Ocean science and technology

UVic’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) manages the world’s most advanced cabled ocean observatories off BC and in the Arctic, providing data to support decisions on marine and public safety, biodiversity and ocean change.

A study of Saanich Inlet's unique "dead zone," led by UVic oceanographers, is attracting international interest.

Chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen studies the fate of trace elements, especially metals, in the marine environment and how they influence ecosystems and critical ocean processes.

Geographer Rosaline Canessa is using advanced 3D mapping techniques to better understand how underwater noise from increasing ship traffic can impact marine ecosystems off Canada’s West Coast.

Mechanical engineer Brad Buckham leads an international research project seeking to harness the restless energy of ocean waves as a form of renewable energy.

Understanding the ocean

The ocean covers 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface and is vital to our planetary life support system. Yet our activities are affecting the ocean at an ever-increasing pace. Understanding these changes is critical for the future for the planet—and us.

How do ocean processes work? How do they interact to influence the diversity and abundance of ocean life? What drives the complex relationship between oceans and climate? How can we manage our ocean-based activities in a more sustainable way? And can the oceans help us meet our energy needs?

UVic is a national and international leader in the study of the oceans. Our researchers have strong links with the region’s thriving marine technology sector, and with scientists at several nearby research centres.

Meeting the ocean-climate challenge

World-leading discoveries

The flagship for ocean sciences and technology at UVic is Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), a national research platform created in 2007.

ONC operates world-leading ocean observatories off the British Columbia coast and in the Arctic. The NEPTUNE and VENUS observatories off BC supply continuous power and Internet connectivity to a suite of subsea instruments from the coast to the deep sea, supporting research on complex ocean and Earth processes in ways not previously possible.

Real-time flow of data to onshore laboratories and data centres allows rapid analysis of information on the physical, chemical, biological and geological aspects of the ocean over long periods of time.

ONC’s Smart Ocean Systems™ program commercializes innovative ocean observation technologies for the benefit of Canada and the world. It informs decision-making by communities and policy-makers on sustainable use of the oceans, marine safety, earthquake and tsunami response planning, and environmental protection.

The ONC Innovation Centre is responsible for bringing advanced ocean observing technologies developed for ONC observatories to world markets.