Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Janet Austin leans in for a better look in the Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services centre. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Lieutenant governor of B.C. visits North Saanich Coast Guard and ‘science hub’

Tour talks earthquakes, ocean mapping and marine crisis on IOS tour

The lieutenant-governor of British Columbia visited the Institute of Ocean Science (IOS) in North Saanich, Friday.

The Honourable Janet Austin toured the cluster of bases overlooking Patricia Bay that fall under the IOS umbrella and attended talks from some of the scientists and researchers who work there.

ALSO READ: Women and girls offered free day trip on navy warship

Dave Prince, director of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) led the tour, which included stops at the Geological Survey of Canada and the Coastguard’s operations centre. As they walked, he utilized many of the building’s pictures, murals and floor displays, to help bring his colleagues’ work alive.

Prince was joined by Neil Dangerfield, acting manager of ocean sciences at the DFO, who talked passionately of his department’s work and how they monitor the changing acidification levels in the Pacific and the damaging effects on marine life.

ALSO READ: Salmon restoration and new viewing platforms planned for Colquitz River

As the tour snaked into the inner parts of the IOS building, Austin stopped to ask questions of the scientists and people she met along the way. Soon the party came to the Geological Survey of Canada section, where they were met in front of a colourful display indicating every major earthquake on the B.C. coast over the last century. Acting director, Adrienne Jones, gave a comprehensive overview of the work of her department, including the geological history, processes and hazards affecting Western Canada.

One of the highlights of the tour were three excellent presentations from DFO staff. Scientist Hauke Blanken explained the function of the department’s home-made ocean drift trackers, which help advance knowledge of spill patterns and ocean currents. Affectionately known as “Sponge Bobs,” due to their zany design and distinctive colouring, Blanken demonstrated the features of a model to Austin. Next up were fascinating talks from Mark Leblanc and Elizabeth Bonner, two E-navigation specialists on the Canadian Hydrography Service. They explained the latest techniques in mapping the ocean floor, triangulating the position of ships and supporting the Pacific Tsunami Warning system.

ALSO READ: Hundreds of floating ‘Sponge Bobs’ help track ocean currents

The penultimate stop featured talks from managers Terry Speed and Chad Stroud at the Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services centre. Located in a dark room with banks of computer screens, the centre houses the marine version of air traffic controllers. The high-tech facility is the busiest of its kind in Canada, dealing with 45 per cent of all marine traffic country-wide, predominately vessels over 20 metres in length. Fifty-seven staff are employed at the centre and due to the advanced equipment, staff can handle up to 40 problematic situations a day.

The final stop of the tour was the cafeteria, where Austin met Tseycum First Nation members who run the catering and their Chief Tanya Jimmy.

Austin said she enjoyed learning about the IOS work.

“The complex work carried about by the staff here is vital to the safety and harmony of our waters. I was also honoured to break bannock with Chief Tanya Jimmy of Tseycum First Nation and learn about how she is working with the Ocean Sciences Institute to create economic and social development opportunities for her community.”

Austin was joined on the tour by Lt.-Cmdr. Simon Brown (honorary aide-de-camp), Jerymy Brownridge (private secretary) and Chantelle Krish (director of communications).



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Science

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Geological Survey of Canada acting director, Adrienne Jones talks to Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Janet Austin. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

DFO scientist Hauke Blanken explaining the function of the department’s home-made ocean drift trackers, also known as Sponge Bobs. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

E-Navigation specialist Elizabeth Bonner showing some equipment as part of her informative talk. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

The Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services centre.(Nick Murray/News Staff)

Tseycum Chief Tanya Jimmy with the kitchen staff talking to Janet Austin at the end of the tour. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Docked Canadian Coast Guard vessels. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Just Posted

Metchosin to test tsunami notification on Thursday evening

Approximately 80 to 100 residents in tsunami-zone

Public tips lead to arrest in alleged random assault on Victoria bus

June 19 incident was recorded by onboard camera

Sooke Fine Art Show gears up for July 24 launch

Virtual event to feature more than 375 juried works from local artists

Sooke Crisis Centre closes doors

Services previously offered to be dispersed throughout community support groups

Sidney asking tourists to respect health guidelines

Messaging says Sidney is ‘excited to welcome smart, safe, and respectful visits’

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Most Read