Oceans: A Workshop - Blog

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Oceans: A Workshop

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Explore how oceans have influenced humanity during this lively and educational workshop, held at the Ucluelet Aquarium and hosted by North Island College. Four scientists will discuss how the ocean has served many purposes through human history, from energy to food production, and share their thoughts on how oceans have impacted our lives.

Admission is free, but space is limited. Please pre-register by calling Christine Boyer at 1-250-334-5000 ext. 4244.

Schedule: Thursday, April 24, 2014

7:00 pm: Opening Remarks

7:30 pm The Fukushima Disaster and Radiation in the Pacific Ocean: What does it mean for British Columbia?

With Dr. Jay Cullen, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria

The mega-thrust earthquake of March 11, 2011 off the coast of Japan and subsequent tsunami led to globally significant releases of radioactive elements from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The atmospheric fallout and direct discharges of radionuclides to the ocean in particular were unprecedented. Radioactive elements from Fukushima arrived on the west coast of North America in the air about 4-5 days after the disaster while the ocean plume of radioactivity was first detectable in seawater along the Canadian west coast in summer 2013. In this presentation, the radioactive releases, transport from Fukushima and expected maximum concentrations on the west coast of North America are discussed in light of naturally occurring radioactivity and historic releases of radioactive elements from human activities. Ongoing monitoring efforts and likely impacts on environmental and public health are also discussed.

Friday, April 25, 2014

9:00 am: Doors Open

9:30 am: The West Coast Wave Initiative: A Strategic Approach to Wave Energy Development

With Dr. Bradley Buckham, Institute of Integrated Energy Systems, UVIC

Wave energy converters (WECs) are often cited as an important entry in the portfolio of renewable energy technologies. Yet, little to no precision is currently provided in the description of Canada's wave energy opportunity and it is not clear how WECs could be applied in an optimization of the nation's energy infrastructure. To address this knowledge gap, the West Coast Wave Initiative, has gathered experts in wave resource assessment, wave energy conversion, dynamics simulation, and renewables integration at the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems to expedite a precise evaluation of the wave energy opportunity existing off of Vancouver Island - a strategic region for Canada's WEC proponents. Using accurate, affordable and accessible wave monitoring buoys, wave propagation models and high fidelity numerical simulations of WEC technology, the WCWI is generating a foundation for a wave energy sector while consuming financial support at a level commensurate with the current domestic appetite for a transformational technology like wave energy conversion. In this presentation, the methods and findings from the first year of the WCWI will be shared and efforts to apply these findings in comprehensive planning exercises studying the possible integration of kW to GW of wave energy will be discussed.

11:00 am: Greening of the Blue Revolution- A Global Need for Sustainable Aquaculture

With Dr. Stephen Cross, NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Sustainable Aquaculture, NIC

The global population continues to grow, with our current 7.2 billion expected to increase 50% in the next 40 years. Food security is an increasing issue for the planet, and for the over 1.25 billion that rely primarily or exclusively on seafood, the pressures on fisheries is clear – many have collapsed and others are at risk. Aquaculture, or aquatic farming, is the fastest growing agri-food sector and has now surpassed the production capacity of global fisheries – the Blue Revolution. With increasing seafood demand there is a real need to ensure that aquatic food production systems be designed to address this demand yet do so in a sustainable manner. This presentation will provide background on the Blue Revolution and how we are moving to make it a little more Green – starting here in British Columbia.

1:00 pm: Reconciling the divorce between nature and humanity - An Ocean's Health Perspective

With Dr. Craig Stephen, DVM PhD, Centre for Coastal Health (Nanaimo), Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary

The artificial distinction between humanity and nature has long philosophical origins but no foundation in ecological reality. This talk will explore how application of the notion of health promotion may be a way to promote a socio-ecological approach to health that deals with the reciprocal care of nature and us. At a time of unprecedented environmental change, new strategies are needed to cope with exponential human growth while sustaining the world around us. The implications of this approach for post-secondary education will be explored as part of this talk.

*Please note that the Aquarium will not be open to regular admissions until 3:00pm on Friday, April 25th while the event is running*

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180 Main Street, Ucluelet, BC  V0R 3A0 | 250-726-2782 | info@uclueletaquarium.org