CaNOE’s Ocean PeoplePeople 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Science Communications Coordinator Hakai Institute CaNOE Board Member What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? For me, ocean literacy is an appreciation for all that the ocean provides each of us with every day. From the air we breathe and shifts in local weather patterns to those great memories when we were lucky enough to watch the waves, ocean literacy means that we are all connected to the ocean in our daily life. Given this, we should all be ocean stewards and feel personally responsible for the small actions that we can make in our daily lives that can affect the ocean. There are so many, we can all do a little better, myself included. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? I was fortunate to grow up boating in the Salish Sea and beyond many of my summers growing up. During these multi-week trips, we frequently anchored and I was taken ashore in the dinghy to explore the beach and burn off some energy exploring. Spending that many days on the shore and nights listening to the water lapping the hull sent me on a life path to understand the ocean and to help others learn its amazing secrets. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I am a Science Communications Coordinator for the Hakai Institute, a private research centre in British Columbia. My daily work involves gathering and telling the stories that are coming from our researchers in the field and to help the public understand our discoveries from an understudied coastline. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? I wish that everyone knew that their actions make a difference on the global environment. The climate didn’t just magically start changing on its own. It was the additive effects of all human actions that are making it change now and it will take the cumulative subtractive effects of our actions to reduce our carbon emissions. We all play a key role in improving both the land and the ocean and we can make personal choices that will have a positive impact for future generations. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. Grab a litre of seawater. In that litre there are enough bacteria that, if put end to end, could span a football field. Take the viruses in that same litre and line them up, they’ll span a full kilometre!
Marine Mammal Ecology Researcher CEO, M – Expertise Marine CaNOE Board Member What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? As Jacques-Yves Cousteau said: “We protect what we love, and we love what we know”. Ocean education is the key to better protect it, and understand why it’s important to do so. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? I was born on the shores of the majestic St. Lawrence estuary. My backyard was the tidal zone. I also had the chance to have an uncle who was an oceanographer, and I was fascinated by his job. I decided to become a marine scientist when I was about 4. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I am an ecologist specialized in marine mammals and ecosystem functioning who use an integrated approach to study the structure and function of ecosystems in an effort to ensure the conservation and sustainability of resources. I had the chance to build world-renowned expertise in ecosystem ecology, conservation, and biodiversity, and I published my work in the most prestigious journals such as Science. I am actively involved in Canada, but also in the Caribbean, Northwest Africa, and Scandinavia. In all the projects I work on, I am advocating for an integrated approach allying research, conservation, EDUCATION and integrated collaboration as the best way to manage and protect the planet for future generations. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? It’s very fragile. Beneath the surface, there are wonderful things we can’t see and that are unfortunately disappearing… Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. One research study that I participated in: whale poop helps to slow down climate change!
Magali GregoireFounder & Executive Director of Back to the Sea Society What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? For me, Ocean Literacy means finding effective and inclusive ways to communicate the importance of our ocean to as many people as possible. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? The minute I walked into the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium in Newfoundland my curiosity for the ocean was sparked. While I had spent the first three years of my museologist career working in entomology, I was suddenly inspired to change tracks and dedicate the next portion to marine biology. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I lead the Back to the Sea Society, a charitable organization dedicated to sparking curiosity for marine life and inspiring a desire to protect our ocean. We run our organization in Nova Scotia where we have a small, seasonal marine interpretive centre on the Dartmouth waterfront. Our ultimate goal is to open a permanent collect-and-release aquarium in the municipality of Halifax. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? Just how much life there truly is underneath that deep blue blanket! Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. A lot of people are surprised to find out that sand dollars are actually living animals that have senses, move around, and feed!
Danika StreckoEducator for Online Learning OceanWise What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? Ocean literacy is the understanding of the ocean and our relationship with it. The Ocean Literacy Framework helps us develop knowledge of how the Ocean works, it’s impacts and how everyone is connected to it. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? Growing up in Vancouver, BC I was lucky to be geographically close to the ocean, enjoy building a recreational relationship with it and a love for the animals that are connected to it. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. After three years coordinating camps and club programs at the Vancouver Aquarium, I have been in a senior staff role with Ocean Wise Education since 2017. As Ocean Literacy Manager, I have the overall strategic responsibility to build capacity and strengthen Ocean Literacy in education programs, to ensure that key activities and joint ventures, including leading the development process of a Canadian OL Strategy, are coordinated organization wide and nationwide to ensure strategic impact. I provide coaching and leadership to the online learning team with projects like the literacy.ocean.org and plasticsedkit.ocean.org; support the use of education technology by all education teams; provide support and development for multilingual learning platforms and develops a virtual community for youth and educators across the country. In my personal time I am Board Chair of Marine Life Sanctuaries Society. MLSS works to create an environment that is conducive to educating, inspiring and engaging individuals and communities to support the creation of marine protected areas (or sanctuaries). What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? No matter where we live, we are all connected to the ocean. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. All the Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound Sponge Reefs combined process an equivalent volume of water to the entire Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound in just 82 days. That is approximately 17 BILLION litres of water per day being filtered by 9 identified sponge reefs. Roughly equal volume to Metro Vancouver’s daily wastewater production.
