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Canadian Science Policy Centre | Panel 3: Mitigating the Risk of Marine Geohazards

Panel 3: Mitigating the Risk of Marine Geohazards

Download: panel_3.mp3

The cost to Canadians of natural hazard events is substantial and continues to increase. Major Canadian S&T investments, such as the Ocean Networks Canada observatories and the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response network enhance the capacity of the scientific community to deliver benefits by providing heretofore unavailable marine geo-scientific information that enables Canadians to minimize potential material and economic losses associated with earthquakes, tsunamis, storm surge and underwater landslides. Research outcomes are designed to foster improved understanding and assessment of marine hazards, to support decision makers in utilizing these assessments, and to provide tools to ensure increased preparedness of Canadians for responding to hazard events. As such, the research directly supports Natural Resources Canada’s mandate “to ensure Canadians have relevant information to manage their lands and natural resources, and are protected from related risks”. Building on the findings of the recent Council of Canadian Academies assessment, Ocean Science in Canada: Meeting the Challenge, Seizing the Opportunity, and on a session convened for the CPSC 2013 meeting, this panel brings together national and international leaders in marine geohazard research and policy to address how ocean S&T capacity can be optimized to mitigate risks for Canadian coasts and communities.

Moderator Details

University of Victoria
Emeritus Professor

Martin Taylor is Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Victoria. He is also adjunct professor in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences at McMaster University, and in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. From 2007-2012, he served as Founding President and CEO of Ocean Networks Canada, the not for profit agency responsible for the management and development of the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada ocean observatory programs, and the Ocean Networks Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, a federal centre of excellence for commercialization and research. Before assuming this position, he was for nine years (1998-2007) the University of Victoria’s first Vice-President Research. He has extensive governance experience including as: a member of the federal Council of Science and Technology Advisors; a member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Board; a board member and chair of the finance committee of TRIUMF; a board member and chair of the Michael Smith Health Research Foundation; a board member and chair of the NSERC Canadian Healthy Ocean Strategic Network; and as board chair of the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo. He served on the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on the assessment of Canadian ocean science (2012-13) and is Special Advisor to Community Based Research Canada. Prior to his appointment at UVic, Martin Taylor served from 1974-98 on the faculty at McMaster University, where his responsibilities included: chair of Geography (1991-97); founding director of the Institute of Environment and Health (1990-96); and Acting VP Research (1994-95). He holds a BA (Hons Geography) from Bristol University and an MA and PhD in Geography from UBC. He is the author of two books and over 100 peer-reviewed publications in the field of environmental and community health.

Panelist Details

Kate Moran
Ocean Networks Canada
President and CEO

Dr. Kathryn (Kate) Moran joined the University of Victoria in September 2011 as a Professor in the Faculty of Earth and Ocean Sciences and as Director of NEPTUNE Canada. In July, 2012, she was promoted to the position of President & CEO, Ocean Networks Canada. Her previous appointment was Professor at the University of Rhode Island with a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Oceanography and the Department of Ocean Engineering. She also served as the Graduate School of Oceanography’s Associate Dean, Research and Administration. From 2009 to 2011, Moran was seconded to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where she served as an Assistant Director and focused on Arctic, polar, ocean, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and climate policy issues.

Moran received degrees in engineering from the University of Pittsburgh (BS), University of Rhode Island (MS), and Dalhousie University (PhD). She co-led the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program’s Arctic Coring Expedition, which was the first deepwater drilling operation in the Arctic Ocean. This expedition successfully recovered the first paleoclimate record from the Arctic Ocean. She also led one of the first offshore expeditions to investigate the seafloor following the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. She recently led the developed a new in situ gas hydrate observatory instrument that was successfully deployed in 2013 offshore the west coast of Canada.

Previously, Moran was a scientist at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography where one of her major research focus areas was the Arctic Ocean. She also served as the Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program in Washington DC; managed mission-specific drilling platform operations in the North Atlantic and Arctic; designed and developed oceanographic tools; participated in more than 35 offshore expeditions; and has served as Chair and member of national and international science and engineering advisory committees and panels.
Professor Moran is active in public outreach (through public lectures, national panel discussions, and teacher training) on topics related to the Arctic, ocean drilling, and global climate change. Moran has testified on climate change to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. At the University of Rhode Island, Moran spearheaded a research initiative on offshore renewable energy.

Laurie L’Heureux
Emergency Planning Coordinator
Alberni Clayoquot Regional District


Laurie L’Heureux is the Emergency Planning Coordinator for the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) on Vancouver Island, BC. This role is combined with managing the Occupational Health and Safety Program for the City of Port Alberni, the largest municipality in the ACRD. Laurie is responsible for maintaining, updating and exercising all aspects of the Alberni Valley Emergency plan which covers the City of Port Alberni and the electoral areas of Sproat Lake, Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and Beaufort. It also includes the community of Bamfield, and the Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations. In this role, she has been successful in bringing a very diverse group together to create an emergency plan that represents the entire Alberni Valley.

Laurie recently developed a door to door campaign focusing on tsunami awareness that was delivered to approximately 4,500 residents who live in Port Alberni’s 20 metre inundation zone. She was a member of the first organizing committee for the ShakeOut BC initiative, and is a contributor to the Simon Fraser University research project “Tsunami “Last Mile” Communication”.

Laurie holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Victoria, and has completed extensive emergency management training through the Justice Institute of BC.

Phillip Hill
Director, Geological Survey of Canada-Pacific
Natural Resources Canada

Dr. Philip Hill is a Director of the Geological Survey of Canada-Pacific, Natural Resources Canada, based in Sidney, BC. A graduate of Oxford and Dalhousie Universities, he has more than 30 years of experience in marine geological and geohazard research, including work in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans, as well as in Hudson Bay and the Saint Lawrence estuary. Following several years as a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada, Phil operated a consulting business for three years and then spent 9 years at the Université du Québec à Rimouski as a Professor of Oceanography. Phil moved back to the Geological Survey of Canada in the Pacific region in 2001 where he conducted multidisciplinary research on marine geoscience. He has managed several large research projects programs related to ocean management, climate change and marine geohazards.

Douglas Wallace
Dalhousie University
Canada Research Excellence Chair in Ocean Science and Technology and MEOPAR Scientific Director

Dr. Wallace holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Ocean Science and Technology, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. Dr. Wallace currently serves as Scientific Director for both the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) and the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE).

Before becoming Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology, Dr. Wallace was professor of marine chemistry at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR). There, he also served as deputy director and head of the Marine Biogeochemistry Research Division. He holds a Ph.D in chemical oceanography from Dalhousie University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.

Dr. Wallace spent more than a decade working as a scientist at the prestigious Brookhaven National Laboratory in the United States. He has made significant scientific contributions to his field through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the US Department of Energy, where he developed the first survey to measure the global distribution of fossil-fuel carbon in the oceans.

Dr. Wallace has contributed to building a number of multidisciplinary research teams, including CARBOOCEAN, a five-year study of the ocean carbon cycle, SOLAS, a global project investigating interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean. He also led the development of an ocean and atmosphere observatory on the Cape Verde Islands off the West African coast.

His research interests focus on carbon cycle and air-sea exchange of gases.