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Why Seafloor Mapping Helps Us Watch Netflix

The world is increasingly connected and our oceans play a significant role. While the ocean surface has been used to facilitate transport and ship goods for centuries, over the last 150 years, the seafloor’s importance has started to increase, with Newfoundland and Labrador playing a significant role in the development of ocean mapping. Today, 99% of the data being shared across continents is carried by underwater fibre optic cables. If put end to end these cables could wrap around the earth more than 150 times. However, the seafloor is not a flat expense of sand and mud. It is actually home to the tallest mountain, the longest mountain range and the deepest trough. The cables needed to network this underwater world must navigate these obstacles. As our lives become increasingly intertwined with technology, the need for the elements necessary to build the various components of our devices is increasing, with some of the largest resource deposits kilometers offshore and underwater. With over 80% of the seafloor not yet mapped, it truly remains the last frontier on Earth. Join our panel as we highlight the latest in seafloor research carried out by local and national scientists, governmental agencies, companies, and students and discuss the importance of seabed mapping to our daily lives.




Meet Our Speakers:


Dr. Katleen Robert Canada Research Chair (Ocean Mapping), Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Dr. Robert holds a MSc from the University of Victoria, BC, and a PhD from the University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, UK. Her research focuses on seafloor and habitat mapping, and aims at improving our understanding of species-environment relationships. Her main data collection tools are cameras and sonars, and she works primarily with benthic megafauna and cold-water corals in the deep sea. Her favourite part of research is going out at sea, having taken part in research cruises in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as the Mediterranean, and worked with ROVs, AUVs and the manned submersible Alvin.


Dr. Geneviève Béchard Hydrographer General of Canada and Director General for the Canadian Hydrographic Service. Dr. Béchard was appointed Hydrographer General of Canada and Director General for the Canadian Hydrographic Service with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in February 2018. For the past 15 years, she has held progressively more senior executive positions with the Canadian federal government at the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, at the Geological Survey of Canada and at the Meteorological Service of Canada. Dr. Béchard co-chairs the United States-Canada Hydrographic Commission and is a member of the Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission and of the International Hydrographic Organisation Council. She also serves as Canadian Co-Chair of the Lake Ontario St Lawrence River Board of the International Joint Commission.


Dr. John Jamieson Canada Research Chair (Marine Geology), Dept. of Earth Sciences, Memorial University. Dr. John Jamieson’s research focuses on hydrothermal systems (black smoker vent sites) on the modern ocean floor and the formation of volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits. His work combines seafloor exploration and mapping with petrography, trace element geochemistry, and stable and radiogenic isotope techniques to investigate aspects of seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) formation. By exploring the depths of our oceans, Dr. Jamieson’s research will lead to a better understanding of some of the most fascinating geological processes on the planet and provide the framework for the sustainable use of the resources they contain.


David Shea Vice President of Engineering, Kraken Robotics. Mr. Shea has been managing the design, production and operation of underwater robots in the USA and Canada for over 12 years. Previously he was the Engineering Manager at Marine Robotics Inc., as well as being the lead design engineer for the SQX-500 AUV. Mr. Shea holds a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria.


Wednesday, Jan. 23, 7-9 p.m.


Hampton Hall, Marine Institute


Event Schedule:

7 p.m.: Opening Remarks 7:15 p.m. Presentation by Dr. Katleen Robert 7:40 p.m. Panel discussion 8:30 p.m. Ocean Mapping Student demonstrations and light refreshments

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