June 05, 2012
The Blue Planet
June 8 is World Oceans Day and as a national and international leader in the study of the oceans, the University of Victoria offers a wide range of expertise on oceans-related issues. Here are a few story ideas:
ALL FISHED OUT? Bordered by a world population of over seven billion humans, can the oceans produce enough food for us or will ecosystems collapse? Marine ecologist Dr. John Volpe can talk about the clash between the limited capacity of the oceans to produce food and the boundless human capacity to consume. The Seafood Ecology Research Group he leads recently released the first-ever assessment of the global carrying capacity of fish farming, showing which countries are ecological leaders and which are laggards. “Canada is among the leaders in a profoundly challenged industry,” he says. See http://bit.ly/Menqr6.
Media contact: Dr. John Volpe (Environmental Studies) at 250-888-7711 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org
CATCHING THE WAVE: Over the course of a year there’s enough energy in ocean waves off Vancouver Island to power about 350,000 BC households annually. But can that energy be harnessed? Mechanical engineer Dr. Brad Buckham, who leads the West Coast Wave Initiative, can talk about new developments in wave energy research on the west coast of Vancouver Island, including a scale model of a wave energy converter that will be tested later this year.
Media contact: Dr. Brad Buckham (Mechanical Engineering) at 250-721-6035 or email@example.com
PHYTOPLANKTON POWER: Our existence—through the food we eat and the air we breathe—depends on microscopic plants that drift in ocean currents and are known collectively as phytoplankton. Biological oceanographer Dr. Diana Varela can talk about the significance of phytoplankton to life on Earth, and the work she’s done in Canada’s Arctic to measure primary productivity—the process that phytoplankton and other plants use to convert light, CO2 and nutrients into organic matter. “As climate change alters productivity in the Arctic, the effects will trickle down the entire food chain,” she says.
Media contact: Dr. Diana Varela (Biology) at 250-472-5425 or firstname.lastname@example.org
COASTAL HAZARDS: Ocean and climate scientists at UVic are partners in a new national oceans research network, MEOPAR, which will study marine hazards related to human activity in coastal regions. Dr. Ken Denman, chief scientist at the VENUS coastal network (part of UVic’s world-leading Ocean Networks Canada Observatory), can talk about how VENUS will be used by MEOPAR to test a forecasting model that can be activated in any coastal region of Canada in an emergency such as an oil spill, vessel collision or search and rescue mission.
Media contact: Dr. Ken Denman (VENUS) at 250-363-8230 (June 5, 7) or 250-472-5220 (June 6, 8) or email@example.com
WORLD OCEANS DAY FESTIVAL: UVic’s world-leading Ocean Networks Canada Observatory—made up of the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada subsea cabled networks—is transforming the way we study the oceans. On June 8 to 10, from 11 a.m to 5 p.m., the outreach arm of Ocean Networks Canada and the Maritime Museum of BC are co-hosting a free, weekend-long community festival at downtown Victoria’s Bastion Square. Special indoor and outdoor activities include: a fast-paced afternoon speaker series featuring ocean researchers, an art contest showcasing images and videos from ocean researchers, and an exhibition of local organizations actively connected to the ocean. There’ll be lots of hands-on activities for the kids too. For more information visit www.oceannetworks.ca/events/2012/06/world-oceans-day.
Rick Searle (ONC Centre for Enterprise and Engagement) at 250-853-3620 or 778-977-6700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Shore (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7641 or email@example.com
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