Hakai Institute Expands to Quadra Island

Quadra Island Field Station

QuadraMapQuadra Island, one of the Discovery Islands lies at the northern end of the Strait of Georgia.

On a 12.1 hectare (30 acre) site there we have established the Hakai Institute’s Quadra Island field station, which serves the following purposes:

  • It is the administrative headquarters for the Hakai Program.
  • It is a development and test site for applications we intend to deploy later at the Calvert Island field station.
  • It is a good off-season location for meetings related to the Hakai Institute.
  • It is a processing center for data and specimens collected at all Hakai Institute sites.
  • It is the center of a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program for the Discovery Islands and the Bute Inlet watershed.

Quadra Island Location

VanIsleSmallQuadra Island lies between Vancouver Island and the mainland of North America. Quadra is about 36 km long, about 310 sq km in area. Quadra is one of the Discovery Islands, along with Cortes, Read, Maurelle, Sonora and many other islands. Quadra occupies an important nexus:

  • To the south lies the Georgia Strait, which is the main basin between Vancouver Island and the mainland. The shore of Georgia Strait includes Vancouver and other urban centers, plus the mouth of the enormous Fraser River, which drains 220,000 sq km of the BC interior.
  • To the west lies Johnstone Strait. With each new tide, water floods from the ocean to the north into Queen Charlotte Strait, down the narrow Johnstone Strait, and through the labyrinth of channels into Georgia Strait. Tidal currents can exceed 15 km per hour.
  • To the north lies Bute Inlet, a deep fjord. About 80 km long, Bute extends deep into the coastal mountain ranges. The huge Bute watershed includes the Homathco, Southgate and Orford river systems and the massive coastal icefields.

These three marine influences converge on Quadra Island.


The Quadra Island field station sits on a 30 acre site, just north of Heriot Bay on the east side of Quadra Island.


We have several research programs under development.

Human Habitation

We have a very successful archaeological program at our Calvert Island field station. We have recently established what we hope will be an equally successful program at our Quadra Island field station under the leadership of Daryl Fedje of the Hakai Institute and the University of Victoria.

We expect research to span two time scales:

  • Early habitation of the region, with a focus on the time period from 15,000 to 5,000 years before present.
  • More recent habitation of the region.

Ocean Primary Production & Juvenile Salmon

This program is under development under the leadership of Brian Hunt of the Hakai Institute and the University of British Columbia. Will be launched in the spring of 2015.


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