Lucija PrelovecG.Dip Science Communication, Science Producer for Ocean School, CaNOE Board Member
What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? To me, Ocean Literacy really represents our understanding about our connection to the ocean. No matter where you live, inland, on the coast, on an island, or even on a mountain, the ocean impacts us. Once people realize this it will help in protecting our oceans. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? Growing up, I would go to Croatia every summer to visit family and spend time on the Adriatic Sea. It was my hours underwater watching the fish and snails that really ignited my love for the ocean. I loved that on the surface it seemed like not much was happening, but then beneath the surface there was so much life and hours of enjoyment. I would spend most of my time at the beach underwater! Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. Currently I work as a Science Producer and Communications Specialist for Ocean School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ocean School is an online platform that is free to use and in both French and English. It is geared for grades 6-9, but anyone is free to use it. We want to bring the ocean into the classroom and have teachers use the ocean as a theme to teach a wide array of topics. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? I just want everyone to realize how important the ocean is! Whether its because it provides half of the oxygen we breathe, or provides food for billions of people, or that 90% of the goods we receive come from shipping container ships, or its impact on climate and weather. Without the ocean we wouldn’t be here. It helps us every single day, and so little people realize that. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. That barnacles have the longest penis length relative to body size in the animal kingdom!
Karen E. Smith PhD, Associate Professor of Language and Literacy, University of Manitoba, CaNOE Board Member What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? Ocean literacy means understanding how oceans are a vital part of our total Earth literacy. Since oceans cover 2/3rds of the Earth’s surface they are hugely important to keeping our world intact through nature health and sustainability. Our futures all depend on everyone understanding ocean literacy. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? I saw whales in the Pacific when I went on a trip to Victoria, BC. The whales followed our boat and they engaged with our boat by bouncing off the bottom of the boat. I saw their faces as they approached the boat and noted that the pod of whales were trying to have fun without boat. As well, I saw people simply dumping plastic bags off the edge of their boats. I began to wonder about whales eating these plastic bags and when I got into the ocean museum I found that I had a lot to learn about the landscapes underwater. I fell in love with the whales and in understanding how they coped with their watery environment. I was only 5 but the experience stayed with me, as well as my love of whales. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I participate in ocean information sessions in Manitoba and BC. I am also using the ocean as a topic in my science literacy classes at university. I am in the process of writing a children’s book about the ocean to go along with my nature literacy books. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? I wish everyone knew how beautiful the ocean is. I live on the prairies and not everyone has had the chance to learn to love it. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. “The five oceans—the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic—are all connected and form an enormous mass of water.”
Patrick Wells PhD Candidate (Memorial), Science Department Head (Holy Spirit High School), CaNOE Board Member What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? To me an ocean literate person must know the impact of the ocean on them and their impact on the ocean. This knowledge facilitates life choices that respect the ocean’s constituents and processes. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? I have always been connected to the ocean. I grew up in the intertidal zone; flipping rocks on the beach and snorkelling in the shallows. I recognise the power of the ocean to provide and take away. I also witness human abuses such as garbage disposal and oil spills and this upsets me – this feeling continues to this day. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I am a high school science teacher and love taking students to the intertidal zone and on ocean cruises. Students love a trip to the intertidal zone and I love watching them see the creatures I grew up with. They learn to respect these creatures and how tough it is to live in the ocean. A cruise is really unfair to all other subjects in school. I know the power of the ocean as a teaching context is unrivalled. The ocean has the biggest, the weirdest, the strongest, the smallest……it has so many things that make epic connections to students. A cruise never fails to inspire and delight even the most jaded student. My goal as a science education researcher is to uncover why the ocean is such a powerful educational context. I believe if we could capture the essence of this power, it may translate to other subject areas or they choose to incorporate the ocean in lessons to improve their teaching, What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? The ocean is as delicate as it is powerful – we must treat it with care for our own good and the good of all life on the planet. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. Baby scallops are good swimmers!
