Suzan Lapp

Ph.D., P.Geo.



Suzan is a Geoscientist that specializes in water management. She values educating future hydrologists and has taught at the University of Lethbridge, Okanagan College, Thompson Rivers University, and University of British Columbia – Okanagan. More recently, Suzan worked as a hydrologist at the BC Oil and Gas Commission where she led a hydrometric monitoring program in partnership with First Nations in northeast BC, feeding her passion for working with local folks to address their water concerns.



Suzan is native to Redcliff, Alberta, but she has slowly expanded her range in search of higher education and hydrology work. Suzan travelled to Lethbridge, Alberta, to begin her academic career, then went east to Regina before making her way to BC. Suzan then migrated to Kelowna where she lived for ten years before heading north to Fort St. John where she has found a cozy den for herself and her herd. However, Suzan is still seized by seasonal urges to escape the cold and has found herself in Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, China, US, Chile, Nepal, and the southern USA.


Life History

Suzan received a diploma in Environmental Science from the Lethbridge Community College, a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Environmental Science from University of Lethbridge, and a Ph.D. in Geography from University of Regina. Suzan currently works as a hydrologist and is registered as a Professional Geoscientist in British Columbia. When not at work, Suzan spends her time playing with her herd of mini-donkeys, horses, cows, cats, and dog. She can be found pack tripping and riding with her horses and her sidekick heeler, Blue, or enjoying a cold beer with friends around a campfire.



Few species dare to prey on Suzan, though there are concerns that Suzan’s relocation to Fort St. John (which occurred despite her struggles to survive cold temperatures) may one day reduce her population. However, researchers have been impressed by her active engagement in her own habitat conservation; Suzan has fenced off the riparian zone within her small cow/calf operation and installed off-stream waterers, improving her natural habitat and preserving water quality for herself and her herd.

Dawson Creek 2016.JPG


Publications and Technical Reports 

  • Lapp, SL., Johnson, E.G., Cottrell, D.L., Van Dijk, W.T., Shepherd, B.P. and Rolick, R.L. (2022): Pilot Collaborative Water Monitoring Program, northeastern British Columbia (NTS 094A, parts of 093O, P, 094B, G, H): year one update; in Geoscience BC Summary of Activities 2021: Energy and Water, Geoscience BC, Report 2022-02, p. 95–102.

  • Lapp S, Redding T, Ronneseth K and Wilford D. 2015. Research and Information Needs Assessment to Support Sustainable Watershed Management in Northeast British Columbia.  Prov. B.C., Victoria, B.C. Technical Report 90.

  • St. Jacques J-M, Huang Y, Zhao Y, Lapp S and Sauchyn DJ. Accepted to Canadian Water Resources Journal. Detection and attribution of variability and trends in instrumental streamflow records from the Canadian Prairie Provinces.

  • Scott D, Lapp S, Scott A. 2013. Water Repellent Soils, How to Measure Repellency and Their Important.  Streamline. 15(2): 21-27.

  • Lapp SL, St. Jacques J-M, Vanstone J, Sauchyn D. 2012. Forcing of Hydroclimatic Variability in the Northwestern Great Plains since 1406. Quaternary International. 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.03.031.

  • St. Jacques J-M, Lapp SL, Zhao Y, Sauchyn DJ. 2012. Early 21st Century projected Northern Rocky Mountain River Discharges. Quaternary International. 310(2013): 34-46.

  • Redding T, Lapp SL, Leach J. 2012. Natural Disturbance and Post-Disturbance Management Effects on Selected Watershed Values.  BC Journal of Ecosystems and Management. 13(1).

  • Bonsal BR, Aider R, Gachon P, Lapp S. 2012. An Assessment of Canadian Prairie Drought: Past, Present and Future. Climate Dynamics. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-012-1422-0

  • Lapp SL, St. Jacques J-M, Barrow EM, Sauchyn DJ. 2012. GCM projections for the Pacific Decadal Oscillation under greenhouse forcing for the early 21st century. International Journal of Climatology. 32(9): 1423-1442.

  • Lapp SL, Sauchyn DJ, Toth B. Spring 2009. Constructing scenarios of future climate and water supply for the South Saskatchewan River Basin: Use and limitations for vulnerability assessment. Prairie Forum (Guest Issue). 34: 153-180.

  • Lapp SL, Sauchyn DJ, Wheaton E. 2008. Future Climate Change Scenarios for the South Saskatchewan River Basin.  A Report Prepared for Unit 2 of the Institutional Adaptations to Climate Change Project. University of Regina, Regina, SK. 81p.

  • Sauchyn DJ, Barrow EM, Lapp SL. 2008. Explorations of Climate Variability in Alberta: Past, Present and Future. A Report Prepared for the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC) in co-operation with Alberta Environment. PARC, University of Regina, Regina, SK. 122p.

  • Lapp SL, Byrne JM, Townshend I, Kienzle S. 2005. Climate warming impacts on snowpack accumulation in an alpine watershed: A GIS based modeling approach. International Journal of Climatology. 25: 521-536.

  • Lapp SL, Byrne JM, Kienzle S, Townshend I. 2002. Linking GCM synoptics and precipitation for western North America. International Journal of Climatology. 22: 1807-1817.