Norma Serra Curriculum Vitae

Staff Member: 

Norma Serra-Sogas


Jan 2008 – Jul 2010 University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C., Canada
MSc. in Geography
Spatial analysis and modelling, marine pollution monitoring, risk assessment

Oct 2005 - Jul 2006 Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
Advanced diploma in GIS and Remote Sensing

Sept 1998 – May 2001 Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, N.J., U.S.A
Bachelor Degree of Science.
Major in Marine Biology


July 2011 - Present
Employer: Pacific Marine Analysis and Research Association
- Represent PacMARA locally, participating in activities related to marine ecosystem based management, marine spatial planning and associated science policy development.
- Assist in the organization and delivery of PacMARA training courses and publications locally, regionally and internationally.
- Oversee PacMARA financial and office related operations (including budgeting, banking, financial reporting, office management, etc).
- Ensure accurate and useful PacMARA communications including, updates and maintenance to website, and e-newsletter creation and distribution.
- Assist in the writing of funding proposals and reports.
- Arrange and facilitate regular PacMARA Board meetings.

October 2012 - March 2013
Contractor: Canadian Wildlife Services
Project Title: Predictive modelling of at-sea survey seabird data
- Literature review on exploratory variables used for predictive models based on at-sea survey data for seabirds.
- Compilation of exploratory variables and geodatabase development of acquired spatial information.

June 2012 - October 2012
Contractor: CPAWS
Project Title: Southern Strait of Georgia NMCA Marxan Analysis
- Develop zoning scenarios for the latest proposed NMCA boundary for the southern Strait of Georgia using Marxan.
- Presentation of final results to stakeholders and report writing.

Nov 2010 - June 2012
Contractor: Environment Canada - Canadian Wildlife Services
Title: Oil in Canadian Waters (OCW)
Summary: Spatial analysis of National Aerial Surveillance Program data (oil spill observations and flights) including data processing, visualization and method description. Preparation of agendas and chairing team meetings. Supervising co-op student.

Oct 2010 - Dec 2010
Contractor: Foundry Spatial Ltd.
Title: Montney Water Project
Summary: Compiling and analyzing of existing surface and subsurface water information and related datasets (i.e., climate, vegetation cover, land use, etc) from different sources. Creating maps of compiled data at watershed level to include in final report and poster presentations.

Apr 2010 – Jul 2010
Contractor: Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Title: Pacific North Coast Integrated Coastal Management Area (PNCIMA) Atlas
Summary: Collecting and managing geographic data from multiple sources to create visually pleasing and informative cartographic representations.

May 2009 – Mar 2010
Contractor: Environment Canada – Canadian Wildlife Services
Title: Patterns and association in oil spill occurrence in Pacific Canada: a multivariate spatial analysis
Summary: Characterization of a spatial statistical model to depict which factors are significantly associated with chronic oil spill occurrences in Canada’s west coast.

Jan 2009 - May 2009
Project title: Evaluating management recommendations for Rhinoceros Auklets on the newly established Lucy Islands Conservancy on the north coast.

Jan 2008 – May 2009
Geography Department. University of Victoria
GEOG428 – Advanced Topics in Geographical Information Science
GEOG328 – Geographic Information Sciences I.
•Teaching upper level undergraduate GIS lab courses
•Marking and assisting students with GIS projects

Feb 2008 - Jul 2008
Contractor: Environment Canada - Canadian Wildlife Services
Title: Birds Oiled at Sea project (BOAS).
Summary: Spatial analysis of beached bird surveys sites to estimate factors affecting the variability in bird carcasses depositions.

Mar 2007 - Sep 2007
Contractor: Geography Department. University of Victoria.
Title: Marine Activity Geomatics & Risk Analysis in the Coastal Zone – GEOIDE project.
Summary: Manipulation of large volumes of data; analysis and visualization of oil spill information and marine shipping traffic data.

Dec 2002 – Jul 2005
TechSea International Inc. Seattle, WA, USA
•Collecting volumetric catch estimates and recording catch composition data from commercial fishing vessels in Alaska.
•Completing detailed trip reports for each deployment.


