Coastal Ocean Research Institute
The Coastal Ocean Research Institute (CORI), an Ocean Wise initiative, is led by Dr. Peter Ross and has two programs working out of PSEC: the Ocean Pollution Research Program and the Marine Mammal Research Program’s Conservation Genetics Lab. DFO and Ocean Wise entered a $1.3 million partnership to the impacts of contaminants on the health and reproduction of the Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale population. The Ocean Pollution Research Program has a long-running marine mammal toxicology project that is documenting the very high PCB levels in killer whales and impacts on their health. The Conservation Genetics Lab works closely with DFO Science and uses DNA analysis to better understand the conservation implications of low abundance, population subdivision and dietary specialization in killer whales and other marine mammal species.
BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences
Dr. Shannon Balfry of the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences is working at PSEC to develop the protocols required to implement the use of pile perch as “cleaner fish” to manage sea lice levels in farmed Atlantic salmon. Research has shown these perch have a huge appetite for sea lice and aren’t afraid to pick them off of salmon.
West Vancouver Schools
The Pacific Science Enterprise Centre (PSEC) is partnering with West Vancouver Schools on the West Vancouver Schools Premier Environmental Science Academy. This program provides students in Grades 11 and 12 with opportunities to perform experiments and field research under the tutelage of a qualified science teacher and the guidance of scientists who are experts in their fields of research. Students receive hands-on experience and learn about research on ocean health, including microplastics, sustainable aquaculture and the effects of contaminants on killer whales. The curriculum also incorporates traditional ecological knowledge.
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