Fonds AR006 - Alan Austin fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Alan Austin fonds

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Fonds

Reference code

CA UVICARCH AR006

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1964-1997 (Creation)
    Creator
    Austin, Alan

Physical description area

Physical description

4.2 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1932-2009)

Biographical history

Alan Austin was a faculty member of the Biology Department at the University of Victoria from 1964-1997. He was a phycologist - a specialist in marine and freshwater algal vegetation. Austin was involved in two major research projects: Victoria Phenology Project, 1964-1986, and the Seaweed Inventory Project (SIP), 1969-1978. The SIP launched a substantial, and very rare, pre-utilisation survey of the seaweed along BC coastal waters, and produced detailed vegetation maps previously unavailable. A major proportion of the day to day research was conducted by Robert Adams, Austin's research assistant and colleague. The data from the SIP was used by the BC Commercial Fisheries Branch (later the Ministry of Environment) to assess the feasibility of commercially harvesting British Columbia's rich marine resources. Alan Austin died in Victoria, BC on September 29, 2009.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of seven series: 1. SIP reports, 2. SIP films and photographs, 3. SIP correspondence and field notes, 4. SIP reference literature, 5. Victoria Phenology Project, 6. Teaching and student material, and 7. Aquatic ecology projects. The Seaweed Inventory Project, in particular, is a valuable, detailed record and baseline survey of a substantial part of the coastline of BC, and the vegetation and biota (thus measurable on a global scale) supported at the time of the surveys done in 1972 and 1974. These data stand as a permanent record against which any coastal changes can be compared and measured. The sedentary, attached nature of coastal biota makes it particularly responsive to, and thus a sensitive indicator of changes in their environment. Forces of change include oil spills, toxic spills, runoff from land developments, marina construction, and natural catastrophic events.

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Finding aids

Inventory available. Online Finding Aid

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BCAUL control number: UVICARCH-230

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