IORE helps leverage citizen science

IORE member Michael Orr from Cape Breton University in Sydney, NS, has a lot of good things to say about citizen science. IORE recently hosted a trip to Sable Island where Orr was given the opportunity to gather valuable oceans data. See why citizen science is changing the face of the way data is collected here:

IORE Ocean Connector – WHaLE – Sept. 25, 2014

Don’t miss IORE’s next Ocean Connector!

What: MEOPAR-WHaLE (Whales, Habitat and Listening Experiment)
When: September 25, 2014, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Where:T-Room (J Building, 1360 Barrington Street)
Who: Chris Taggart from Dalhousie University will discuss MEOPAR’s newest acoustic monitoring project called WHaLE (Whales, Habitat and Listening Experiment).

Project background:

Ocean-going vessels pose a threat to all large whales worldwide. Maritime commerce needs information about whale locations and vessel-whale risk to mitigate this threat. While the vessel component of risk estimation is achievable virtually anywhere, the whale component is limited by sparse data on whale and whale-habitat distributions. This project will address this deficiency using recent advances in whale passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) technology.
This project will work to fill knowledge gaps in the distribution of large whales and their known and suspected habitats in locations on the east and west coasts of Canada where vessel traffic density is high and anticipated to increase, and where in coastal communities ecotourism and private recreation present small-vessel risk to whales.

Please RSVP to 

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Canada and the United Kingdom launch joint research competition to develop enhanced sensing technologies for in-stream tidal energy applications

The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) and Technology Strategy Board (TSB) are jointly investing approximately $1.4 million CAD (approximately £755,000) in collaborative R&D projects to develop enhanced sensing technologies for tidal in-stream energy applications. The objective of this competition is to develop the technologies to lead to the acquisition of better data, improved data analysis, and collection methods that facilitate in the reduction of risk, uncertainty and cost to the  tidal in-stream energy industry.

Proposals must be collaborative and business-led, including at least one business from Canada and one from the United Kingdom. We expect to fund industrial research projects, in which a business partner will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for small to medium enterprises).

We expect total project costs to be in the region of $500,000 CAD (approximately £275,000), though not to the exclusion of projects of other sizes.

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 6 October 2014. The deadline for expressions of interest is at noon Atlantic Standard Time or 16:00 Greenwich Mean Time on 28 November 2014.

To learn more about the scope of the competition and eligibility guidelines, please refer to the following link:

Prospective applicants are requested to indicate their interest in this competition by completing the online registration form.

The time between this call announcement and the competition opening for applications has been designed to allow the development of relations between Canadian and United Kingdom organisations with a view to forming project consortia. The registration form does not represent a binding intent to make an application but OERA and TSB will inform the list of registrants about events and support activities that will be organised to aid the consortium building process.

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Pinks
Research Manager
Offshore Energy Research Association
Tel:  902-406-7013

Here is a copy of a blog post recently showcased by the Greater Halifax Partnership about the work being done by IORE and other local organizations in the Oceans Science Industry:

In Halifax, marine science, research and industry set international standards. The city’s culture and economy has always been focused towards the ocean and many citizens have roots tied with the fishing and shipping industries. We have multiple government laboratories working on oceans research along with outstanding universities dedicated to ocean sciences. Also, there is a homegrown industry of ocean technology companies such as VEMCO and Satlantic who work with ocean acoustics and sensors.

Now Halifax has a new headquarters for research and collaboration that will attract even more oceans-related researchers, organizations and business.

Last year, five organizations moved into the newly named Steele Ocean Sciences building at Dalhousie University. They each share the goal of developing ocean science research and oceans industries. The organizations are unique in their research and field of study, but they all contribute significantly to growing the field.

The Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology (CERC.OCEAN), the
Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) and the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction Response Network (MEOPAR), all work at the forefront of oceans research. Doug Wallace and his team at CERC.OCEAN work to predict and prepare us for unprecedented changes in the world’s ocean systems by looking at the chemical changes occurring. The Ocean Tracking Network is a $168-million global conservation project, and the world’s most comprehensive examination of marine life and ocean conditions. Finally, MEOPAR examines human activity in the marine environment and the impact of marine hazards on coastal regions. Recently, MEOPAR has also funded a project called “”. The website combines numerous streams of data points from the Atlantic Ocean and displays this local data on an interactive map for anyone to utilize.

However, not all of the organizations focus directly on research. The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) encourages bold undertakings and facilitates collaborative ocean research projects. By bringing together universities, colleges, government laboratories and private companies the IORE helps create an innovative culture in our region where marine based industry thrives.

Lastly, the Transatlantic Ocean System Science and Technology Research School (TOSST), is a joint Dalhousie-Helmoltz Centre for Ocean Research graduate school. TOSST links major centers of ocean research on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean: Maritime Canada and northern Germany.  This graduate school is a leading program for developing skilled researchers and professionals to help in the local industry.

With the work that is currently being done by this collective group, Halifax is on the forefront of marine science growth. Our skilled and educated workforce, innovative research and newfound center for collaboration will continue to grow the industry and economy.

June Ocean Connector Event

IORE June Ocean Connector – Tidal Power

Join IORE on Thursday, June 26 at the T-Room (Sexton Campus 1360 Barrington St, Building J, Halifax, NS) from 4:00pm-6:00pm for an interactive discussion on tidal power. RSVP to:

The Bay of Fundy tidal energy opportunities have been very much in the news lately. This month’s Ocean Connector event will focus on a tidal energy proposal that hasn’t yet been part of the mainstream – the Scott’s Bay Tidal Power proposal. The scale of the project is potentially huge by comparison with other announced developments, but it carries with it some very interesting engineering and science challenges that Keith Towse will be able to tell us about during his presentation.  Come learn about the science, engineering and business of this very interesting project.

Presentation Summary –
Scott’s Bay Tidal Power is a proposed 1100MW tidal range project proposed by Halcyon Tidal Power, situated in Scott’s Bay just south of Cape Split. The proposal is at an early stage, but presents an exciting opportunity for Nova Scotia to build on its leading position in tidal energy developments.  Keith Towse will present details of the project and outline some of the technical and permitting challenges.

About the Presenter –
Keith Towse joined Halcyon Tidal Power in March 2014 to work as a representative for the Scots Bay Tidal Power Project. Keith has a great deal of local knowledge and experience in the renewable energy field having worked on wind and marine renewable energy projects across North and South America since 2003 — including close involvement with the development of wind policy in Atlantic Canada, and establishment of close working relationships with many First Nations communities. In addition to his role with the Scott’s Bay Tidal Power Project, his company, Lahave Renewables Inc., is currently developing ~150 MW of wind projects at sites across Atlantic Canada. Keith’s general work experience has been in corporate finance and business development since receiving an MA from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from University of Durham, both in the United Kingdom.