CaNOE’s Ocean People

People join CaNOE for a lot of reasons; one of the most popular is to meet like-minded ocean literacy advocates. Some of us are formal educators, some are informal, and some of us just want to be part of the effort to inspire and share a love of the ocean and to promote everyday personal actions that we can take to show that love.

At CaNOE we are fond of saying “We Are All Ocean people”.  And it’s true! We also think our members are great and we want to share your stories, If you’re interested in being featured on the CaNOE Members page, send us answers to these five questions with the title “Ocean People Profile” or fill out this form:

  1. What does Ocean Literacy mean to you?
  2. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean?
  3. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it.
  4. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean?
  5. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know.

We’ll also choose one member each month to “spotlight” as part of our monthly SPLASHmail newsletter (with their permission)! Not interested in sharing your info? No problem – we won’t be posting anything that hasn’t been sent to us specifically for that purpose. We’d love to get a photo as well (especially if it shows you doing something “oceany”!).

For member contact requests email us at info@oceanliteracy.ca

 


Kayla Hamelin

Assistant Director (Conservation and Education)
Canadian Sea Turtle Network
CaNOE Board Member

What does Ocean Literacy mean to you?
To me, Ocean Literacy means understanding and appreciating the science of the ocean and the socio-cultural significance of our ocean. Ocean literacy must include and respect different ways of “knowing” the ocean – for example, the traditional ecological knowledge and local knowledge held by those who live and work near (or on) the sea.

What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean?
I grew up in small-town Ontario on the shores of Georgian Bay. Despite it being a freshwater environment, I really feel like I grew up in a “coastal” place – defined by a huge body water where you can look out to the horizon and not see the other side! My specific interest in the ocean and its creatures came a little bit later when my family did a family road trip to the Maritimes. The first marine animal I ever touched was a starfish that had been pulled up by someone fishing off the wharf in Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick. I was fascinated! Other highlights from this trip included whale-watching off Grand Manan Island to see North Atlantic right whales, walking on the ocean floor at low tide at Hopewell Cape, and swimming with jellyfish on Prince Edward Island. I fell in love with the sights, smells, and sounds of the Atlantic coast and discovered a whole new world of weird and wonderful animals. Needless to say, I was hooked (no pun intended) for life!

Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it.
Currently, I am the Assistant Director (Conservation and Education) for the Canadian Sea Turtle Network in Halifax. This role has allowed me to combine my passion for science research with my interests in science education and community engagement. Although I occasionally do guest presentations in schools, almost all of my ocean literacy work happens outside of the classroom! For example, I coordinate citizen science programs in which I work with coastal community members to document sea turtle sightings and strandings throughout Atlantic Canada. I also manage the Canadian Sea Turtle Centre, a small-but-mighty outreach kiosk at the busy Halifax Waterfront boardwalk which provides free drop-in marine education to tens of thousands of locals and visitors to Halifax each summer.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean?
Despite the names humans have come up with (“Atlantic”, “Pacific”), I think that it is important to remember that we ultimately have ONE interconnected world ocean. This is a challenge, since the ways in which we use the ocean can have far-reaching impacts. However, it is also a source of optimism, as it is a unifying feature that connects us all around the globe.

Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know.
Leatherback sea turtles each have a unique pink spot on the top of their head, which scientists believe can act like a light sensor!

Meet the remainder of our Ocean People here!