• Our Changing Ocean: Series 3
These courses are now over, however we may be offering more courses in the future. To express your interest please contact Maxine Reitsma at 250-721-6477.

Series description

Photo credit: Ocean Networks Canada

Humans are intimately connected to the global ocean: we rely on it for food, energy, transportation, jobs, recreation and even oxygen. Despite covering over 70% of the planet, providing a home to two million of Earth's species, and containing some of the world's tallest mountains and deepest valleys, the ocean is largely unexplored and holds many secrets to fully understanding our planet.

Increasing human population and world economic activity have resulted in accelerated exploitation of Earth's resources and direct and indirect impacts to the global ocean. Additionally, as population densities in coastal areas increase, so too does the need to better understand and respond to ocean-related natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

Linking elements of chemistry, physics, biology and geology, these sessions will look at a number of ocean issues of societal concern and how technology is allowing us to better understand our changing ocean. Each session will include a 1.5-hour lecture followed by 30 minutes of discussion.

Note: it is not necessary to have attended the first two parts of this series to take Series 3.


Wiring the Abyss: Adventures in Deep-Sea Engineering

Summer 2016 was an exciting time at sea for Ocean Networks Canada. In a coordinated dance, the Exploration Vessel Nautilus and the Cable Ship Wave Venture worked together to repair the Barkley Canyon node of the Ocean Networks Canada NEPTUNE observatory and lay new cable across an underwater volcanic ridge some 300 km off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
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Pacific Warming: From the Warm Blob to El Niño and Back Again

This lecture will examine the seasonal atmosphere-ocean dynamics in the region, review the history of large-scale Pacific patterns, what led to the warm Blob and its connection to regional weather patterns, discuss if there are links to the 2015 El Niño, and assess the most recent conditions through early 2017.
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Thunderbird and Whale: BC's Next Big Earthquake and Tsunami

On the evening of Jan. 26, 1700, the west coast of North America was rumbling and shaking, and very large ocean waves washed far inland. Several First Nations remember this as the battle between a thunderbird and a whale, and if modern geologists understood these stories earlier, it would not have taken until the late 1980s to realize that the greatest earthquakes and coupled tsunamis on earth are actually happening right off our coast.
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Sound in the Sea: It's Changing, It's Revealing and It Will Affect Your Supper

Sound is the most effective way to study the ocean—it’s an amazing tool that is both far-reaching and informative. We have only just begun to take advantage of what marine life have been using for millions of years. How can we use sound in the sea? What can it tell us about the ocean and ourselves? What are the implications of a changing ocean soundscape?
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