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Paola Travaglini, Chief Hydrographer on Canada’s UNCLOS mission

As the Chief Hydrographer for Canada’s UNCLOS mission, Paola Travaglini’s main job was to collect bathymetric data on the depth and shape of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Collected using a multibeam system, this data will contribute to the scientific evidence of Canada’s extended continental shelf submission, hopefully leading to the expansion of Canada’s international maritime borders.


Serenity a lot of white calmness and if it's a beautiful sunny day there's nothing like it.

For the mission I was a chief Hydrographer. One of our primary focuses is to collect bathymetric data. What does that mean that's we're collecting depth information the type of system that we're using is called a multi beam system. We operate through sound so we send the sound beam through the water column and listen for the return.

We would reach depths in excess of 4,600 meters. So that's four and a half kilometers.

One of the main goals that we wanted to collect samples from the bottom and in order to do that we need to have a certain type of feature we needed something with a steep slope whereby our accompanying vessel which was the Icebreaker Oden; they were equipped with dredging equipment and so we would with our multi beam system we would do the mapping of the area which in essence gave us a 3D image of what the bottom looked like and you transfer the data to them and they were able to better select and be more efficient in their collection of the data.

It's quite interesting living on a ship I've never been working in ice before where you're crashing through ice and at times it's not all that comfortable.

When it comes together it's a beautiful thing and it happens as well there's that synergy on board where you've got three departments that are communicating and cooperating and we've got sometimes two or three different types of science going on all at the same time so that's pretty fabulous.

I think we're making history for Canada. When you're helping you're one of the individuals of an incredible team put together to help Canada to find the finest in us so yes I think we're history making.

From a personal perspective it's interesting, new, unique the wildlife was fantastic experiences that many people in the world won't have. Truly cherishing, let's say.

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