Natasha Ewing Community Liaison Officer with BC Parks and previous CaNOE Board Member What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? Ocean Literacy is about acknowledging – and deeply understanding – the influence humans have on the ocean and its influence on us. To be fully ocean literate, I believe that it is critical to establish a personal connection to the ocean, to appreciate this life-giving resource from the food we eat to the oxygen we breath. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? Growing up in the Kootenays (Southeast BC), I was surrounded by mountains, forests and alpine lakes. When I was about three years old I remember my first trip to the west coast and seeing the incredible expanse of the ocean. I was hooked. I recall telling myself that someday I would live on the coast and dive into the mysteries of the ocean. Thirteen years later I moved to Victoria, completed high school, and immediately started a degree in biology and ocean science at UVic. I was instantly captivated by the ocean… and continue to be to this day. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. Through my undergrad and co-op jobs, the ocean was my main focus. However, I realized early on that sharing my passion was exhilarating, much more than “doing” the research. I fell into the role of outreach and education with ease, and for seven years worked at Ocean Networks Canada, engaging youth and inspiring the next generation to learn about the resource that covers over 70% of our planet. I worked hard to incorporate Ocean Science into local schools and discussed the diverse career options within the field of marine science through a unique interdisciplinary program called the Ocean Science Symposium. In January 2018 I accepted a new position with BC Parks and moved to a new region…Northern BC. Despite living in the interior, once again surrounded mountains, forests and alpine lakes, the ocean is in my soul. I now have the opportunity to bring the ocean inland – to continue to show how connected we are regardless if we see the ocean or not. I look forward to advocating for marine protected areas and continuing to explore the North coast – it is incredible! What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? To many the ocean may look flat, cold and dark. However, when I look out at the ocean I can conceptualize it in 3D. I can see the waves at the surface, imagine the sloping seafloor, and can visualize the thousands of critters living throughout the water column. The Ocean is dynamic – and it is far from flat. I wish that others could “see” the ocean in its many layers and recognize that there is still so much to discover about this fascinating ecosystem. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. Scientists have discovered and named well over 200,000 marine species. Yet, it is estimated that hundred of thousands, if not millions, of other species remain to be discovered. From microscopic bacteria buried in sediments, to unworldly deep sea creatures, to majestic and charismatic megafauna, the ocean is teaming with life. For students, who may think that there is nothing left to find… I dare you to go explore the seashore! Follow Natasha’s adventures via Instagram – @tasharei02
Holly Neate Ocean Educator OceanWise What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? Ocean Literacy is understanding how the oceans impact us, and how we impact the oceans – it is the relationship between humans and the life-giving resource that allows us to call Earth home. To me Ocean Literacy is not finite, there is always something more to learn. And I am thrilled to be part of a community that is continuing to learn – and inspiring others to learn – about the ocean. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? My passion for the ocean was first sparked while growing up on the westcoast. I would spend countless hours kayaking, hiking, beachcombing and swimming. I would use my imagination and creativity while at the seashore to learn about marine critters and appreciate the complex processes of the ocean. As a teen, I was fortunate to attend summer camps and put my oceany-experiences to use, while having the opportunity to gain skills in leadership and teamwork during ocean excursions with my peers. As I continued through school I began to appreciate all of the different options and avenues for ocean-related careers – I quickly realized that there were so many ways to work and care for the ocean regardless of one’s passions. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I am currently based in Vancouver, BC working with Ocean Wise (previously known as the Vancouver Aquarium). As an Ocean Educator, I bring the ocean to Canadians that are landlocked; people that may not recognize their impacts on the ocean or how the ocean influences their day-to-day lives. It is my goal to change the opinions of Canadians by pushing the boundaries of what people thought they knew – to encourage people to think outside the box through hands on activities and by forming a connection with marine species. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? I wish everyone truly recognized the impact they have on the ocean and the ocean’s influence on them. For example, where does the oxygen you breath come from? For many, the belief is that most oxygen comes from trees and plants on land, but in reality over 50% comes from microscopic plants in the ocean – phytoplankton, the very base of the food chain. As I speak with citizens across the country I constantly challenge the deeply ingrained idea that the ocean is “out of sight, out of mind”. I wish to (and do!) remind people that the ocean is an important ecosystem and defines who they are; that their daily habitats impact the ocean positively or negatively. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. As I mostly work with invertebrates, there are 1000’s of cool facts I could share! As a teaching strategy I like to form a connection to marine critters by sharing interesting facts about why animals don’t look or function like a human. For example, a sea star uses hundreds of tiny tube feets (almost like mini suction cups on stems) to help sense the world around them… could you imagine smelling with your feet? Follow Holly’s adventures and oceany tales via Instagram – @getyourvitaminsea or connect via email (email@example.com)
