Norma Serra

David Turpin Building
GIS Laboratory Rm A236
Department of Geography
University of Victoria
Victoria, BC, V8W 3R4

Phone: 1-250-472-4624



In 2001, I completed my BSc in Marine Biology, after which I worked as a fisheries observer in Alaska for almost 5 years. In 2005, I enrolled in a one-year GIS advance program in my home country, Spain.

A previous contact with Dr Rosaline Canessa inspired me to move to Victoria, B.C., to do a 3 month practicum in her lab, which was a necessary requirement to fulfill the GIS program in Spain. That is how I started working with oil pollution data gathered by Transport Canada. My main tasks were the visualization and exploratory analysis of observed oil spills and surveillance flights performed in the west coast of Canada.

Once completed my program in Spain I came back to Victoria to work as a research assistant for 6 month to continue my research on chronic oil pollution from vessel operations. This research captivated my interest to the point that in January 2008 I decided to enroll at UVic to pursue my MSc in the Geography Department, with Dr. Rosaline Canessa and Dr. Patrick O’Hara (CWS-EC) as supervisors. I completed my MSc in July 2010.

From 2010 to 2012 I worked for Environment Canada as a GIS Specialist and Project Manager for the Oil in Canadian Waters project. This project was funded by Transport Canada and Environment Canada and focuses on the analysis of oil spill observations and surveillance effort information extracted from the MSS6000 system, a new equipment installed in NASP aircrafts across Canada. It aslo involved the analysis of shipping traffic patterns in the Altantic, Pacific and Arctic. Four universities are involved in this project: University of Victoria, Mount Allison University, Dalhousie University and University of Calgary.

To this date I continue affiliated with the CORAL research group. Currently I am helping Dr. Rosaline Canessa in the organization of the conference CoastGIS in 2013. Currently, I work as program manager and Marxan trainer for the Pacific Analysis and Research Association.



My research interests include spatial analysis and visualization for marine pollution monitoring and risk assessment, specifically oil pollution from anthropologic marine activities. My background is in GIS and marine biology.

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