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SPLASHmail   Events, news and views for the ocean-minded     January 2017
Celebrating the life of Granny the killer whale
J2Granny.jpgI would have never thought she was celebrating her 100th birthday the first time I saw her off the San Juan Islands in 2011. She was easy to spot from far away because of a small chunk missing from the back of her dorsal fin. Granny (J2) was the first killer whale I learned to identify while working as an intern after I finished graduate school in B.C. I watched her speed ahead of her family pod and lead them to their next destination, all the while breaching out of the water several times in a row like the young whales around her.

On the last day of 2016 the world sadly learned of Granny’s passing, who may have been as old as 105. She had not been seen with her family by marine scientists since October 12th, 2016. She lived a life well beyond the average killer whale, an animal that has around the same life expectancy as humans. J2 was a grandmother and great grandmother to many orcas in the southern resident killer whale population in the Pacific Northwest. She was also one of the most recognized and loved orcas by ocean enthusiasts around the world.

Although she is gone, J2 has helped researchers learn so much about her species since they first spotted her over 40 years ago. Granny helped us better understand the life history and family dynamics of killer whales, including their feeding habits, matriarchal (female-lead) culture, and the occurrence of menopause (found in only 3 species on Earth!). She’s also been featured in a children’s book, heard on underwater microphones, photographed by research drones, and inspired several environmental movements.  In the aerial image from NOAA below of J2 (right) and juvenile J45 (left) chasing a salmon (between them), J2 ultimately captured the salmon and presented it to J45.
It’s amazing to think of how much has changed since she was a young killer whale, born into the Salish Sea an entire century ago. Granny has endured ever-warming global temperatures, two world wars, 16 prime ministers, a moon landing, Beatlemania and the start of computer technology and social media, among so many other significant changes.  

Although we’ve lost an irreplaceable matriarch of the endangered southern residents, I look to Granny for ocean inspiration in the new year. With the start of 2017, we’d like to honour J2 as an example of a life lived fully with resilience and strength. Let’s celebrate her exceptional time in the Pacific by continuing to learn what we can from her life and look forward to all we have yet to discover in our ocean world.

Happy new year from the SPLASHmail team!
Kat Middleton

A recent scientific study has reported the first records from the North Pacific for the pointy-nosed blue chimaera (Hydrolagus trolli), a deep-sea dweller that had only been identified previously in the southeast Pacific. These northern specimens were observed during ROV (remotely operated vehicle) surveys conducted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute off the California coast and west of the Hawaiian Islands. This video footage also represents the first time the mysterious fish has been seen live on camera in its natural habitat. Chimaeras (a.k.a. “ghost sharks”, “rabbitfish”, or “ratfish”) have cartilaginous skeletons, like their shark relatives, but have a number of unique features, including plate-like teeth for grinding food, a dorsal fin spine, and a whip-like tail. While researchers will need to collect a specimen to perform the measurements and DNA analysis required to confirm species identification with certainty, this finding is a reminder of the mysteries that remain unsolved in the deep sea. Find out more about the discovery here.

EMSEA Conference: Part 2
Last month we highlighted Part 1 of board member Sonya Lee's experience at the EMSEA conference in Ireland. Now we bring you Part 2, where she continues her tale, including attending "the most inspiring and amazing presentation." 

Dick Baldwin, founder of Educational Passages, uses unmanned GPS-equipped miniboats to teach students about the ocean. Many miniboats have sailed across the Atlantic using just ocean currents and winds, and students can track their boats in real-time with the GPS coordinates sent by the boat. In the image above, Méabh (middle) found the mini sailboat in Ireland launched by the University of Connecticut as part of Dick Baldwin’s (right) program. Picture from Twitter

Meet... Rob Keith
"I’m a school administrator in Calgary, Alberta invested in taking students on Ocean Learning adventures in the Salish Sea for 20+ years, primarily with SEA Programs Inc. I’m also a Cruise and Learn sailing instructor in my spare time with Island Cruising in Sidney BC.  As a lifelong sailor, I’m passionate about Ocean Education; I truly enjoy introducing young people to marine science and ecology."

Rob was the first to respond to our call for member bios and photos to grace our new
Meet our Members webpage. Thanks, Rob!  You can connect with him through the webpage link above. We'd love to meet you all ... to be added to the new webpage, send us your bio (keep it tight 100-125 words) and email it with a close-up photo to
Coming next month... Love your Ocean CaNOE Membership Drive!

Help CaNOE to DOUBLE its membership during the month of February... that's just ONE new member per person!  Start thinking now of who could be your Ocean Valentine:-)
Scholarship - The Huntsman Marine Science Centre encourages graduate and undergraduate candidates from Canadian Universities and Colleges to apply for the R.C. Frazee & W.B. Scott Student Research Award for 2017. The award amount is $2500. The application deadline is February 15.

