Development Day! November 23, 2016

The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE), in partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) and Big Data Alliance of Nova Scotia are hosting a development day for students and teachers across the province on Wednesday, November 23rdOur Ocean Playground is a full day hands-on, experiential learning opportunity focused on helping our students and teachers to build deeper learning connections with our oceans. The day integrates technology, explores innovation, and promotes entrepreneurship by focusing on the growing importance of oceans in our lives and in our world.

Supported by funding from Irving Shipyards Inc. (ISI) and the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTCNS), IORE has developed a Teacher Professional Development program for this event. This professional development day will focus on building the confidence and competence of middle school teachers in the delivery of experiential ocean education, and will help to profile and raise awareness of the regional industry and its various sectors. The workshop topics include;

  • marine renewable energy
  • marine optics and acoustics
  • aquaculture
  • and shipbuilding and boatbuilding

Teachers will have a chance to participate in interactive investigations relating to these key ocean sectors in our province, led by regional experts from industry and academia. These workshop investigations will link science, technology, engineering and math, with concepts relating to the ocean economy and ecology, careers, innovation & entrepreneurship, and local communities.

IORE Exploration and leadership EXPEDITIONS!

In Collaboration with The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise, Outward Bound Canada is offering a selection of FULLY FUNDED course opportunities!

More information about the program can be found on the Fall Expeditions Flier from Outward Bound Canada.

Click HERE to download the flier.

A new research study from the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) and the StFX Faculty of Education is looking to shed light on the career perceptions and intentions of Nova Scotia junior high school students, including perceptions on several emerging regional sectors.

Dr. Sherry Scully, IORE’s Director of Learning and Organizational Development, and StFX education professor Dr. Katarin MacLeod received a $15,000 Mitacs Accelerate grant to employ StFX education PhD student Laura Stiles-Clarke to analyze and recap results from a survey conducted with Grades 6-9 students across Nova Scotia.
The grant comes under the Mitacs Accelerate Program, which connects graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with companies through short-term research projects. Mitacs is a national not-for-profit organization that facilitates collaboration between academia and industry, government and other organizations.
“It’s been a wonderful partnership, and in some ways a model, in that academia and industry can work together to accomplish something for the good of the entire province,” Dr. MacLeod says.
Having both academia and industry work together on the research lends an added layer to the results, adds Dr. Scully, who brought the idea of a partnership to StFX.
Dr. Scully says the idea for the project was born out of earlier research she had completed, and a desire to look further into career literacy, to explore what young people are thinking about in terms of general career interests, and specifically about careers in the region and in the marine industry and skilled trades.
The researchers wanted to survey younger students still enrolled in general science courses to gain insight into when and how career perceptions are formed, she says.
Drs. Scully and MacLeod worked together to launch the pilot study, and working with the StFX Research Grants Office, put together the proposal for Mitacs.
“StFX has been endeavouring to expand its working relationship with Mitacs. This Accelerate Award is an excellent opportunity for one of our doctoral students in education to gain valuable applied experience in the industry and government sectors. We are also delighted to partner with the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise on this cutting-edge study of young science students’ perceptions of career opportunities in Nova Scotia,” says John Blackwell, Director of StFX’s Research Grants Office.
In January, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood, the researchers launched the Student Intentions and Perceptions survey in all English, French, and Mi’kmaq school boards across the province. The survey received almost 14,500 responses, nearly a 40 per cent response rate.
Dr. Scully says results could provide insights into the perceptions of careers in trades and technology, engineering, ocean sciences and marine careers, and the factors that influence these perceptions as well as key times for career counselling and awareness and exposure programs.
Ms. Stiles-Clarke says it’s been a wonderful opportunity for her to work on this research.
“It’s brought a whole other dimension to my learning,” she says, noting the networking and learning opportunities created.
“It’s been hugely valuable for me to develop my research skills. It also opened up new knowledge that wouldn’t have happened without the grant,” she says.
The project has produced several reports, including an industry report that has been presented to the Nova Scotia Department of Education. Dr. MacLeod says they believe the project has the potential for multiple journal articles as well as conference presentations and a later follow-up study.

HALIFAX, NS – June 27, 2016 – The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE), in partnership with Irving Shipbuilding Inc., released today the results of a Marine People Partnership report intended to inform the development of a sustainable national marine industry workforce.

The Marine People Partnership report addresses the challenges, needs and opportunities for strategic workforce development in the greater marine industry, which includes shipbuilding and ship repair sectors, as well as the companies that directly and indirectly support them.

IORE developed the report with funding received through Irving Shipbuilding’s Value Proposition commitment under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). NSS is designed to create a future of certainty for Canada’s shipbuilding industry and the companies that support it.

The Marine People Partnership report identifies six priority areas that comprise common challenges to workforce development in the marine industry, nationally, including:

  • The history of boom and bust;
  • The socialization and normalizing of workforce mobility;
  • Social and systemic challenges to attracting talent in skilled trades;
  • Developing essential skills, workplace skills and 21st century competencies;
  • Developing workforce capability among under represented workers; and,
  • Developing management and leadership capability.

