About Us

More than 40 percent of Memorial’s research is ocean-related—even more for some disciplines!

Cold oceans and northern research, teaching and learning, and public engagement are a pan-university strength. Memorial houses numerous world-class centers for research, teaching and learning, and public engagement related to the ocean and North, from the Marine Institute to the Bonne Bay Aquarium and Research Station. Memorial has hundreds of faculty and researchers, in departments ranging from Engineering to Ocean SciencesEnglish Literature to Archaeology, dedicated to examining marine and Northern life in diverse ways.

Cold Oceans and Northern Strength is a pan-university initiative, coordinated by the Office of Public Engagement at Memorial University, which highlights and builds upon this unique area of strength. It launched in 2014, as a way to share Memorial’s oceans and northern stories to external partners, as well as those able to provide the funding to make the university’s groundbreaking research and other activities possible.

Doctor Trevor Bell sitting on the ice on Pond Inlet

A Recent Name Change

You may have heard of us by another name.

When it first started, this initiative was called COASTS, for “Cold Oceans and Arctic Science, Technology and Society.” It was particularly important to us to promote that second “S,” for “society.” Memorial’s cold oceans and northern expertise isn’t limited to STEM fields: we have experts in the humanities and social sciences, music, education, medicine, and more, working on projects that explore the interactions between humans and the ocean, and that examine life in the North.

Although emphasizing this special work remains important to us, we have also learned a lot over the past decade, including more about how we talk about research happening in the colder parts of the world: Labrador, for example, is largely subarctic, and we felt that the “A” in COASTS had become a bit exclusionary.

“Northern” helps us acknowledge the work we do in both arctic and subarctic areas, and beyond!

Connect, Coordinate, Communicate

Our Goals and Objectives

We continue to work to coordinate and enhance the vast amount of cold ocean and Northern-related activity already underway at Memorial, while leveraging external support to increase the quality & quantity of this work. Since 2014, over $1 billion has been invested in research and infrastructure related to cold-ocean and Northern science, technology, social sciences, and humanities. We want to keep building on this.

This website aims to share the stories of cold oceans and northern excellence across Memorial’s campuses, helping to promote the university’s research, teaching and learning, and public engagement efforts in these areas, while also connecting potential external partners with the university to continue to work together.

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