New "Ocean Sense" Program Announced
New “Ocean Sense” learning program aims to make global connections with world-leading ocean observatory technology.
October 3, 2014

Mill Bay, BC. - Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), an initiative of the University of Victoria, today launches a pilot ocean science educational program at Brentwood College School to complement its growing network of community observatories program, which saw its prototype installed off the school dock two years ago, in the waters of Mill Bay, BC.

Ocean Sense is a free, novel online educational program based on analyzing, understanding and sharing ocean data collected by the observatories.

“At ONC we believe it’s crucial that global citizens develop an ocean sense; an understanding that the health of the ocean reflects the health of the planet. We’re excited to be launching this program in partnership with Brentwood College School, where teachers and students have the ocean close by and are enthusiastic about this project and its potential.” ~ Maia Hoeberechts, Associate Director User Services, ONC

In 2012, Brentwood College School was chosen as the first test location for the community observatory, in part because of its location at Mill Bay with direct access to the sea. The enthusiasm and cooperation of the school administration was also vital.

“With the Saanich Inlet at our doorstep, it’s quite natural for us to be involved with ocean activities, including studies in marine science. We’re looking forward to sharing local observations and building global connections, as our students come to Brentwood from around the world.” ~ Bud Patel, Head of School, Brentwood College School

The pilot year of “Ocean Sense” is directed towards students in Grades 8 to 10. First, students are encouraged to develop an understanding of ocean conditions at their doorstep through the analyses of community observatory data. Then, they connect that knowledge with the health of the global ocean by engaging with students at other schools participating in the educational program.

Students and teachers access educational material and data through a web portal, and use video conferencing and social media tools to communicate their findings. A series of lesson plans introduces the teachers and students to cabled observatory technology and instrumentation, including technical aspects and their value in monitoring changing ocean conditions.

Brentwood College School in Mill Bay, British Columbia, and Kiilinik High School in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut are the two flagship schools in the year-long pilot program. Both observatory systems were recently upgraded. The Arctic installation was upgraded during the last week of September, and the Brentwood College School observatory is being re-deployed today from the dock.

ONC’s community observatory systems are a cornerstone of “Ocean Sense.” These smaller-scale versions of technologies developed on the world-leading NEPTUNE and VENUS cabled ocean observatories are designed to make real-time underwater observations available to the local community, where each is located.

About Ocean Networks Canada

Ocean Networks Canada operates the world-leading NEPTUNE and VENUS cabled ocean observatories in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the Salish Sea. These long-term observatories continuously collect physical, chemical, biological, and geological data, supporting research into complex Earth system processes. In addition, ONC has established community ocean observatories in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut and Mill Bay, British Columbia, with similar systems being developed across Canada.

About Brentwood College School

Brentwood College School is a co-educational boarding school for Grades 9 to 12. Prospective students are drawn to our school’s innovative approach, university preparatory programs, and spectacular oceanfront setting.

Learn more about the "Ocean Sense" program
Live data from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Maia Hoeberechts, Associate Director, User Engagement, Ocean Networks Canada

Ian McPherson, Director of Communications & Marketing, Brentwood College School

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