__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 16

can we talk Editor-in-Chief Deborah Rogers talks with Dr. Kate Moran, President and CEO of Ocean Networks Canada Has the ocean always been a passion of yours? Paleoceanography seems to be an incredibly specialised field, how did you end up becoming a world leader in this area? My passion began when I was young with family vacations to the coast, and a high school physics teacher who helped me shape the beginning of a career path. He explained the field of ocean engineering to me – how math and science could combine to make things work better – and really fueled my desire to purse an education in ocean engineering. Some great instructors and mentors at university further focused my direction. I learned how science could offer better decision-making today through understanding the earth’s geologic history ... that we could actually drill down deep beneath the seafloor, as we did in the Arctic Ocean, and retrieve sediment samples from hundreds of millions of years ago, to help us reconstruct the past and provide evidence of climate change on a planetary scale. What I love about engineering is the fact you can take practical tools and apply them to important ocean science problems. Your current post is President and CEO of Ocean Networks Canada, which operates the world-leading NEPTUNE and VENUS cabled ocean observatories. Can you explain the type of research that goes on and its implications to us both locally and globally? Ocean Networks Canada is a world leader in ocean observing technology. We’re an initiative of the University of Victoria, located right on the doorstep of Vancouver Island communities. We like to be on the leading edge of new science, offering new ways to enable scientists to pursue their research – that’s what keeps us at the forefront. And our data – including the live streaming video from our cameras on the seafloor – is free to anyone with an Internet connection. Our observatories, connected by almost 900 kilometres of cable, continuously monitor a wide range of study areas that attract scientists from around the world. These stretch from the coastline and continental shelf, across the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate to the mid-ocean ridge where new crust is being formed and extraordinary communities of animals thrive around volcanic vents. Long-term observations by ONC support such a diverse range of research: climate change adaption, earthquake and tsunami warnings, key marine species such as salmon and orcas, and even the complex interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean.

Living on the west coast we are constantly in touch with the ocean and see the way it connects to our lives, do you notice that different countries will approach the topic of ocean research and protection in different ways? Most of the western world approaches ocean protection in much the same way. There are various differences in their abilities because of the way their funding is structured or the way universities are structured vurses government labs. The big difference is in developing countries, who don’t have the resources. For example, when I worked in Thailand following the tsunami, after it destroyed everything, the country immediately rebuilt, very quickly, without really doing analysis about what makes sense in the ways we rebuild because they didn’t have the research infrastructure. So there needs to be a lot more assistance in those countries that are vulnerable. One of the ways to address this discrepancy is to bring young scientists from these countries to the west in an exchange. That’s really how you can make change.

Profile for Seaside Magazine

Seaside Magazine April 2015 Issue  

Think of our publication as an extra dimension of our community space, a place where the West Coast culture is treasured and celebrated.

Seaside Magazine April 2015 Issue  

Think of our publication as an extra dimension of our community space, a place where the West Coast culture is treasured and celebrated.