The ocean is vast and despite centuries of exploration, we’ve only examined about five per cent of what lies beneath the surface. This conference will examine the ocean of opportunity that OFI research is helping to discover in the North Atlantic.

SCHEDULE (sessions are subject to change)

Delta Hotel, 120 New Gower St., St. John ’s, NL

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

04:00 pm - 08:00 pm

Conference registration
Location: Salon A lobby

06:00 pm - 08:00 pm

Welcome reception
Location: Salon A lobby

Day One

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

08:00 am - 09:00 am

Breakfast buffet
Location: Salon A 

09:00 am - 10:00 am

Keynote Speaker: Megan Leslie, President & CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada
Location: Salon A

“The shocking scale and scope of wildlife loss in Canada, revealed in WWF’s Living Planet Report Canada, is a wakeup call. I’m going to work to bring us all together — communities, Indigenous organizations, governments, industry, scientists, cultural groups and beyond — to address the reasons that half of the wildlife species we studied are in decline.”

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10:30 am - 12:30 pm

OFI Research Showcase: Our Changing Ocean
Location: Salon A

OFI research examines the changes that are occurring in the North Atlantic and how these changes are impacting our environment, our society and our economy. In this session, delegates will hear from principal investigators who will provide a broad overview of their work and the expected benefits it could create: 

Atmosphere-ocean interactions

•       Marine atmospheric composition & visibility 

•       Auditing the Northwest Atlantic carbon sink 

Shifting ecosystems

•       Dynamic response of microbial communities to change 

•       Spatial dynamics of valued Atlantic groundfish

•       Ecosystem indicators 

•       Cooperative biogeochemical & physical model framework 

Ocean data & technology

•       Transforming ocean observations

•       Research data management

12:30 pm - 01:30 pm

Lunch buffet
Location: Salon A 

04:00 pm - 04:30 pm

Report from the breakout sessions
Location: Salon A

Moderators from each of the day's breakout sessions will share the key learnings. Wendy Watson-Wright, CEO of OFI will facilitate this fast, but informative, plenary. 

04:30 pm - 06:00 pm

Research "Show & Tell"'
Location: Salon B

Join OFI researchers, students and postdoctoral fellows as they use interactive experiences to describe their projects.

  • Hors d'oeuvres, cash bar 

Day Two

Thursday, October 11, 2018

08:00 am - 09:00 am

Breakfast buffet
Location: Salon A

09:00 am - 10:00 am

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Louis Fortier, Professor at Laval University
Location: Salon A

Louis Fortier will discuss “Trans-sectoral studies of the changing Arctic: shifts in ecosystems and ecosystem services”. A professor at Université Laval, Louis is a specialist of the ecology of marine zooplankton and fish. He holds the Canada Research Chair on the response of arctic marine ecosystems to climate warming.

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10:30 am - 12:30 pm

OFI Research Showcase: Identifying Solutions
Location: Salon A

OFI research doesn't just identify problems, it will recommend solutions to resolve our ocean challenges. In this session, delegates will hear from principal investigators who will provide a broad overview of their work and the effective approaches to resource development it will identify:

Sustainable fisheries

•       Future-proofing marine protected areas 

•       Sustainable capture fisheries & ecosystems 

•       Informing governance responses 

Sustainable aquaculture

•       Improving sustainability & mitigating challenges 

•       Novel sensors for fish health and welfare 

•       New models of salmon health management 

•       Social license, planning in coastal communities 

Marine safety

•       Safe navigation & environmental protection 

12:30 pm - 01:30 pm

Lunch (buffet)
Location: Salon A

04:00 pm - 04:30 pm

Report from the breakout sessions
Location: Salon A

Moderators from each of the day's breakout sessions will share the key learnings. Wendy Watson-Wright, CEO of OFI will facilitate this fast, but informative, plenary. 

04:30 pm - 06:00 pm

Student and Postdoctoral Fellow researchers "pitch pit" 
Location: Salon A

About the Session
Nancy Baron, Director of Science Outreach for COMPASS, will moderate this fun event where scientists briefly communicate a unique aspect of their research. The intent is to help researchers communicate effectively, helping to shape public discourse on the ocean. 

  • Liquid courage will be available, with a cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres provided

About the Presentor
Nancy holds workshops around the world for academic, government, and NGO scientists helping them develop core competencies as scientist communicators who want to make their work relevant to journalists, policy makers, and the public.

06:00 pm - 07:30 pm

Networking reception
Location: Salon A lobby 

07:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Dinner with Newfoundland Kitchen Party & Screech In
Location: Salon A

What's a kitchen party?
St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador is a city of traditions, and some of the best of its customs (and parties!) start in the kitchen. The kitchen party is an iconic component the Province's lifestyle, with music, dancing and good times.  

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What's a screech in?
The "screech-in" is a ceremony performed on non-Newfoundlanders (known to Newfoundlanders as those who "come from away"). It involves the consumption of screech (a type of rum), a short recitation and the kissing of a cod (yes, a cod fish!)

Day Three

Friday, October 12, 2018

08:30 am - 09:30 am

Breakfast (buffet)
Location: Salon A

09:30 am - 11:00 am

Panel discussion: industry's perspective on the importance of ocean research 
Location: Salon A

Moderator: Matt Hebb, CEO, Canada's Ocean Supercluster
Panelists: TBA 

With the longest coastline and the fourth largest ocean territory in the world, the ocean's resources are one of Canada's most significant potential advantages. To leverage this opportunity in a sustainable way, industry, post-secondary, government, and other partners, including Indigenous communities must accelerate innovation and commercialization.

  • Conference closing remarks 

11:30 am - 04:00 pm

OFI future funding for research; gathering input on the possibilities 
Location: Salon A

  • Lunch will be served 

About the Session
OFI was established in September 2016 thanks to an investment of $227 million from the Government of Canada and various private and public-sector organizations. A significant portion of this funding was used to support 16 large research projects which are expected to be complete by 2022. A second phase of large research projects is expected to launch in 2919. OFI will use the conference to consult on the design for its second phase funding with conference delegates providing input on ocean research priorities.  

About the Moderator
Anya Waite is OFI's Scientific Director and Associate Vice-President (Ocean) Research at Dalhousie University.

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