In addition to the priority areas, the report also examines issues relating to workforce development in skilled trades and technology roles, in unionized environments, and of professionals.

The report identifies 25 recommendations to address the priority areas including:

  • Improving career literacy among young people and their parents;
  • Integrating more 21st century competencies into apprenticeship and technology training;
  • Developing more in-house training for customized marine oriented skills and knowledge;
  • Engaging unions to help actively build a stronger learning culture; and,
  • Improving the ocean literacy of our young people by building interest, engagement, awareness and knowledge base.

Since being selected in 2011 as Canada’s Combatant Shipbuilder under the NSS, Irving Shipbuilding has undertaken a number of initiatives to develop the workforce responsible for Canada’s future fleet.

The Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence has been established in partnership with the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) to develop academic curriculum and state of the art training facilities for marine industry trades.

To enhance ocean literacy and awareness of careers in the shipbuilding industry among youth and their parents, the Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence offers shipbuilding summer camps to youth across Nova Scotia in partnership with SuperNOVA, and offers school outreach including a shipbuilding activity day in grade six classrooms.

Irving has established partnerships with industry, union, Government and community organizations to offer education, apprenticeship and career opportunities to underrepresented workers through programs such as Women Unlimited, Pathways to Shipbuilding and the NSCC Centre of Excellence Bursary Program. As identified in the report, women, Aboriginal Canadians, visible minorities and people with disabilities have largely been underrepresented in shipbuilding, and Irving Shipbuilding is working to change that.

Irving has also recruited shipbuilders from the most established global shipbuilding leaders to help mentor, lead and train the Irving Shipbuilding workforce, which is over 95% Canadian workers, in modern shipbuilding techniques and establish Halifax as a shipbuilding centre of excellence, while cultivating domestic talent and experience. Currently, over 1,200 skilled trades and professionals are employed with Irving with that number expected to double during the peak of the NSS project.

The full Marine People Partnership Report is available for download here <LINK TBC>

Information on Irving Shipbuilding’s workforce development initiatives is available at


“A strong, sustainable marine industry and workforce puts Canadian shipbuilding at the forefront of innovation and longevity. Our people are our greatest resource and a proper strategy to develop and grow our workforce is critical to ensure Canadians benefit from the good paying, stable jobs created through the National Shipbuilding Strategy. By developing our workforce, we can assure we deliver the best value to Canada.”

Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding Inc

“For young people to become interested in a career in a particular industry, they need to have awareness of it. The National Shipbuilding Strategy will bring predictability and stability to the marine industry and build confidence that this is an industry worth investing in in terms of workforce development and infrastructure.  If there is one great outcome of the NSS, it is elevating the profile of the marine industry and the opportunities within it.”

Dr. Sherry Scully, Director of Learning and Organizational Development, IORE

About the Marine People Partnership

The Marine People Partnership (MPP) was established to explore workforce development issues and advise on a national human resource development strategy. Conceived from Irving Shipbuilding’s Value Proposition commitment under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, the objective of the MPP is to propose objective and relevant recommendations aimed at overcoming challenges to developing a highly trained, skilled and available workforce.

About IORE

Ocean expertise abounds on Canada’s east coast. In Nova Scotia alone, ocean-related activity generates $5 billion in revenue and produces 60,000 jobs – 14 per cent of provincial employment. More than 10 per cent of all researchers in Atlantic Canada are focused on oceans. And an increasing number of private sector companies are discovering new economic opportunities in key ocean-related sectors. The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) exists to align these assets to benefit the region and the marine science and marine technology sectors. By brokering partnerships among industry, universities, government and private institutions, IORE is working to enhance both the competitiveness of ocean industries and our knowledge base.

About Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (ISI) is part of the J.D. Irving, Limited Group of companies which includes operations in Agriculture, Construction & Equipment, Consumer Products, Energy, Food, Forestry & Forestry Products, Retail & Distribution, Transportation & Logistics, and Shipbuilding & Industrial Fabrication. ISI’s primary site is Halifax Shipyard, with four other locations in the Maritime Provinces. ISI was selected in 2011 as Canada’s Combatant Shipbuilder under the merit-based National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) and is in the early stages of a 30-year military shipbuilding program. To date ISI has awarded over $1 billion in NSS contracts to over 200 Canadian companies creating over 9,000 direct and indirect jobs.


The Governments of Canada and New Brunswick and the SmartATLANTIC Saint John Consortium celebrate the completion of the SmartATLANTIC Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy project

June 24, 2015 – Saint John, New Brunswick

Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John, on behalf of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, along with the Honourable Roger Melanson, New Brunswick Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, today announced the launch of the SmartATLANTIC Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy website. The weather buoy and on-line weather and wave forecasting tool technology will provide the marine transportation community, commercial fishers, recreational boaters, meteorologists, researchers and scientists with online access to real-time weather and directional wave information in the Bay of Fundy.

