Researching Our Oceans

Bob Crosby, ONCOn Friday November 7th members sat in rapt attention as Bob Crosby talked about the ground-breaking ocean research that is being facilitated by a University of Victoria-based centre.

Bob is the Software Quality Control Specialist in the Digital Infrastructure department at Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) and is an integral part of the team that manages and analyzes data gathered at the multiple observatories of the ONC.

He detailed, through words and visuals, the underwater cable observatories in the Salish Sea (VENUS), off the coast of Vancouver (NEPTUNE), in Cambridge Bay (“Arctic”), near Brentwood College School (the educational “Ocean Sense“) and the new installation in the Bay of Fundy.   He explained the types of sensors that are located on the sea floor, the array of measurements they take and the research that the vast quantity of data collected facilitates.   From the study of methane hydrates or hot vents to the tracking of marine mammals and the early warning of tsunamis and earthquakes; the ONC supports research on complex earth processes in ways not previously possible.

Bob ended his talk with a video taken from cameras on NEPTUNE showing the diversity of life under the sea including octopus, squid, brittle stars, spider crabs, and hot vents releasing 300 degree water from below the sea floor into the ocean above.

In keeping with their public education mandate, the ONC website has a wealth of videos, audio files and photographs on the “Sights and Sounds” section of their website.  Check out the impact of robotics on ocean research on the ROPOS (Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility) website. You can even contribute to ocean research by viewing videos and recording your observations of sea life at Digital Fishers.


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