Cold Oceans and Northern Highlights

“Memorial’s different initiatives and partnerships position the university as a leader in ocean science.” - OECD Report 2023

“With more than 18,000 miles of coastline, Newfoundland and Labrador has a special bond with the ocean, and our harsh environment has influenced us culturally, historically, socially, and economically. The Province is rich in ocean resources, from fish to petroleum reserves, and our academic institutions are renowned for their ocean expertise.” – Caron Hawco for Oceans Advance

Facts & Achievements

  • The Marine Institute is Canada’s most comprehensive centre for education, training, applied research and industrial support for the ocean industries, with over 30 industry-driven programs.
  • MUN’s notable entrepreneurial activities are spurring a generation of young entrepreneurs, especially in the ocean sector:
    • The Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP) is the first-in-Canada training program for international graduate students interested in starting a business.
    • Students and fellows can also access Lab2Market Oceans, a program that trains students to bring their research in the field of ocean science to the market.
  • Memorial University is the only Anglophone university in Canada to offer comprehensive folklore programs at all levels, with a strong focus in oceans, arctic, and marine culture.
  • Memorial’s School of Medicine offers NorFam (Labrador) and NunaFam (Nunavut), two potential streams of Memorial’s exceptional family medicine residency program that offers six months of second year training in a Northern setting.
    • For the ninth time, in 2023, Memorial University received the Society of Rural Physicians Canada’s Keith Award: established in 2000, the Keith Award annually recognizes the university with the largest number of graduates practicing in rural areas.
  • The Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (CSAR) at the Marine Institute is home to the world's largest flume tank, a primary testing facility for demonstrating and testing fishing gear and marine structures.
  • The Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development (CASD) at the Marine Instistute possesses the largest pilot plant facilities of its kind in Atlantic Canada, with a combined area of nearly 1,400 square metres.

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A picture of a young woman with some laboratory equipment
  • Memorial University boasts significant infrastructure across the province that can be tapped for ocean-related innovation.
    • Not only do we have a number of world-leading resources, but they are located close to each other, which isn’t the case in many places—from the Ocean Science Centre in Logy Bay to The Launch in Holyrood, the Ocean Survival and Safety Centre in Foxtrap to C-CORE in St. John’s.
  • Memorial is home to 16 active Canadian Research Chairs, and five of those are undertaking research on ocean-related fields, including ocean mapping, marine geology, biological oceanographic processes, coastal environmental engineering, and boreal biogeochemistry. 
  • Memorial’s Dr. Bing Chen (Faculty of Engineering) is the founding director of the NRPOP Lab, the first of its kind in Canada, which has been recognized worldwide for its pioneering research on pollution mitigation in cold regions and harsh marine environments. 
  • As part of the 2022 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, Memorial is the only Canadian university – for the fifth year in a row – to make the list of the world's top post-secondary institutions for the study of marine/ocean engineering, placing 38th among global universities ranked. 

A photo of the ocean with icebergs and mountains in the background