We will have several science-related seminars on our open house day, featuring discussions on fisheries, offshore reefs, earthquakes, marine mammals, climate change, and more. We have live presentation seminars every half hour and these are open to everyone. Live presentations run on the half hour in the Stewart Auditorium and on the hour in the Milne room. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of the seminar and put your mobile phones on vibrate only. All seminars are 30 minutes long with 15 minutes at the end for questions.

Auditorium Schedule

  • 09:30 Stephane Gauthier “Seeing with Sound: Fisheries Acoustics as a window into the sea.”
    We will dive into the world of Fisheries Acoustics, where scientific fish finders (echosounders and sonars) are used to detect marine animals living under the sea. Combined with various sampling gear (small and large nets) and other advanced technologies such as underwater cameras, these instrument provide a unique opportunity to study the underwater world over large areas and over prolonged periods of times. We will explore several examples on how these technologies are applied and how they are used to assess fish populations and the health of our Oceans.
    Stephane is a Research Scientist leading the Fisheries Acoustics program within DFO’s Ocean Sciences Division. He holds a Ph.D. from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and has worked in New Zealand prior to joining Fisheries and Oceans Canada. His research has covered a wide range of ecosystems, from the Arabian Sea to the Antarctic Ocean. His program uses scientific echosounders (fish finders) with other advanced technologies to assess fish populations and their ecosystem.

  • 10:30 Heidi Gartner “Deep Discoveries – Dive deep with us to learn more about our oceans depths, with discoveries ranging from mountains to (octopus) mothers”
    Come learn about the discoveries made in the deep sea in our Pacific waters! We’ll discuss the amazing technology used to map the deep-sea ecosystems, the unique animal observations and ecosystem discoveries, our collaborative and co-created knowledge with First Nations for marine protected areas, and where the program is moving over the Ocean Decade. We promise amazing imagery of the unique, beautiful, diverse, strange, and extraordinary!
    Heidi is a biologist in the Deep-Sea Ecology Program at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Heidi is originally from Ontario and fell in love with the BC coast and marine biology when she moved to Victoria more than twenty years ago. She obtained an MSc from the University of Victoria and has studied environments from the intertidal to depths of our oceans. She particularly loves sharing stories of field work where she has the opportunity to immerse herself in a ‘different’ (saltier) world.

  • 11:30 John Cassidy “Earthquakes in British Columbia: Shake, Rattle and Roll on Canada’s West Coast”
    Did you know that small earthquakes occur in British Columbia each, and every day? That damaging earthquakes occur every decade or so, and that some of the world’s largest earthquakes have occurred off our coast centuries apart?  This presentation will explain why we have earthquakes, what has happened in the past and what we can expect in the future.
    Dr. John Cassidy is a Senior Research Scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada and leads the GSC’s “Assessing Earthquake Geohazards” Project. His research focuses on earthquake hazard evaluation and he works closely with the engineering community and emergency management organisations that use science to help reduce the impacts of future earthquakes. In 2010 John was part of a team invited to visit the hardest-hit parts of Chile following the magnitude 8.8 earthquake and tsunami.

  • 12:30 Alison Bird “NEW Earthquake Early Warning”
    The science behind Earthquake Early Warning and how can it reduce the impacts of earthquakes in Canada – how it can help people be safe.
    Alison Bird has been working as an earthquake seismologist since 1997: initially for the International Seismological Centre in England and, since 2000, with Natural Resources Canada. For 20 years, she analysed and researched western Canada’s earthquakes, and visited Haida Gwaii as part of a response team after the 2012 magnitude 7.8 earthquake. In recent years, Alison was part of a team developing a comprehensive risk assessment for Canada. Alison routinely responds in the wake of significant events (having given over 1,000 interviews). In 2020, she joined the Earthquake Early Warning project as Liaison & Outreach Officer, helping to establish an EEW system for Canada. Alison is involved in numerous outreach activities, and is passionate about seismic-resistant engineering, in encouraging mitigation practices for at-risk communities, and in educating the public about earthquake hazards. She is on the Board of Directors for the BC Earthquake Alliance and on the Organizing Committee for the annual Great British Columbia Shake Out earthquake drill.

  • 13:30 (1:30 p.m.) Taimi Mulder “Volcanoes in British Columbia: Unveiling the Fury”
    Join us for an exhilarating journey into the fiery heart of British Columbia’s volcanic landscape as we delve into the geological history and current activity of the region’s iconic volcanoes. From majestic peaks to hidden hotsprings, uncover the fascinating story of volcanic activity in the beautiful landscapes of British Columbia.
    Taimi Mulder is an Earthquake Seismologist with Natural Resources Canada. She began her career working in the high Arctic at Alert, NWT, 300 km from the North Pole. Her research focusses on volcanic monitoring in Canada, seismic catalogue studies, and microseismicity (baby earthquakes) along the Leech River Fault in Victoria. She has extensive experience in designing and implementing real-time data acquisition and data flow for seismic networks and has taught around the world.

