Dr. Eddy Campbell, the acting president of Memorial University, delivered his annual address to the Rotary Club of St. John’s today at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland.
In this yearly tradition of reporting Memorial’s progress to the community, Dr. Campbell gave a brief overview of the university but focused most particularly on one of the five key areas of research focus – the oceans. He reaffirmed Memorial University’s commitment to the work in teaching and research related to the ocean sector.
In his speech, he adopted the role of storyteller to highlight great stories that originate at Memorial, citing the work of faculty members such as whale research group founder Dr. Jon Lien, seabird expert Dr. Bill Montevecchi and Community University Research Recovery Alliance (CURRA) head, Dr. Barbara Neis.
He also pointed to new work coming out of the university.
Dr. Paul Snelgrove, Canada Research Chair in Boreal and Cold Oceans Systems, leads a new national healthy oceans network that will based at Memorial and draw on the expertise of 15 universities from across the country, along with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
The Canadian Healthy Oceans Network, also known as CHONe, is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC), with seed
investments also provided by the provincial government, will seek better ways to sample and understand the marine environment and manage our oceans.
Dr. Campbell told his audience of business and community representatives that Memorial has over $200 million in world-class infrastructure, facilities and equipment dedicated to oceans-related research, teaching and training.
Twenty-five per cent of Memorial’s annual operating budget and one-third of the university’s research revenue, about $90 million, relates to ocean activities and research that spans most academic units, he said.
“In many ways, our work in and on the oceans has helped define us as a university,” said Dr. Campbell, explaining his focus for this year’s address. “We aspire to be on the list of any student or scholar anywhere in the world who is considering studying in any oceans-related field.”
Highlighting facilities such as the Marine Institute (MI's) Offshore Safety and Survival Centre, Dr. Campbell called the institute “Memorial’s portal to the ocean,” and noted its plans to become a world ocean’s institute by the year 2020.
The institute has already attracted world-class attention from researchers such as international oceanographer Bob Ballard, who visited MI last year for an international ocean technology conference.
The MI undertakes a wide range of marine training, education and research activity, positioning it as Canada’s foremost marine institute.
Dr. Campbell referred the audience to both the university’s strategic plan and its annual report for more information on Memorial’s oceans activities and its research, educational and community outreach plans. The university’s strategic plan and annual report are available at www.mun.ca
MI’s Offshore Safety and Survival Centre