING FLOOD EVENTS IN THE SAINT JOHN RIVER BASIN” as a candidate for the degree Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies. 

If you wish to join online please contact  The details on the defence are included below:

DATE:  March 31, 2023
TIME:   10:30 AM

DEFENCE MODE:        Remotely via Zoom

To ensure the defence proceeds with no interruptions, please mute your audio and video on entry and do not share your screen inadvertently. The meeting will be locked to entry 5 minutes after it begins, ensure you are on time.

ABSTRACT:     The flood-prone Saint John River (SJR) traverses provincial and international borders as it travels from its source in northern Maine to its mouth in southern New Brunswick (NB). In 2008, NB experienced its worst spring flood in 35 years, which was followed by more major spring flooding in 2018 and 2019. As part of the Saint John River Experiment on Cold Season Storms (SAJESS), the objectives of this project are to identify the sequence of events that led to these floods, and to compare these to the 2021 season, in which no major spring flooding occurred. Relying largely upon evaluated reanalysis and hydrometric data, numerous atmospheric, surface, and hydrological variables are examined at various spatial and temporal scales. There are commonalities and differences between flood years as well as between flood years and the non-flood year. When averaged across the upper basin, flood years show consistency in terms of positive winter and spring precipitation anomalies, positive snow water equivalent (SWE) anomalies, and steep increases in April cumulative runoff. However, they show inconsistency in terms of ice jams and positive spring total precipitation anomalies when averaged over the full basin. A comparison of the conditions between flood and non-flood years also reveals commonalities, such as northeastward-moving storms affecting the region and positive winter total precipitation anomalies when averaged over the full basin. There are also differences, such as the early snowmelt and early timing of peak flow and water level in the non-flood year. As well, rain-on-snow events were a prominent feature of the three flood years but not the non-flood year—not because there were no rainstorms, but because there was low SWE when they occurred, due to the early snowmelt. Overall, the concurrence, or lack thereof, of key meteorological-related conditions is a critical issue affecting the likelihood of flooding.


Chair: Dr. Ian Hartley, University of Northern British Columbia

The examining Committee Members are:

Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Dery, University of Northern British Columbia

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Ronald Stewart, University of Manitoba, Professor

Committee Member: Dr. Peter Jackson, University of Northern British Columbia

Committee Member: Dr. Julie Thériault, Université du Québec à Montréal, UQAM, Professor

External Examiner: Dr. Guillaume Fortin, Université de Moncton, PhD, Professor, History and Geography

Contact Information

Graduate Administration in the Office of the Registrar
University of Northern British Columbia


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