Workshops and Symposia

About our Workshops and Symposia

Each year Ocean Networks Canada runs several user guided workshops. The workshops provide an opportunity for students, researchers, and observatory staff to review data access procedures, plan experiments and instrument deployments, and explore new opportunities and future installations. User groups are encouraged to propose a workshop focus and agenda. Although most workshops are held at our offices on the beautiful University of Victoria campus, we can host a  workshop at a conference or at a user group’s host institution.

Recent workshops focused on the Folger Area, Endeavour Hydrothermal Research, Future Expansion at Endeavour, and data access and analyses training workshops.

Please contact the Associate Director, Sciences Services for information about upcoming workshops or proposing a new workshop.


Past Workshops

Saanich Inlet 2016 Symposium: Ten Years of Observatory Science

February 11-12, 2016, at the University of Victoria

In early February 2016, the VENUS Saanich Inlet cabled observatory celebrated ten years of continuous operation in supporting international coastal marine science. To mark this occasion, Ocean Networks Canada hosted a two-day Symposium (11-12 February 2016) at the University of Victoria (Bob Wright Centre) for the community to present past accomplishments, report on the latest results from active research, and develop future observation plans and studies in this dynamic fjord. Studies have inlcuded benthic ecology, sediment dynamics, forensics, microbial community assessment, renewal processes, hypoxia and biogeochemical cycles, plankton dynamics, internal tides and mixing, and technology development. 

More info


Barkley Canyon Refresh Workshop

October 5-7, 2015, at the University of Victoria

As many of you know, the Barkley Canyon Node was taken offline in January 2015, and the Node was fully recovered in May. The plans to repair and redeploy the Node and associated extension cables in the 2016 cruise season are being executed, with the Node successfuly re-installed on May 15 and most of the instrument platforms to be re-connected during ther June expedition. We took this opportunity to conduct a thorough assessment of the science achievements and future experiments for the observatory installations at Barkley Canyon. During the week of October 5-7, 2015, Ocean Networks Canada hosted a workshop at the University of Victoria for researchers to present results, discuss experiments, assess sites, and recommend plans for future Barkley Canyon research. We are also interested in discussing how the ONC Barkley Canyon experiments moving forward can be integrated into a more regional observation effort with the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) off the west coast of the US.

More details can be found on the Barkley Canyon Refresh Workshop page.


BC Coastal Marine Sciences 2015: A Roadmap to 2020

Ocean Networks Canada hosted a workshop in Victoria on February 16 & 17, 2015 to review and coordinate coastal research activities in BC. The goal of the workshop was to bring together all active and potential researchers who are conducting or planning to conduct coastal ocean science in BC marine waters, from Race Rocks on southern Vancouver Island, to Dixon Entrance in the north. The objectives included a review of present knowledge and active research activities, review existing and planned observing installations and facilities, and coordinate research activities moving forward to 2020 and beyond.

The Workshop Report is now (May 25, 2015) available for download: BC Coastal Marine Science 2015 Workshop Report.

If you are interested in receiving additional information, follow the link below or please contact Richard Dewey, the Associate Director, Science Services for further information.

Read more


Multidiscipline Observatories in Vent Ecosystems

Innovations in ocean technologies has allowed the development of a new generation of ocean observing systems. The EMSO-Açores (EMSO-ESONET) and NEPTUNE (Ocean Networks Canada) observatories, located on the Mid-Atlantic and the Juan de Fuca ridges, respectively, are the first deep-sea platforms with a link to land to be deployed at hydrothermal vents. Both observatories have been operating since 2010 and have acquired large volumes of different types of data (scalar, acoustic, optical) for a wide range of disciplines.

The next big challenge is to integrate these data to reach a comprehensive understanding of hydrothermal ecosystem dynamics and functioning. This international workshop brought together researchers from various disciplines to share results and engage future collaborations.

Specific objectives

  • Presentations and up-dates for the two observatories
  • Develop ideas for multidisciplinary data integration: within a vent field and between vent fields
  • Foster future collaborations, student exchanges, cruise participation
  • Identify common funding opportunities 

Workshop report


Computer Vision for Analysis of Underwater Imagery

Monitoring marine ecosystems is of critical importance for gaining a better understanding of their complexity, including the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic influences on marine environments. The analysis of underwater imagery imposes a series of unique challenges, which need to be tackled by the computer vision community in collaboration with biologists and ocean scientists.

This 1-day workshop was held on 24 August 2014. It was part of the International Conference on Pattern Recognition, 24-28 August 2014, in Stockholm Sweden. We invited abstract submissions from all areas of computer vision and image analysis relevant for, or applied to, underwater imagery analysis. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • underwater image enhancement
  • physical models of reflectance and light transport
  • underwater scene understanding
  • classification, detection, segmentation
  • autonomous underwater navigation
  • detection and monitoring of marine life
  • object tracking
  • automatic video annotation and summarization
  • context-aware machine learning and image understanding

Workshop Website


Hydrophone Workshop (June 2014)

In collaboration with several partners, Ocean Networks Canada is developing an initiative to establish a coordinated network of acoustic hydrophones along the entire coast of British Columbia. In support of this vision, Ocean Networks Canada and the Vancouver Aquarium organized a workshop on 16 June 2014, which gathered many of the existing hydrophone operators in BC. The initial discussion was focused on formulating a vision and roadmap for the comprehensive BC Hydrophone Network.

