Jamie Cassels, UVic president and vice-chancellor, said the new Ocean Climate Building near the University of Victoria will help Ocean Networks Canada deliver ‘ocean intelligence’ to scientists, communities, governments and industry. (Wolf Depner/News Staff )

Feds pump $3.5M into UVic climate research centre

Federal minister says investment strengthens scientific research, economic development

One of the world’s leading oceanographers says the creation of a new ocean and climate research centre at the University of Victoria will create intellectual and economic spin-offs.

“Where disciplines interact, innovation explodes,” said Kate Moran, president and chief executive officer of Ocean Networks Canada (ONC).

It monitors the west and east coasts of Canada and the Arctic to deliver at no charge real-time data scientific research to other scientists, communities, governments and industry through two large ocean-based observatories among other facilities. By way of example, its monitoring of sea-surface currents informs maritime navigation and emergency responses that range from distressed ships to oil spills, while its acoustic data measuring underwater noise helps authorities protect marine mammals such as killer whales from underwater noise.

Overall, it manages 400 instruments containing over 5,500 sensors.

RELATED: Ocean Networks Canada and ROPOS sub work together

RELATED: UVic eyes site for Oceans Network facility

RELATED: Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C

But ONC is not just a clearing house for data, but also a technological incubator, at is currently developing Canada’s first early warning system for earthquakes, among other items for public and private uses.

Officials from the network, the university, as well as senior spheres of government cited this history during the official opening of the network’s new Ocean Climate Building on Arbutus Street, just off the University of Victoria’s main campus.

The centre has previously housed a senior care facility run by the Sisters of St. Ann.

Moran said the centre will physically unite researchers, who had previously worked across separate buildings in one locations, thereby sparking innovation.

Funding for the $9.5 million facility comes from the University of Victoria ($5.15 million), the federal government ($3.5 million) and the provincial government ($850,000).

The federal government represented by Jonathan Wilkinson, federal minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, also announced $12.6 million over four years to help monitor ocean conditions that impact endangered orcas and expand ONC’s ability to supply to real-time data on ocean currents, informing better information navigation and emergency response.

RELATED: Canada invests $46 million in University of Victoria ocean science facility

RELATED: UVic receives funds to study southern killer whales

When asked about the state of the local orca population, Moran said she is not a biologist, but added that the local population is clearly endangered. With the additional investment from the federal governments, scientists in both Canada and the United States will be able to work on ways to help the population, she said.

During her officials remarks, she also noted that the investment will not help Canada met its goals to mitigate climate change, but also develop what she called a blue economy.

The official speakers list during the Jan. 10 official opening also included Jamie Cassels, UVic president, and Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End. Local MPs Murray Rankin (New Democratic Party) and Elizabeth May (Greens) also attended the official ceremony, which drew some 100 people, including Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff, and former councillor Vicki Sanders.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Time-lapse video shows weekend work on McKenzie Interchange project

Construction crews place concrete underpass bridge beams

Opposition to gravel quarry in Highlands gains traction

Impact on drinking water a major concern

Victoria post-secondary schools reveal most popular programs

Camosun College, the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University share students’ top picks

A sunny day ahead for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at your week

Greater Victoria sees crime severity index rise

Fraud cases rise 31 per cent over previous year

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

EDITORIAL: Trees at the heart of Sooke

Two largely unrelated stories surfaced this week that might lead one to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Most Read