November 6, 2013

Ocean Science in Canada: Meeting the Challenge, Seizing the Opportunity

The Expert Panel on Canadian Ocean Science

Summary

The universal challenges facing the ocean today demand the integration of multidisciplinary knowledge and coordination across traditional boundaries. While Canada is recognized for its excellence in ocean research and leading role in international research collaboration, a comprehensive understanding of national capacity to address future questions of ocean science is essential.

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The Question

What are Canada’s needs and capacities with regard to the major research questions in ocean science that would enable it to address Canadian ocean issues and issues relating to Canada’s coasts and enhance its leading role as an international partner in ocean science?

Key Findings

Recognizing the importance of ocean science, the Canadian Consortium of Ocean Research Universities (CCORU) asked the CCA to undertake an expert assessment of the state of ocean science in Canada, focusing on future opportunities and challenges for Canada and its coasts. This evidence-based assessment follows on the CCA’s priority setting exercise and expert report, 40 Priority Research Questions for Ocean Science in Canada.

  • Canada ranks among the top countries in output and impact of ocean science papers but this position is at risk.
  • Canada has several world-class systems for ocean observation and monitoring; however, challenges exist in achieving geographical coverage and integration of data management.
  • Canada has a substantial but aging research fleet.
  • Although funding for ocean science in Canadian universities is increasing, trends in total funding are unclear.
  • The state of human capacity in ocean science cannot be determined because of data limitations.

 

Expert Panel

The Expert Panel on Canadian Ocean Science