P14: Ocean Research and Policy

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Ocean Networks Canada

Ocean science policy should be a natural priority for Canada as the steward of three oceans, with the longest coastline in the world, and because of the ocean’s critical role in future state of the climate system. It is particularly important today to focus discussions on ocean policy because of recent ocean policy-related studies released by the Council of Canadian Academies and with Canada’s 2-year term as Chair of the Arctic Council commencing this year. Moreover, Canada is well placed to bring advanced scientific knowledge to bear on ocean and climate policy development given the major investments made in recent years in world-leading research platforms and programs, including the Ocean Networks Canada cabled observatory, the Ocean Tracking Network, ArcticNet, the Canadian Healthy Ocean Network, and the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network. This investment comes at a time when understanding ocean processes and rapid change has never been more vital to sustaining the health of the planet, and the vitality of the societies and economies that depend on the wise and sustainable use of the ocean's renewable and non-renewable resources. This panel brings together research and policy leaders to address how ocean science can inform, promote, and implement Canadian policy in key areas such as: hazard mitigation, climate change mitigation and adaptation (particularly because of the amplified changes in the Arctic Ocean), ocean health, renewable and non-renewable resource assessment, sovereignty and security, and socio-economic development. Central to achieving this goal is establishing and strengthening strong partnerships between research organizations and federal and provincial science-based departments and agencies. These partnerships need to be grounded in the mutual vested interest of the research agencies and governments to optimize the use of valuable infrastructural and human capital resources in the national interest. The panelists will speak from their national and international experience regarding the challenges of and opportunities for two-way ocean science policy linkages - science evidence informing policy and policy priorities informing science planning.


Professor of Geography
University of Victoria

Martin Taylor was the founding President and CEO of Ocean Networks Canada where he served for five years (2007-2012). Before assuming this role he served for nine years (1998-2007) as the University of Victoria’s first Vice-President Research. In that capacity, he was instrumental in supporting the rapid growth of UVic’s research programs as well as promoting interdisciplinary research through his responsibility for UVic’s research centres. As President and CEO of ONC he was responsible for building the organization to govern and manage the ONC cabled ocean observatory (NEPTUNE Canada and VENUS), a federally (CFI) and provincially (BC Government) major science facility, and the ONC Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, a federal Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research .

His experience at the national level in areas related to science and science policy are reflected in his service on the boards of the federal Council of Science and Technology Advisors; SSHRC; TRIUMF; the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research; the Canadian Healthy Ocean Network; and the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Martin Taylor is Professor of Geography at UVic; adjunct Professor in the School of Geography and Earth Science at McMaster University; and adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. He is the author of two books and over 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Professor, Ocean Science Centre and Biology Department
Memorial University

Dr. Snelgrove is Director of the NSERC Canadian Healthy Oceans Network, a national research network in Canada of ~65 scientists and 100 students working to develop new tools for sustainable oceans. From 2003-2013, Dr. Snelgrove held a Canada Research Chair in Boreal and Cold Ocean Systems, and prior to that an NSERC Industrial Chair in Fisheries Conservation. He recently led the synthesis of the International Census of Marine Life research program, where he was a member of the program’s Scientific Steering Committee. He current sits on the Advisory Boards for three European Commission Networks as well as the Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility. Dr. Snelgrove published the book “Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life: Making Ocean Life Count” with Cambridge University Press in 2010 and was a TED Global speaker in 2011.

Dr. Snelgrove received a BSc. Hons degree in Biology at Memorial in 1984, a Master's degree in Oceanography from McGill University in 1984 and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Biology Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1993. He spent 3 years in New Jersey as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, followed by 8 months as a Killam Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University. In 1996 he accepted a faculty position at Memorial University, where he is now a Professor of Biological Oceanography in the Department of Ocean Sciences and Biology Department.

Chief Scientist
ADM of Innovation and Energy Technology Sector at Natural Resources Canada

Geoff Munro is the Chief Scientist of NRCan and in this capacity advances the work of the departmental Science and Technology Board and helps drive the corporate priority of “Mobilizing our Science & Technolgy”.
Mr. Munro was first appointed Chief Scientist in 2007 and carried out this role while also holding the positions of Assistant Deputy Minister of Innovation and Energy Technology Sector (IETS) from April 2009 to May 2013 and of Associate DM, Science and Policy Integration from 2007 to 2009.
Mr. Munro works to position NRCan's science and technology within the Canadian innovation system and in broader international arenas. He led the development and implementation of the department's science and technology strategy and working with the S&T Board, will keep it current.
Mr. Munro came to Ottawa in December 2004 to take over the responsibilities of Director General of Science and Programs for NRCan’s Canadian Forest Service (CFS). A committed and regular contributor to natural resources issues in Canada, Mr. Munro was previously appointed as Director General of the Canadian Forestry Service, at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste. Marie in April 2001, when he joined the Federal from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR). At OMNR he provided leadership and program direction in a number of policy, science and operational-related positions. His last position with OMNR was that of Director, Research and Development for the fish, forestry and wildlife programs.
In 1982, Geoff moved to Winnipeg, where he spent several years with the Forestry Branch of the Manitoba Department of Natural Resources. After graduating in 1974 with a B.Sc. in Biology from Carleton University, Geoff conducted Dutch elm disease research and then went on to the private sector to work on the operational use of R & D products and services.

President and CEO
Ocean Networks Canada

Dr. Kate Moran is the President and CEO of Ocean Networks Canada, a world-renowned ocean engineer who recently completed a two-year term as assistant director in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, DC. Moran holds degrees in marine science and engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Rhode Island and Dalhousie University. Her research focuses on marine geotechnics and its application to the study of paleoceanography, tectonics and seafloor stability. She has authored more than 45 publications. Moran started at ONC as the Director of NEPTUNE Canada in September 2011, succeeding founding director Dr. Chris Barnes when he retired. In July 2012 she took on the position of President and CEO on the retirement of Dr. S. Martin Taylor, ONC's founding President and CEO.

Executive Director
U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Dr. John Farrell is the Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, an independent federal agency of Presidential appointees that advises the White House and Congress on Arctic research matters and works with executive branch agencies to establish and execute a national Arctic research plan. The Commission also facilitates cooperation with local and state governments and recommends means for developing international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.
Farrell previously served as the Associate Dean of Research and Administration at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. Before that, he was Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program that involved over 20 nations and had an annual budget of approximately $65M/yr. The program was dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth.
Farrell helped organized and conduct the first successful international scientific ocean drilling expedition to the high Arctic in 2004. He also participated in a US ocean mapping effort aboard the icebreaker US Coast Guard Cutter Healy in 2012.
He obtained a Ph.D. and Sc.M. in geological sciences from Brown University, and a B.A. in geology from Franklin and Marshall College. He was a NSF-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brown University and an NSERC-funded Senior Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.