Department of Oceanography celebrates 40 years
The Department of Oceanography is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Oceanography research has been a part of Dalhousie since the Institute of Oceanography was opened in 1959.
Oceanography began at Dalhousie in 1959 when the federal government funded the Institute of Oceanography.
In 1971 the Life Science Centre opened and oceanography became its own department.
The four areas of oceanography – physical, geological, biological and chemical – are interdisciplinary.
“We shared space and a cold room with the [anatomy] morgue in the basement of the Forrest Building. We used to use five-gallon carboys of seawater that we carted from the Northwest Arm to the cold room for experiments. This really limited the types of experiments we could do because we couldn’t control the environment. The thing that kept me going was the prospect of building the Aquatron and Life Sciences Centre. Putting together the Aquatron was a challenge, a lot of fun and gave future researchers the opportunity to study oceanography in a state-of-the-art facility.” Dr. Carl Boyd, retired biological oceanographer and a driving force behind building the Life Science Centre and Aquatron.
“Some of my best years were as a grad student in the Forrest Building. The research and people were great. We worked hard and played hard. There was a tightly knit social aspect. We need to get a better idea on how human activities affect the oceans; what changes are part of a natural cycle and what we have control over. That’s why oceanography research is important.” Dr. Don Gordon emeritus scientist, Bedford Institute of Oceanography and grad student in oceanography at Dal in 1960s.
“We could get our feet wet, right at home, without having to travel to other institutions for research. The facility helped to attract great faculty and great researchers. People come to Dalhousie to work and study with well regarded individuals. Having the ocean and facilities here make the choice even more attractive.” Dr. Eric Mills, retired biological oceanographer at Dal.
“The department is well regarded. There are al lot of faculty who have been here for a long time, completed good research and are happy to be here.” Jeff Barrel, oceanography PhD student.
Joleen Aldous, Sifford Pearre, Manu Raheja, Walton Watt and Peter Eaton in the early years of the Institute of Oceanography
|Circumnavigation of the Americas|
L to R: Bob Hessler, Allan Michael, Fred Cooke and Eric Mills on the Hudson 70 expedition
|Hudson 70 expedition|
Eric Mills (beard) and Allan Michaels on the Hudson 70 expedition
- Ashley LeCroy Communications Officer, Faculty of Science firstname.lastname@example.org 902.494.4023