Area of Expertise:
Dr Jim Gower began research as a radio-astronomer at Cambridge University in England and started work in 1971 as the “Satellite Oceanographer” at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney at a time when the first environmental satellites were being launched. He has been a member of US, Canadian and European (NASA, CSA, ESA) space agency teams for altimeters, imaging radars and colour sensors. A long-term specialty is the colour of ocean and coastal waters, for which the European sensor MERIS provides new and interesting data.
He has worked on satellite techniques for monitoring intense surface plankton blooms in seas and lakes, and on collecting surface plankton data from buoys, ships and underwater gliders.
His work with the Strait of Georgia ERI program has focused on monitoring and tracking the timing and pattern of the spring bloom in the Strait. He has used MERIS and MODIS satellite imagery and in-situ recording fluorometers to monitor the pattern and timing of the Strait of Georgia spring bloom starting in 2001.
The imagery shows a previously unreported bloom pattern in February and March which suggests seeding of the early spring bloom from deep, glacial inlets to the north in five of the ten years. The images give the first observations of “seeding from inlets” into the Strait of Georgia. This seeding has been suggested as a mechanism for triggering the main spring bloom in the Strait, but has not been previously observed. Their results suggest that the bloom occurs earlier in years with seeding.
Select Presentation(s) / Publication(s):
Levy, G & Vignudelli, S & Gower, Jim. (2018). PORSEC Special Issue: Enabling earth observations in support of global, coastal, ocean, and climate change research and monitoring, International Journal of Remote Sensing. 39, No. 13. 10.1080/01431161.2018.1464102.
Halverson, Mark & Gower, Jim & Pawlowicz, Rich. (2018). Comparison of drifting buoy velocities to HF radar radial velocities from the Ocean Networks Canada Strait of Georgia 25 MHz CODAR array. 10.13140/RG.2.2.25814.14407.
Carswell, Tyson K, MSc; Costa, Maycira; Gower, Jim, Dr.”Analysis of MODIS-Aqua imagery to determine phytoplankton phenology in the Strait of Georgia, Canada” (2016). Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. 16. https://cedar.wwu.edu/ssec/2016ssec/species_food_webs/16/
Gower, Jim. (2015). On the use of satellite-measured chlorophyll fluorescence for monitoring coastal waters. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 1-10. 10.1080/01431161.2015.1111542.