University of Victoria expanding its ocean and climate research capacity

The University of Victoria (UVic) and Canadian government will pour $7 million into renovation of the former Queenswood property in Saanich to provide office and research space for UVic’s ocean and climate hub.

UVic acquired the six-hectare Queenswood property in 2010 from the Sisters of St. Ann to accommodate expansion of academic programs and research in a location nearby the Gordon Head campus.

To the total renovation budget, Federal Strategic Infrastructure Fund will contribute with $3.1 million and UVic with $3.9 million.

The upgraded facilities will provide an interdisciplinary, collaborative space for UVic’s ocean and climate change research and associated technology development.

The first occupant will be UVic’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), which received a $46.6-million grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation earlier this month. ONC operates ocean observatories that stream live data 24/7 to researchers across Canada and around the world to study everything from ocean change and fish abundance to plate tectonics and tsunamis, deep-sea ecosystems and ocean engineering.

“A dedicated ocean and climate change research space at UVic is unique in Canada,” said Kate Moran, president and CEO of ONC. “The Queenswood location will enhance collaboration and allow for the advancement of research that links the ocean’s crucial role in understanding and adapting to climate change.”

Also, the Government of Canada and five western universities, led by UVic, are contributing a total of $3 million to enhance facilities at Bamfield Marine Science Centre (BMSC) on the west coast of Vancouver Island, which is dedicated to collaborative international research and education in ocean science and marine life. BMSC fosters an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach in coastal sciences related to ecology, evolution and conservation; climate change; fish physiology; fluid dynamics and mechanics; invasive species; and aquaculture.

“This funding will make our infrastructure more safe, reliable and efficient. It will allow us to better serve the growing group of researchers that use the Bamfield centre to study BC’s coastal waters,” said Brad Anholt, director of BMSC.

UVic President Jamie Cassels said: “Together, these projects enhance UVic’s capacity to build knowledge of the ocean and climate for the benefit of all Canadians.”

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