Laura Verhegge Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? To me, ocean literacy is about how significant the ocean is to every human on the planet. In my teaching at Pearson College, I feel that I am able to convey that message to students who come from coastal communities as well as land-locked places, students who have lived their lives beside the ocean and students who have never seen the ocean before. When students leave after two years of Marine Science, they get it. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? In the summer after my third year at the University of Calgary where I was pursuing a degree in Zoology in order to get into medical school, I went to the Bamfield Marine Station (BMS as it was called then!). I signed up for ‘Marine Invertebrate Zoology’ and looking back now, I have no idea why since I despised the Invertebrate Zoology course I took at U of C (our labs involved looking at various preserved invertebrates that were colourless and smelled of formaldehyde!). During my second day in Bamfield, I remember going to Brady’s Beach and seeing nudibranchs, anemones, crabs, mussels, barnacles and other colourful creatures in tidepools and on rocks and I was so excited. I think it was that field trip to Brady’s Beach that did it for me! And after that Marine Invertebrate Zoology course, I forgot about medicine and I knew that I wanted to be a marine biologist. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I teach IB Marine Science at Lester B. Pearson UWC of the Pacific and I think I have the best job in the world. Today one of my classes included a deep sea costume party where students dressed up as a deep sea creature and had to make guesses about the costumes of other students – fun! The syllabus that I teach is full of opportunities for practical work and because Pearson College is located on the shores of Pedder Bay, we visit as many marine ecosystems as possible. Also, because Pearson College is the ecoguardian of Race Rocks ecological reserve, we have the privilege of experiencing that magical place. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? How connected we all are to the ocean and that every day decisions can affect the ocean. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. Since I am teaching about deep sea organisms now, they are on my mind, and they are so bizarre. Here is a fun fact: the barreleye fish has a transparent head that allows it to look up and collect as much light as possible in the disphotic / twilight zone. The default position for the barreleye’s eyes is up but they can rotate their eyes to look forward as necessary!
Dawn Roche Managing Editor The Journal of Ocean Technology Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University St. John’s, NL What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? To me, ocean literacy means understanding our connectedness with the oceans: how what we humans do impacts the oceans and the ocean’s effect on humans, and how we can share this information for the benefit of our planet. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? The ocean has always been a part of my life. Growing up on an island in the North Atlantic meant it was always there. It affects our weather; is a major transportation route on and off the island; and is a source of employment to many (fishery, tourism, research, etc.). I often visit our coastline to feel the ocean in my senses: watch the waves roll, hear them crash when they reach land, feel the briny water on my face, taste it on my lips, and smell the salted-laden air. These visits make me feel so alive! Our family has a “leave the city behind” cabin that faces an open cove. To start my day, I boil the kettle for a cup of tea and sit in a window seat to gauge the sea’s mood: from grey, roiling days to blue, sparkling days to fog-filled days. I don’t have any favourites: I appreciate each day that I get to observe the sea. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I work as editor for a journal on ocean technology in St. John’s, Newfoundland. We are an international publication and our focus crosses many ocean industries and sectors. For me, that means being in touch with ocean people around the globe: those working and researching in, on, or below the ocean. And everyone I meet has interesting work/research to share. The common thread with all our contributors is the way humans and oceans impact one another and how to use technology to address challenges and opportunities. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? I’d like everyone to know how fantastic the ocean is to help keep things in perspective! Or how much it can open your senses and your mind. Or how it can help with creativity and provide an appreciation of our amazing resource. Or how wonderful it is to walk along the shoreline, jumping waves and beachcombing for natural objects. That’s more than one, I know! Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. Maybe everyone already knows this, but I love the fact that flatfish such as flounder and halibut are born with an eye on each side of its head but eventually one of the eyes shift so that both eyes are on the same side. The scientists out there would explain this better than me! A non-scientific fact that I’d like to share is how the ocean can take your breath away: imagine cresting the top of a hill and seeing the open expanse of the ocean as far as your eyes can see. That is simply breath-taking!
STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) Facilitator Discovery Centre Halifax, NS What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? Ocean Literacy to me means creating opportunities and educating marine science in a way that everyone can learn, regardless of educational background. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? Growing up beside the ocean, studying marine biology always felt like a natural fit. However, it was my experiences during my undergraduate degree that really sparked my passion for the ocean. I had the opportunity to complete multiple field courses in Bonne Bay, Newfoundland- in my biased opinion one of the most beautiful places on earth. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. Currently, I work the Discovery Centre, a science museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia where I engage with the public and develop programming on any STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) related subjects- including helping with their Oceans Gallery slated to open this summer! Another project near and dear to my heart is the Back to the Sea Society, a non-profit with the goal of opening a catch-and-release aquarium. Within this organization I wear multiple hats from Communications Chair to working as an aquarist. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? I wish everyone knew that they have the power to be an ocean hero! There are so many ways to contribute to ocean conservation from not using straws to supporting organizations that do great work, there is a way for everyone to help protect marine life for future generations. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. The deep-sea octopus Bathypolypus arcticus, which can be found off of Nova Scotia could have one of the longest egg incubation periods- up to three years!
Biology and Marine Biology teacher Victoria High School Victoria, BC What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? To me it means learning about the many aspects of the worlds oceans as well as their ecosystems and the part we as humans play in our ecosystems. I enjoy learning about, and teaching my students about, the life forms that live on our local beaches and in our local waters – what are they? and how do they live their lives? Years ago I developed an identification guide of local seaweeds and animals found on our shore line and I am pleased whenever I see families with their young children on the beach using these guides. I think teaching kids about our local waters is the first step to creating future stewards of our oceans. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? I grew up in Campbell River and spent a lot of time boating and at the beach with my family. When I was quite young my parents allowed me to walk down our bank, cross the highway and play in the tide pools all day – it was the 70s. I always enjoyed sea life and when I was 13 I converted my tropical aquarium into a tide pool aquarium. It was a lot of fun but when I stocked it with herring from a local bait dock I soon learned how effective the fish-eating anemones were. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I teach Biology and Marine Biology at Victoria High School in Victoria, British Columbia. I have a cold water seaquarium, touch table and kreisel aquarium with jellyfish in my class. My students use the cameras, some attached to microscopes, to take video and photos, and along with their research and art work we upload it to our web site at Vichigh Marine (www.vichighmarine.ca). The community has also been a great resource over the years, from the biologists at the local aquarium (the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea), the Seaquaria in Schools program who helped set up my original system, to the people at Ocean Networks Canada who have visited my class and host an annual Ocean Symposium. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? I’ve always enjoyed looking at plankton, from the elaborate structures of the glass encased diatoms to the unusual worms and larval stages of crabs with their glowing green eyes. I wish more people had the opportunity to look at the diversity of life found in a plankton tow. It is the base of the ocean food chains and produces so much of the oxygen we breathe – but we often overlook the small things. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. The Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker. I think most people appreciate tropical fish but we have one of the world’s most unusual and comical looking fish here in the Pacific Northwest. When you look at this fish it is hard to believe it would be the product of evolution: they are poor swimmers, are the shape of a small ball covered in conical bumps, and have a sucker disk made of modified pelvic fins they use to attach to rocks and seaweed. They also come in a variety of colours including bright orange, red, and brown.
PhD Candidate, Dalhousie UniversityHalifax, NS What does Ocean Literacy mean to you? To me, ocean literacy means understanding how our everyday needs and actions affect and are affected by the ocean. It means understanding how entangled and interdependent we are with the ocean, even if we don’t live near it or have direct contact with it everyday. What first sparked your interest in or passion for the ocean? I think I’ve always been interested in the ocean, but becoming a kayak guide and spending more time on the ocean led me to become more interested in the things that I could observe around me, such as marine debris. Plastic pollution in the ocean is affecting every living thing, and it’s also really interesting to me because of the stories that all these plastic objects can tell about human cultures of consumerism and consumption in this anthropocene era. Tell us a bit about what you do in your ocean-related work and where you do it. I am working on an interdisciplinary PhD at Dalhousie University, focusing on the ways in which an art practice that engages with marine debris might be one way to change perspectives on this material. I collect marine debris and I document my collections in a series of photos that I call Ocean Treasures, and sometimes I use this material to make sculptures or other forms of art. By turning plastic pollution into something functional or beautiful, I hope to change the way people think about and enact caring towards the plastic objects that we use and discard every day. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the ocean? One thing that I wish everyone knew about the ocean is how much our everyday actions affect it, even when we can’t directly see the effects. Name one fun fact about the ocean that most people probably don’t know. One fun fact about the ocean is that it can carry objects long distances on ocean currents. It’s interesting to think about how far objects can travel in the ocean, and to wonder about the individual journey of every single piece of plastic debris. Photo credit: Carla-Marie Elliott