The Climate, Oceans, and Paleo-Environments (COPE) Laboratory was founded in 2007, with the primary goal to understand natural and anthropogenic changes in the climate system in the past, present, and future. Projects currently fall under three main topics: (a) natural and human induced changes to the ocean carbon cycle (b) impacts of climate and land-surface changes on atmospheric dust, and the resulting climate and biogeochemical feedbacks, and (c) impacts of climate change on extreme weather events in British Columbia.
Student projects cover a wide range of spatial scales, from local (understanding linkages between debris flows and regional climate change) to regional (quantifying extreme wind and precipitation events over the Pacific Northwest) to global (evaluating ocean carbon injection as a means of mitigating the build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide).
Students working in the COPE lab use a variety of tools to pursue their research, including geochemical analysis, field data, computer databases, and earth system models. They work closely with researchers from government agencies such as Metro Vancouver, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Ministry of Highways, as well as collaborating internationally with researchers in the UK, US, and Germany.