In Halifax, marine science, research and industry set international standards. The city’s culture and economy has always been focused towards the ocean and many citizens have roots tied with the fishing and shipping industries. We have multiple government laboratories working on oceans research along with outstanding universities dedicated to ocean sciences. Also, there is a homegrown industry of ocean technology companies such as VEMCO and Satlantic who work with ocean acoustics and sensors.
Now Halifax has a new headquarters for research and collaboration that will attract even more oceans-related researchers, organizations and business.
Last year, five organizations moved into the newly named Steele Ocean Sciences building at Dalhousie University. They each share the goal of developing ocean science research and oceans industries. The organizations are unique in their research and field of study, but they all contribute significantly to growing the field.
The Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology (CERC.OCEAN), the
Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) and the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction Response Network (MEOPAR), all work at the forefront of oceans research. Doug Wallace and his team at CERC.OCEAN work to predict and prepare us for unprecedented changes in the world’s ocean systems by looking at the chemical changes occurring. The Ocean Tracking Network is a $168-million global conservation project, and the world’s most comprehensive examination of marine life and ocean conditions. Finally, MEOPAR examines human activity in the marine environment and the impact of marine hazards on coastal regions. Recently, MEOPAR has also funded a project called “OceanViewer.org”. The website combines numerous streams of data points from the Atlantic Ocean and displays this local data on an interactive map for anyone to utilize.
However, not all of the organizations focus directly on research. The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) encourages bold undertakings and facilitates collaborative ocean research projects. By bringing together universities, colleges, government laboratories and private companies the IORE helps create an innovative culture in our region where marine based industry thrives.
Lastly, the Transatlantic Ocean System Science and Technology Research School (TOSST), is a joint Dalhousie-Helmoltz Centre for Ocean Research graduate school. TOSST links major centers of ocean research on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean: Maritime Canada and northern Germany. This graduate school is a leading program for developing skilled researchers and professionals to help in the local industry.
With the work that is currently being done by this collective group, Halifax is on the forefront of marine science growth. Our skilled and educated workforce, innovative research and newfound center for collaboration will continue to grow the industry and economy.
Callahan Murphy is the marketing and communication assistant at the Institute for Oceans Research Enterprise. He is also a Business Management student at Dalhousie University.
You can reach Callahan at Callahan.Murphy@dal.ca