Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) attended AGU’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans, 21-26 February 2016. This bi-annual gathering of 5000 ocean scientists is an important networking opportunity to connect with peers, share knowledge about new research and discuss emerging trends.
Eleven ONC staff presented three talks and eight posters on ocean science, big data management, GIS, ocean literacy and user services. Throughout the conference, ONC staff were available at our popular industry booth, which we shared with AML Oceanographic. We were thrilled to receive a tsunami of positive feedback about our innovative data management software, Oceans 2.0, which has been reliably providing long time series data to ONC users since 2006. We heard a growing demand for Arctic Ocean data, which mirrors the ongoing development of the Cambridge Bay observatory.
The Ocean Sciences Meeting 2016 conference offered a strategic opportunity to connect with ONC’s U.S. counterpart, the Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI), which is now operational and providing deep ocean data online. To kick off the conference, ONC Associate Director of Science Services, Richard Dewey (below), chaired a special session on Ocean Observatory Science, which featured OOI’s new infrastructure alongside ONC’s decade of ocean data management. Following this session, ONC was invited to give a keynote speech at the 3rd Seafloor Observation Symposium to be held in Qingdao, China, November 2016.
From an operations perspective, this conference is the place to connect with past, present and future science users, which strengthens and expands ONC’s global community. We had valuable discussions with a variety of Canadian, US, German, Brazilian and Asian scientists who use ONC infrastructure and data to further their science programs.
A large gathering of ocean scientists always provides insight on current trends, research and discoveries. Topics discussed during the Ocean Sciences Meeting included the growing evidence for ocean acidification and deoxygenation related to climate change, the warming of the northeast Pacific ‘Blob’, deep-sea mining and stewardship, multi-media ocean literacy initiatives and more.
ONC’s Learning team gave a well-received presentation on Connecting Coastal Communities with Ocean Science: a look at Ocean Sense and the inclusion of place-based indigenous knowledge. The inclusion of Indigenous perspectives into scientific research is a fairly new concept and Mercedes McLean’s talk showcased ONC’s community collaborations and activities up and down the British Columbia coast.
To add icing to this substantial ocean science cake, it was widely rumoured that ONC had the best swag of the conference. The popular custom luggage tags were going like hot cakes, along with branded silk scarves, ties, t-shirts, calendars, pens and stickers, which were offered to over 300 people during the course of the conference.
We look forward to the next AGU Ocean Sciences Conference, which will be in Portland Oregon in February 2018.