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BIO Coffee Talks: January 2018

Who: Owen Sherwood

Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

What: Flaming tapwater: The science behind groundwater and methane in oil, gas, and coal fields of North America

Horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing has revolutionized the onshore oil and gas industry. However, it has also raised serious concerns about the environmental impacts of oil and gas industry operations, especially with respect to groundwater quality. This seminar will cover the origins of microbial and thermogenic methane, which is the main component of combustible gas in flammable tap water; the occurrence of in situ versus migrated gas; some infamous examples of groundwater contamination in unconventional oil and gas fields; as well as some information about the ongoing Gas Seepage Project (GaSP) in the Maritimes.

When: Friday, January 12, 2018

Where: 10am, George Needler Boardroom, Room VS-427, van Steenburgh Building, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


Who: Jean-Marc Nicolas

Sr. Project Scientist with Emera Newfoundland and Labrador

What: The Maritime Link Project: Overview and Environmental Monitoring in the Marine Environment

The Maritime Link Project is a 500 megawatt [±200 kilo volts (kV)] high voltage direct current (HVdc) and high voltage alternating current (HVac) transmission line connecting Granite Canal, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), and Woodbine, Nova Scotia (NS). The Project includes two 170 km long submarine cables spanning the Cabot Strait from Point Aconi (NS) to Cape Ray (NL). As part of the Environmental Assessment process, Emera Newfoundland and Labrador is implementing several monitoring programs to assess any environmental effect associated with the project. One of these programs focusses on two commercially harvested species in the Cabot Strait: snow crab and American lobster. This seminar will provide a project overview and an update on the baseline phase of the crab and lobster monitoring program.

When: Friday, January 19, 2018

Where: 10am, George Needler Boardroom, Room VS-427, van Steenburgh Building, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


Who: Graham Daborn

Emeritus Professor, Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research/Acadia Tidal Energy Institute, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

What: Reflections on the Bay of Fundy and its Future

More than a century of research has taught us a good deal about the Bay of Fundy, its resources and its critical biophysical processes. Much of this knowledge arose as a result of tidal power proposals, which intermittently stimulated broad-scale, interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects. Those studies taught us how tightly connected are the regions of the Bay (in spite of their ecosystem differences). As time has passed since those studies, however, we have also learned that the Bay is constantly changing as a result of both natural and anthropogenic causes. The latest concepts for tidal power generation demonstrate how incomplete our current understanding of the Bay is. In the high flow passages now considered of high priority for development, we have too little knowledge of the diversity, abundance, productivity and biophysical interactions of the biota to make confident forecasts about the capacity of the system to support hydrokinetic tidal power. We need two things: 1. a coordinated, Bay-wide study of the kind led by the Fundy Environmental Studies Committee (1977-1984); and 2. a comprehensive management plan for the Bay (and the Gulf of Maine) that would ensure that individual developments do not compromise the integrity of the system. An annual forum on Bay of Fundy research would be a good start.

When: Friday, January 26, 2018

Where: 10am, George Needler Boardroom, Room VS-427, van Steenburgh Building, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


Future Coffee Talks

Last Modified: 2018-01-29