UVic bags Innovation grant for two research projects

Two University of Victoria projects with the potential to change how the world interprets the forces of nature have taken a major step toward being realized with the Canada Foundation for Innovation announcement of $6.3 million in funding support.

UVic Earth and Ocean Sciences professor Jody Klymak and West Coast Wave Initiative Director Brad Buckham, a UVic mechanical engineer, were awarded $3.8 million toward a $9.5 million project to build a robotic ocean-observing platform in BC coastal waters. The platform will one day provide data on weather, climate change, fish populations and clean-energy solutions such as wave energy through a better understanding of the changes occurring in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.

The world’s oceans are becoming warmer, more acidic and are losing oxygen. Those factors drive unexpected changes in ocean currents, weather and marine eco-systems, says Klymak, who will work with scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the University of BC on the project.

The Canadian Pacific Robotic Ocean Observing Platform (C-PROOF) aims to produce the data to quantify and predict these ocean changes. It also plays a vital role in the growth of BC’s marine-energy technology sector through wind and wave moorings capable of exacting and continuous measurement of wave energy, UVic explained.

Kate Moran, president and CEO of the UVic initiative Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), was awarded $2.4 million toward a $6.1 million project to build an observatory in the Northern Cascadia subduction zone that aims to provide critical information on seismic and tsunami risks in BC.

The Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone Observatory would be operated on ONC’s offshore NEPTUNE observatory, a cabled ocean observatory off Canada’s west coast that crosses the major fault zone between two converging tectonic plates.

This new marine geodesy technology is a breakthrough for advancing our knowledge of mega-thrust earthquakes,” said Moran.