Amec Foster Wheeler will use the meteorological and oceanographic information collected by the buoy to generate high-resolution weather, wind and sea state forecasts, which will help keep mariners safe while increasing productivity and reducing the cost of moving goods through Port Saint John, Canaport LNG, Irving Canaport and other facilities.

With accurate data, shipping companies will have additional information to safely navigate their vessels through the waterways leading into Port Saint John. This technology improves the port’s reliability, and supports better planning and more efficient operations by shippers and others using it.

The SmartATLANTIC Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy is an ODAS buoy (Ocean Data Acquisition System) manufactured in Canada by AXYS Technologies and is the first buoy of its kind to be deployed in the Bay of Fundy. It is an important new weather forecasting tool and platform for scientific research/education.

The public is now able to access the weather forecasts free of charge by visiting – a website hosted by Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Centre for Applied Ocean Technology.

Quick Facts

  • The total project cost is approximately $417,000. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $185,000 through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund.
  • Other project partners include: the Province of New Brunswick (contributing $91,000), the Saint John Port Authority (contributing $91,000), Amec Foster Wheeler (providing in-kind services of $30,000), Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association (providing in-kind services of $8,000), and the Canadian Coast Guard (providing in-kind services of $12,000).
  • The buoy is owned by the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE), based at Dalhousie University. The annual operating and maintenance costs will be equally funded by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, Canaport LNG, Irving Oil and the Saint John Port Authority. The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) will operate the buoy, with technical support provided by Amec Foster Wheeler and the Centre for Applied Ocean Technology at the Marine Institute at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • In 2014, Port Saint John handled 834 vessels and 23.94 million tonnes of cargo and, over the past five years, has welcomed over one million cruise ship passengers.
  • Saint John marine pilots, employed by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, carry out about 1,800 transfers annually.
  • This buoy technology will increase the security, safety and efficiency of the shipping industry, as well as increase marine traffic and trade through Port Saint John, an important Atlantic Gateway port.


“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in this smart technology that will improve safety, reduce costs, and increase the efficiency of Port Saint John, while supporting Canada’s future economic growth. By providing the shipping community and other users with highly valuable real-time information to more accurately forecast wind, wave and ocean currents in the Bay of Fundy, this weather buoy will enhance navigation safety and productivity.”
Rodney Weston
Member of Parliament for Saint John

“The SmartATLANTIC Saint John Buoy project is a great example of how innovation and technology can help drive economic growth in our province. The Government of New Brunswick is proud to be a contributing partner in this project which will further solidify Port Saint John’s reputation as a gateway to global markets.”
The Honourable Roger Melanson
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, New Brunswick

“Risk management is practised daily in all segments of the marine industry, and the Saint John SmartATLANTIC Buoy has significantly enhanced the risk management model within the Port. Whether you are a commercial fisherman, or the Master of a cruise ship, bulk carrier, container ship, or tanker, we now have modern tools to assist with critical decisions that directly impact safety and operational efficiency.”
Captain Chris Hall
Vice President Operations & Harbour Master, Port Saint John

“Ensuring the safety of our pilots and pilot boat crews during pilot transfer operations is a high priority at the APA. The data provided by the SmartATLANTIC Saint John buoy will assist us in meeting this safety objective.”
Captain Anthony McGuinness
CEO, Atlantic Pilotage Authority

“For more than 50 years, Irving Oil has relied on marine transportation to serve the energy needs of our customers. Marine safety is paramount to our business and the SmartATLANTIC buoy project is a meaningful enhancement to the world-class marine tanker safety system that exists in the Bay of Fundy.”
Mark Sherman
Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Irving Oil

“The real time data, which this SmartATLANTIC Saint John buoy will provide of sea conditions, will improve the current sea state forecast accuracy, making for greater efficiency in the berthing manoeuvers of the LNG ships calling at our Terminal.””
Fraser Forsythe
Security & Environmental Manager, Canaport LNG

“For the first time in the Bay of Fundy, real-time high-resolution weather and wave forecasting is available online to mariners, fishers, recreational boaters, and others. The SmartATLANTIC Saint John buoy project is a perfect fit for IORE – this collaboration between industry and researchers will enhance not only the safety and efficiency of port operations, but also Canada’s oceanographic and meteorological research capabilities.”
Jim Hanlon
CEO, Institute for Ocean Research Enterprises (IORE)

Associated Links


Zach Segal
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Véronique Taylor
Director of Communications
Finance & Transportation and Infrastructure
Province of New Brunswick

Captain Andrew Rae
Vice President, Atlantic
Canadian Marine Pilots Association

Paula Copeland, PPM®
Manager of Corporate Communications & Governance, Port Saint John
Cell: 506-650-5288

Samantha Robinson
Public Affairs, Irving Oil

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