Diving into Ocean Science in Canada

Diving into Ocean Science in Canada

Ocean Week Canada 2023 Series 

Canada has the longest coastline in the world and the world’s largest inland waterway. Although most Canadians live far from the coasts, we have a shared dependency on the ocean for trade, food security, an energy source, and employment. Across the globe, we also rely on the ocean as a natural buffer to climate change, and as a vital source of oxygen. However, increased human activity and warmer water temperatures have had negative effects on the overall health of the ocean, which in turn, impacts marine life and communities. Join some of the National Research Council of Canada’s ocean scientists to learn about the important – and cool – work that they are doing to better understand these coastal and oceanic changes.


Improving Coastal Resilience Through Physical Modelling 

Scott Baker, Coastal Engineer

June 5th @ 1:00pm eastern

Experts from the National Research Council of Canada’s Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre work to meet the challenges of climate change, and protect infrastructure, property, and people from severe weather events and other environmental risks. Join Scott Baker to learn about coastal engineering and how important physical modelling is to conducting applied hydraulic research. Through physical modelling, coastal engineers recreate various environments such as ports, coastal, estuary, and riverine settings in order to develop innovative engineering solutions to improve the resilience of coastal structures. This a hands-on approach to develop new engineering designs to mitigate coastal erosion, improve beaches, ports and harbours, and to keep coastal populations and the environment safe.

Register: https://forms.gle/uZsDHm7iPBuoS4867

What is the Big Deal About Small Plastic?

Bailey Levesque, Technical Officer; Ludovic Hermabessiere, Research Associate  

June 6th @ 1:00pm eastern

Plastic products are a part of everyday life that we have become accustomed to using over many years.  Unfortunately, some of the plastic we use are only intended to be used once before being disposed of. Due to low recycling rates, incorrect management of waste and sometimes bad consumer habits; plastics can end up in the environment causing plastic pollution. Plastic debris found in the environment are categorized based on their size and most are small plastic particles called microplastics. They are smaller than 5 mm in size and can come from products containing small plastic particles or from the degradation of larger plastic debris in the environment. During this presentation, we will show you what we are studying at the National Research Council of Canada to find out the effects that these small plastic particles can have on fish. This research will help us better understand the impact of microplastics on the environment.

Register: https://forms.gle/uZsDHm7iPBuoS4867

Measuring Microplastics: Plastic Waste Smaller than the Eye Can See

Adrian Pegoraro, Research Officer

June 7th @ 1:00pm eastern

Plastic waste in the environment slowly breaks down over time, getting smaller and smaller, turning into microplastics that are smaller than the eye can see. These tiny pieces of plastic then migrate in the environment with large amounts of it ending up in the ocean and rivers. Once there, it can enter the food chain and these small plastic particles are now found in a wide range of living things, even humans. This raises many questions. How much plastic is there in our environment? What kind of plastic is it? And how does it affect living things? For small microplastic particles, these are challenging questions to answer. In this talk, I will tell you about some of the work we do to detect and quantify microplastics in our environment so we can better understand them and their impact on living things.

Register: https://forms.gle/uZsDHm7iPBuoS4867

Out on the Ocean – Science Work on a Research Vessel

Joerg Behnke, Research Officer

June 8th @ 1:00pm eastern

The Aquatic and Crop Resource Development (ACRD) research center is part of the National Research Council (NRC) and is doing all kinds of research on plants, on land and in the ocean. Most people know kelp or seaweed and other large algae that you can find on the beach, but in our group, we are looking at tiny “plants” in the ocean, called phytoplankton. These are unicellular, meaning they are just one cell, and you need a microscope to see them. Although they are so tiny, they are super important for the ocean and for us. These little critters produce half of the oxygen that we breath and they remove a lot of COfrom the atmosphere. Our group went on several research cruises to learn more about phytoplankton. Join me as I share what it is like to work on a research vessel and the science that we do.

Register: https://forms.gle/uZsDHm7iPBuoS4867

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