CamBay ocean observatory stimulates local interest

If you were to stop by this rental unit in the western Nunavut town of Cambridge Bay, you might have to climb over a roll of ethernet tape and diving tanks to get into it.

A young researcher washes equipment in jacuzzi. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

A young researcher washes equipment in jacuzzi. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

This is where the team from Oceans Networks Canada stays — and after retrieving the ocean observatory usually anchored in the waters near the community dock, they’ve set about dismantling it.

That’s why you might find an underwater hydrophone and other equipment in the jacuzzi bath and another device needing repair spread out on the counter.

What's for lunch? Dismantled equipment from the ocean observatory. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

What’s for lunch? Dismantled equipment from the ocean observatory. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

After the team, which includes young researchers with the University of Victoria, managed to hoist the 250-pound observatory platform out of the water, they’ve focused on getting the observatory back into working order.

They then plan to publicly relaunch the observatory into the water. That’s in addition to many other meetings and presentations to schools.

But why should people in Cambridge Bay, population 1,500, care about an underwater observatory they can only see for a short time every year?

Because they can benefit from the information it collects and be directly involved in the project, said Maia Hoeberechts, from Oceans Networks Canada, in Cambridge Bay.

Local residents can have direct access to the data, posted on line — and also on an iPad  likely to be located in the local library, and through future collaborations with the team, she said.

At the community meeting in Cambridge Bay, Hoeberechtsand and the others will explain just what the observatory does and why it’s important.

A young researcher prepares sample containers on the living room floor. (PHOTO BY CAMBRIDGE BAY)

A young researcher prepares sample containers on the living room floor. (PHOTO BY CAMBRIDGE BAY)

As an example, there’s marine mammal monitoring— because the observatory’s sensitive mikes can pick up sounds from narwhal or beluga.

And students or “anyone with an interest and kills” can work with them and learn new skills, Hoeberechts  said.

That could lead to more local residents embracing a career in the sciences or in resource and technology — not such a bad idea before the Canadian High Arctic Research Station opens here in 2017.

Recent posts on A date with Siku girl include:

My Cambridge Bay weekend

Nunavut, still Canada’s youngest, fastest growing jurisdiction: StatsCan

A makeover for CamBay’s ocean observatory

Canada ignores Arctic infrastructure: veteran ice pilot

New roof, new life for CamBay’s old stone church

Two Arctic ships, two explorers: Franklin and Amundsen

Today, Arctic explorers take cruise ships

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s