Info and Related Links


ONC-INDEEP Partnership Development Workshop (23-25 April 2014)

This workshop will examine current and future technological infrastructure available for cutting-edge deep-sea research. The overall goal is to strengthen research collaborations and facilitate cutting-edge deep-sea science through Ocean Networks Canada's cabled observatory infrastructure.

Info and Related Links


Tsunami Detection Workshop (27-28 March 2014)

On occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Alaska earthquake and tsunami, Ocean Networks Canada and the Port Alberni community are co-hosted a 2-day technical workshop. The workshop provided a brief overview of tsunami models, tsunami risk for the coast of BC and the technology available for event detection and alerts. Structured discussions among a broad range of sectors followed, with the goal of identifying technological requirements for real-time tsunami forecasting for British Columbia’s coastal areas.

Info and Related Links


Strait of Georgia 2014 Workshop

MEOPAR, the University of British Columbia and Ocean Networks Canada co-hosted a Strait of Georgia Oceanography Workshop,  15-16 January 2014. 

Workshop objectives:

  1. Review recent advances and gaps in our knowledge of the southern Strait of Georgia
  2. Review recent observatory installations, available platforms, and data sources for the Strait
  3. Plan for a coordinated observing program in June 2015: “The Strait Under Freshet - 2015”

Info and Summary


Endeavour Planning Workshop 2013

The Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge has been monitored on NEPTUNE Canada’s network for over three years. The funded CFI proposal “Biogeochemical monitoring of mid-ocean ridge axis processes using the NEPTUNE Canada cabled observatory” (Coogan, et al.) proposes to “seize on the potential provided by the NC cabled observatory by comprehensively instrumenting three active hydrothermal vent fields, distributed over >5 km, along the mid-ocean ridge.” The proposal describes expanded instrumentation and cabling at Main Endeavour Field, Mothra and High Rise, including water samplers, chemical samplers, cameras and sediment traps.

Details and Reports


Folger Passage & Barkley Sound 2013

This workshop focused on research done at Folger Passage and Barkley Sound. It brought together existing and new researchers to discuss present status, results and future opportunities for collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects.

More info


CORK Connections in Cascadia Basin

This workshop provided a forum for participants to discuss interdisciplinary opportunities that would be enabled by extending power and communications/data transmission from the NEPTUNE observatory to CORKs at IODP 1027 deep-sea site in Cascadia Basin on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge.

More info


Endeavour Hydrothermal Systems 2012

This workshop provided an overview of the NEPTUNE Canada installation to date, describe opportunities for coordination, summarize current research results, and present future expansion plans.

More info


Ocean Observatory Workshop 2012

The workshop, co-sponsored by Dalhousie University and Ocean Networks Canada, provided researchers and students with hands-on training in accessing and visualizing data from the NEPTUNE Canada and VENUS undersea observatories. Workshop participants discussed current and future observatory research in the areas of benthic ecology, benthic boundary layer dynamics, water column studies, modeling of physical and biological processes and acoustic monitoring of bedform dynamics.

More info


Automated Data Analysis 2012

The aim of this workshop was to inspire interdisciplinary research in the area of automated analysis of deep- sea video data. Data from Ocean Networks Canada were used to illustrate representative examples of research problems in the field. The workshop was targeted at anyone with an interest in cabled observatory data, deep-sea video data, computer vision, video processing and/or marine biology.

More info


Saanich Inlet Symposium 2012

This symposium included reviews of past and present research in Saanich Inlet, bolstered by extensive discussions of ideas and potential collaborations for future research within Saanich Inlet. The format included short research presentations and posters, followed by open group discussions. There was also a social event at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre.

More info


Middle Valley Workshop 2011

The NEPTUNE observatory currently has 5 operating and instrumented nodes on its undersea network with a 6th site, at Middle Valley on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, ready for installation of a node module. The goals of the workshop were to review known and emerging research opportunities at Middle Valley and to develop a phased instrumentation plan that could be implemented once connectivity was available at the site.

Agenda and Report


NEPTUNE Canada Workshop 2011

NEPTUNE Canada's annual workshop was set for 2-4 June 2011 in Victoria. This workshop was a forum for existing and new researchers to discuss the present status of the undersea network, communicate research results, and define future directions.

Background, Agenda, Report


Previous Workshops

Information about previous workshops is available via archival wiki pages for our NEPTUNE Canada 2010 and NEPTUNE Canada 2009 planning workshops.

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