Science Literacy and Ocean Health at the Forefront of Research Initiatives

Continuing our commitment to supporting and operating nationally accredited science literacy and ocean health programs, we have completed a successful season on Canada’s East Coast and in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland, partnering with a variety of scientists, researchers, and educators.

For over a decade we have established long-term, meaningful partnerships with universities and nationally accredited scientific organizations. The installation of our state-of-the-art ‘One Lab’ onboard RCGS Resolute, an inclusive space for scientists to conduct their work, has proved to be a vital space that has allowed scientists to collect high-quality data in remote environments, analyzing samples at sea and producing data in real-time.

Dr. John Nightingale, our Senior Ocean Science Advisor and past President and CEO of Ocean Wise, joined the Canada’s East Coast ‘Fins and Fiddles’ voyage, bringing resources such as microplastic sieves to the ship and conducting microplastics research whilst onboard. Dr. Nightingale assisted Parks Canada in their ongoing study to learn more about what is living in the ponds on Sable Island, with samples taken to the One Lab where guests were invited to participate by picking bugs out of the water and taking a closer look under the lab’s microscope. Guests had the opportunity to look for microplastics in seawater by straining the lab’s raw water intake tap. Sand from Sable Island was also collected for viewing under the microscope in search of microplastic fibers.

A guest inspects a water sample inside the One Lab
A guest inspects a water sample inside the One Lab. Image by Josh McGarel

On our Baffin Island and Greenland Explorer voyage, Eric Solomon, Director of Arctic Programs at Ocean Wise, returned to continue his multi-year study of microplastics. Passengers on board were able to assist him with the analysis of water samples, searching for the presence and severity of microplastics in the ocean. Eric also led several broadcasts live from RCGS Resolute to a crowd in the gallery of the Vancouver Aquarium, educating on micro-plastics and marine debris, and sharing our vision for growing the One Lab program.

A group gathers in the Vancouver Aquarium to connect with Eric Solomon in a live broadcast from RCGS Resolute
A group gathers in the Vancouver Aquarium to connect with Eric Solomon in a live broadcast from RCGS Resolute.

This summer also saw the return of Dr. Matthew Ayre from the Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary. After his discovery of evidence of a long-lost whaling vessel in 2018 whist on board with us, he returned to the Arctic to continue his study of wrecked whaling vessel, the Nova Zembla.

Sarah Wong and Carina Gjerdrum, wildlife biologists with the Canadian Wildlife Service, were on board two Arctic voyages conducting surveys on Arctic birds. The voyage allowed them to survey an area that hadn’t been surveyed since the 1970s, surveying over 900km and recording nearly 6,500 birds.

Locations of the seabird surveys conducted.
Locations of the seabird surveys conducted. Image courtesy of Sarah Wong

Looking ahead, we are thrilled to welcome back the team from the California Ocean Alliance for the upcoming Antarctic season. Guests traveling on several of our Antarctic voyages are in for a treat as they have the opportunity to witness first-hand whale research with top marine biologist Dr. Ari Friedlaender and his team as they continue their long-term research on whale behavior in the Antarctic region.

Arctic 2020 programming sees the return of a specialized Arctic scuba dive team from Ocean Wise. In 2018, while onboard with us, the divers were able to explore previously uncharted sites between Resolute Bay and Grise Fjord in the High Arctic. The only one of its kind in Canada, the team studies underwater ecosystems that have never been documented before, collecting specimens and monitoring ocean temperatures in contribution to the Arctic Marine Ecology Benchmarking Program.

Roger Pimenta diver surfacing
Ocean Wise Diver surfacing. Image by Roger Pimenta

An important part of the One Ocean Expeditions experience and our commitment to ocean health is combining passenger tourism with meaningful scientific research. This allows us to create incredible opportunities to engage. The more possibilities provided for guests to get involved with science through conversations and presentations, the more ambassadors are created for these sensitive regions.

For more details on any of our voyages, please speak to your preferred agent or contact our sales team here.