Knowledge Mobilization Unit (UVIC)


Serra-Sogas, N. (2010). Modelling risk of chronic oil pollution from vessel operations in Canada’s West Coast. MSc. Thesis. Department of Geography. University of Victoria.

Serra-Sogas, N., O'Hara, P.D., Canessa, R., Keller, P.C., Pelot, P. (2008). Visualization of spatial patterns and temporal trends for aerial surveillance of illegal oil discharges in western Canadian marine waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 56 (5), 825-833

Serra-Sogas, N., O'Hara, P.D., Canessa, R., Bertazzon, S., Gavrilova, M. (2008). Exploratory spatial analysis of illegal oil discharges detected off Canada's Pacific Coast. In O. Gervasi, B. Murgante, A. Lagana, D. Taniar, Y. Mun, M.L. Gavrilova (Eds.), Computational Sciences and Its Applications - ICCSA 2008, Lecture Notes in Computer Sciences (pp. 81-95). International Conference, Perugia, Italy.


Serra-Sogas, N., Canessa, R., O'Hara, P. (2009). Modelling risk of small-scale oil discharges from vessel operations off Canada's Pacific Coast. CoastGIS '09. Universidade do Vale do Itajaí, Itajaí, Brazil. (oral presentation)

Serra-Sogas, N. (2009). Coastal Security and Risk Management using GIS and Spatial Analysis. 11th GEOIDE Annual Conference, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. (oral presentation)

Serra-Sogas, N., O'Hara, P., Canessa, R., Bertazzone, S. (2009). Exploring the Potential Deterrent Effect of Marine Pollution Monitoring in Canada's Pacific Region. Spatial Knowledge and Information Conference. February 20-21, Fernie, B.C., Canada. (oral presentation)

Serra-Sogas, N. (2008). Spatial Modeling of Oil Spill Risk. Assessing and addressing small scale maritime oil pollution and ecosystem impacts in British Columbia. Workshop hosted by Canadian Wildlife Service and Pacific Environmental Sciences Centre. December 4-5, Vancouver, Canada. (oral presentation)

Serra-Sogas, N., O'Hara, P., Canessa, R., Bertazzone, S., Gavrilova, M. (2008). Spatial statistical analysis of detected illegal vessel-source oil discharges in Canada's Pacific Region. Spatial Knowledge and Information Conference. February 15-17, Fernie, B.C., Canada. (oral presentation)

Serra-Sogas, N., Canessa, R., O'Hara, P., Nelson, T. (2008). Hierarchical clustering analysis of chronic oil pollution and shipping traffic in the Canadian Pacific region. GEOIDE 2008 Annual Scientific Conference. May 28-30, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada. (poster presentation)

Serra-Sogas, N., Canessa, R., Keller, P., O'Hara, P.D., Marven, C. (2007). Visualization and spatial analysis of oil spill risk in Canada's west coast. GEOIDE 2007 Annual Scientific Conference. June 6-8, Halifax, N.S., Canada. (poster presentation)


Interviews by News Media:

Craigie, G. (2010, July 25). On the Island. CBC Radio. (Live interview)

Karp, D. (2010, July 25). Small spills harmful: researcher. Times Colonist. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from

Thomson, S (2010, July 23). Research examines risk of small spills in B.C. waters. Straight. Retrieved October 5, 2010 from

Stirling, A. (2010, July 23). Straight talk. C.FAX 1070. (Live interview)

Sharpe, T. ( 2010, July 22). No Spills Too Small. Media tips & leads. University of Victoria. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from


•GIS: ArcGIS, ArcView, GeoDA, CrimeStats, gvSIG
•Statistics: R, SPSS,
•Others: Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Adobe Professional

•R Statistical computing language

Cartographic Design:
•Corel Graphic Suite
•ArcMap for ArcGIS

•Spanish (mother tongue)
•French (basic speaking and reading skills)