  • 14:30 (2:30 p.m.) Tom James “Sea level change across Canada”
    Tom will talk about the reasons why global sea-level is rising and how sea-level is expected to change on Canada’s coastlines.
    Tom James is a research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada. His research focuses on how land responds to ice sheet and glacier change, and how this affects sea-level across Canada. Tom may be the only person you will meet who has worked in Antarctica , having spent a field season at the American McMurdo base.

  • 15:30 (3:30 p.m.) Rianna Burnham “Bringing acoustics to marine mammal conservation”
    Talk description: We will look at how whales and dolphins call and make other sounds underwater to communicate and help them find food. We will also look at the sounds that form the underwater ‘soundscape’ and the noises that humans add to this, and what we can do to reduce these additions to help protect marine mammals.
    Rianna is part of the Ocean Acoustics Team at IOS that aim to understand how the noise that humans make can impact whale species. Her focus is on southern resident killer whales, considering what measures might help protect marine mammals from acoustic disturbance.

Milne Room Schedule

  • 10:00 Nadja Steiner “Inuit seasons in a changing climate”
    Remote Arctic Inuit communities are extensively linked to the land and sea around them for various food harvesting and cultural activities around the year. However the environmental conditions are changing at a rapid pace. Here we describe the development of an Inuit traditional knowledge calendar to support discussions and adaptation to a changing climate in the community of Ulukhaktok on Victoria Island in the Western Canadian Arctic.   
    Dr. Nadja Steiner is a research scientist at the Institute of Ocean Sciences. She holds a degree in Oceanography from the University of Kiel in Germany, moving to Canada in the year 2000. She develops and evaluates computer models for marine and sea-ice ecosystems to help understand climate change impacts on Arctic marine ecosystems and Inuit subsistence fisheries.   

  • 11:00 Karen Douglas “Mapping the Pacific seafloor: Unveiling the Hidden Wonders of Marine Cold Seeps”
    Join us for a journey into the mysterious world beneath the Pacific waves! Discover how methane bubbles sustain unique life and how that life helps to trap carbon. Explore and compare the geological wonders and lifeforms at cold seeps from three sites off our west coast through imagery and maps.
    Karen is a Scientist in the Marine and Coastal Geosciences Section at the Geological Survey of Canada. She works on seabed mapping to support marine spatial planning, regulatory processes, and marine geohazard mitigation.
  • 12:00 Sophie Johannessen “Local and global change in the Salish Sea”
    Find out what is happening in your local ocean! The Salish Sea (the Strait of Georgia, Juan de Fuca Strait and Puget Sound) is changing, as a result of global climate change and local pressures. This talk will show how the Salish Sea is responding. It will discuss how removing some local pressures can help the ecosystem to be resilient to global-scale change.
    Sophia Johannessen is a geochemical oceanographer and Research Scientist at the Institute of Ocean Sciences. She studies the effects of climate change and other human activities on the coastal ocean. Her recent projects have included: long-term changes in coastal marine productivity, the footprint of sewage in the Strait of Georgia, the fate of spilled diluted bitumen, and the role of blue carbon in climate change mitigation.   

  • 13:00 (1 p.m.) Bill Williams “Pacific water feeds the Arctic: biological hotspots, an ocean desert and the Northwest Passage.”  
    We follow the nutrient-rich water from the Pacific Ocean as it flows through the Arctic Ocean from the Bering Strait to the Northwest Passage. Along the way this Pacific water feeds biological hotspots in the shallow Chukchi Sea but then dives beneath the surface of the Beaufort Gyre making an ocean desert. As it flows through Northwest Passage, narrow passageways and shallow sills impede its flow, reducing biological production in the Kitikmeot Sea, at the heart of the Northwest Passage.
    Bill is a physical oceanographer interested in how Arctic ocean flows and our changing climate influence Arctic marine ecosystems.    

  • 14:00 (2 p.m.) Amber Holdsworth “Projecting Climate Change Effects on Marine Life”      
    As a result of human caused climate change, Canadian Pacific waters are becoming warmer, more acidic , and losing oxygen. These changes have consequences for the diversity of marine species.  Join us to learn about the state-of-the-art computational methods used to 1. simulate future ocean conditions, and 2. understand how those projected changes in the environment affect marine habitats.  
    Dr. Amber Holdsworth is a researcher at the Institute of Ocean Sciences. She has a multidisciplinary background in mathematics, fluid dynamics, atmospheric science, ocean modelling and climate impacts research. She develops and analyzes regional ocean models of the Northeast Pacific Ocean to understand marine extremes and to project future ocean conditions.  

  • 15:00 (3 p.m.) Nicole LaForge “Otoliths: Revealing Secrets of Fish Lives Hidden in Microchemistry”
    Talk description: Plasma and laser beams combine to decode the life histories of fish written in the crystals in their heads. Learn how otolith microchemistry can provide valuable information to support conservation and sustainable fisheries.
    Nicole LaForge studied marine biology at the University of Alberta and UVic, and has worked with a wide variety of marine invertebrates and fish. When not in the lab zapping otoliths, she enjoys getting outside to hike, kayak, camp and rock climb with her family and friends.