The Ring

UVic, ONC research, technology on display in the Arctic

Fri, 2014-08-22 14:34

President with Prime Minister
L to R: Kate Moran, Jamie Cassels, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Laureen Harper. Photo: PMO
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and ONC's Kate Moran
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and ONC's Kate Moran. Photo: PMO
Sea urchin
Sea urchin collected by ONC.
The platform underwater
Platform after its first year in the waters of Cambridge Bay.
Pink anemone on the seafloor of Cambridge Bay
Some of the life on the seafloor of Cambridge Bay.

On Aug. 23, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Laureen Harper were with UVic President Jamie Cassels and Ocean Networks Canada’s President Kate Moran to view the latest instrumentation that showcases Canadian technology and science applied in the Arctic at Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

President Cassels talked with the Prime Minister about ONC, as well as the joint venture between UVic's history department and the Nunavut Department of Education to develop a new web-based "Great Canadian Mystery" on the Franklin Expedition.

He also spoke to northern officials about the potential to work together in the future to benefit northern communities and peoples in the tradition of the university’s ground-breaking Akitsiraq partnership.

Installed in 2012, ONC’s community-based, cabled seafloor observatory is the first location in Canada’s Arctic for year-round, continuous undersea monitoring of the northern environment. Its instruments – including an underwater camera, ice profiler and sensors that measure temperature, depth and salinity – provide science-based support for greater understanding and protection of fragile arctic marine ecosystems. Data streaming from the instruments supports cutting-edge research and science-based decision making and enables local students, teachers and community members to steward their own environment.

ONC, a UVic initiative, operates world-leading observatories for the advancement of science and the benefit of Canada. Made up of NEPTUNE in the northeast Pacific and VENUS in the Salish Sea, ONC is changing the way oceans are studied by providing data collected by hundreds of instruments and delivering it free through an Internet portal. Scientists and citizens alike can observe the underwater natural environment in real time from anywhere in the world and study a wide range of phenomena, including earthquakes, tsunamis, climate change, ambient noise and Arctic change.