Internship – The Huntsman Marine Science Centre is accepting applications for Internships for 2017 in all departments including the Fundy Discovery Aquarium, Aquatic Services, Atlantic Reference Centre, Education and Bird Banding. Applicants must be 18 years of age and available for a minimum stay of one month. 

Please visit the Huntsman website for more information.
Board Soundings 
New Years greetings from the stern of the CaNOE, where lots has been happening in support of ocean literacy in the two months since our last Directors meeting!  Our working groups (WG) are hitting their stride and refining their goals for 2017 with assistance from the Strategic Planning WG.  It's never too late to get in on the action!  Check out the working group webpage here.
Our focus in early 2017 will be building our NETWORK through several avenues:  we encourage you to introduce yourself through the new Meet our Members webpage, plan to attend or volunteer to host a local meet-up for members over the winter months (stay tuned for venues), and reach out to friends and colleagues during February with an invitation to join CaNOE!
To track all of this activity on the admin side, we are  putting new management software into place that will make it easier to communicate among our membership and has newsletter and website applications.  We will also be able to process donations to the society should you wish to support CaNOE financially and we expect it to be invaluable leading into our next conference in 2018!
We continue to look for ways to network and collaborate with other synergistic organizations and we would like to acknowledge Ocean Networks Canada for their ongoing financial support.  CaNOE will be well represented at the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) conference in NS in May and we have awarded 3 travel bursaries to CaNOE members who submitted proposals.
So glad to have you on board... 2017 beckons!
Co-chairs Heather Murray and Anne Stewart
Follow us on Twitter! @OceanLitCanada

               Register here!  Early bird deadline is Feb. 1st!

Upcoming Events

Help us promote ocean education events in Canada and beyond by telling us what you or others are planning.  Click here to submit an event for the next SPLASHmail!

Canada's Arctic Biodiversity: The Next 150 Years
January 27. Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, ON
Science symposium organized by the Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration will take stock of the state of biodiversity science in the Arctic to kick off Canada's sesquicentennial anniversary and heralds a year of dialogue about the Arctic in celebration of the opening of a new Arctic gallery in 2017.            
Call for COVER PHOTO: Journal of Ocean Technology - Ocean Diving
January 27 deadline. Online
The spring 2017 issue will focus on ocean diving, including safety and training; underwater communications; dive vehicles; ecotourism; archaeology and conservation; breathing technologies, etc. We are looking for an image for the front cover that best demonstrates this theme. If you have any photos you’d like us to consider, please contact for details.

24th Annual Fishermen and Scientists Research Society Conference 
February 23rd, 2017. Best Western Plus Hotel, Dartmouth, NS
The annual conference provides an opportunity for dedicated fishermen representing their industry, and researchers from government, academia and non-profit organizations to converge on issues relating to research and sustainability of our valuable marine resources.                                               

Drivers of dynamics of small pelagic fish resources  - North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) Symposium 2017
Mar 6-11. Victoria, BC
There has been no global symposium on small pelagic fish (SPF) since 1983; the goal of the 2017 symposium is to revitalize global international cooperation on investigations of SPF and to identify, discuss and develop a framework to address unanswered questions such as the impact of climate and/or fishing pressure on the resilience of small pelagic populations using a comparative approach.   
SEE Change Environmental Learning Conference - Canadian Environmental Education Network
May 18-21.  Acadia University, Wolfville, NS
CaNOE and EECOM are partnering to explore how innovative learning inspires connection to lands and waters, more sustainable lifestyles, resilient communities and a life-giving planet.  Join us in the Annapolis Valley on the Bay of Fundy at apple blossom time!                      
3rd Blue Planet Symposium - The Role of the Oceans in Earth's Life Support System
May 31 - June 2. College Park, Maryland, USA
Blue Planet is an initiative of the Group of Earth Observations (GEO) with an overall goal to ensure the sustained development and use of ocean and coastal observations for the benefit of society.
MERS Marine Naturalist Workshop - Marine Education and Research Society
June 2-4. Campbell River, BC                      
Intensive 2.5 day workshop on British Columbia's marine mammal species for those working (or hoping to work) as whale watch naturalists, kayak guides, park staff, or others interested in gaining a deeper knowledge of the natural history and conservation of BC's marine mammals.
Fish Passage 2017- The 2017 International Conference on Engineering and Ecohydraulics for Fish Passage
June 19-21. Oregon State University - Corvallis, Oregon, USA
For those with an interest in advancements in technical fishways, nature-like fishways, stream restoration and stabilization, dam removal, and the myriad of funding, safety, climate change, and other socio-economic related issues surrounding connectivity projects. 

Summer 2017 Courses and Camps - Huntsman Fundy Discovery Aquarium and Marine Science Centre
July-August. St. Andrew's, NB
Sharks, whales, seals or sea stars…no matter what your young explorer is passionate about, there’s a marine experience waiting that is sure to surprise and delight!  Registration now open for summer courses and day camps, filled with fun, hands-on education, activities and marine animal encounters.
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Canadian Network for Ocean Education · Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University · 8888 University Drive · Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6 · Canada

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