UVic alumni make history with broadcast of Arctic live dive

Science, Education

- Jody Paterson

The Fish Eye Project celebrates a successful dive. Photo: Peter Spence.

Two University of Victoria alumni who went on to found the innovative non-profit Fish Eye Project led a live dive Aug. 27 in the icy waters of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, as part of the Canada C3 expedition.

The Arctic dive was organized by UVic grads Mike Irvine (education) and Maeva Gauthier (marine biology). Broadcast via the , the dive made history as the first live dive in the Arctic to be broadcast coast to coast. Viewers on social media were able to watch the dive as it happened and ask questions of the divers while they were underwater.

The C3 expedition is a 150-day journey of a Canadian research icebreaker travelling from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage. Gauthier and Irvine will remain on the icebreaker until Sept. 10, posting updates and photos from their travels on the C3 Facebook page, the Fish Eye Project page and their own social media accounts.

“The Arctic is the next frontier—there is so little we know and it is changing so fast,” says Gauthier, a co-founder of Fish Eye. “This window into this part of our country gives all Canadians the opportunity to connect, learn and interact with the Arctic environment, Inuit culture and cutting-edge research.”

The dive was recorded and is available on the , along with educational curriculum on the C3 website related to the dive for teachers looking for classroom material. The event garnered significant media attention as CBC radio and television programs across the country caught up with Irvine and Gauthier to learn more about the dive.

The live recording from Facebook.

This isn’t the first breakthrough event for the non-profit Fish Eye Project, whose mission is to inspire the next generation of ocean stewards. Project co-founder Irvine made waves in 2015 by presenting his UVic masters project from five metres below the surface of the Salish Sea. In 2016, the Fish Eye Project staged the first underwater live broadcast streamed into multiple giant-screen theatres across the country and online to thousands of students.

Gauthier returned to UVic this fall to begin a doctorate in geography.


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Keywords: C3, Fish Eye Project, Arctic, Nunavut, Ocean Networks Canada, student life, research, alumni, oceans

People: Maeva Gauthier, Mike Irvine

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