Annual Training Meeting 2021

October 25 to November 5 / Online

Building Future Skills to Address
Canada’s Marine Challenges

This year’s Annual Training Meeting (ATM) will be held virtually, with sessions taking place over two weeks, from October 25 to November 5.

Register Now

The goal of MEOPAR’s 2021 ATM is to provide capacity-building programming and networking opportunities through sessions on science communication, interdisciplinary collaboration, knowledge mobilization, and career development in the digital era. This event aims to support coordinated action aligning YOU with the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development.

Each day of programming will include a workshop and webinar/panel discussion held over Zoom, and a networking session that will follow the same topic. These more informal networking sessions will use Gather Town, a video chat platform that simulates in-person, human interactions.

MEOPAR is also planning in-person, satellite meetups to be held by HQP in cities across Canada over the duration of the ATM. (More on that below.)

Satellite Events

Satellite events are being planned in cities with high concentrations of HQP to provide opportunities for folks to meet in the network in person. Information on the Satellite Events will be updated as it’s available, so check back here for updates in the upcoming weeks.

Province City Lead Event Date & Time Registration
Nova Scotia Halifax Crystal Weagle Sunset Pizza Picnic & Ghost Tour at Citadel Hill Tuesday, Oct 26, 6PM-8:30PM ADT Spaces are limited to 20 people. Register Link

Speakers & Facilitators

Neha Acharya-Patel

Field Researcher & Diver

Neha Acharya-Patel (she/her) is an early career Canadian scientist currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of Victoria in the Pacific Northwest. Neha is a seasoned field researcher and diver and was also the first Canadian to be chosen for the prestigious Rolex Scholarship of the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society, which enabled a year of global underwater exploration. Her current postgraduate work integrates her passion for marine conservation with cutting-edge genomics science, where she is using carefully developed eDNA assays to monitor various ecosystems to gauge marine health. Neha is involved with the UN Ocean Decade through the creation and facilitation of a network of ECOPs in Canada. In conjunction with others from the Hakai Institute and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, they are aiming to bring in ECOPs from coast to coast in Canada to increase our capacity and presence within the Global Programme. This network is currently in its infancy, but Neha is very excited to see it grow as the decade progresses.

Neha is a panellist for What is the UN Decade of Ocean Science? on Monday, October 25 from 12-1:30PM ADT / 8-9:30AM PT

Suchinta Arif

Co-Director of Diversity of Nature (DoN)

Suchinta Arif (she/her) is co-founder and co-director of Diversity of Nature (DoN), a science outreach initiative that provides cost-free and immersive programming to underrepresented youth across Nova Scotia. Through DoN, she has gained extensive experience in science outreach and mentorship. In addition, Suchinta has lectured undergraduate biology courses as a part-time faculty member at St. Mary’s University (SMU), instructed a marine mammal field camp for youth gr. 9-12 (SMU), and been a teaching assistant for 10+ courses in science and communication (SMU, King’s College, Dalhousie). She has mentored undergraduate students through directed research projects, and is currently mentoring two BIPOC undergraduates. She has successfully created and implemented science workshops for high school students across Nova Scotia, reaching 300+ students to date.

Suchinta will facilitate Translating Marine Science into Effective Scientific Outreach on Tuesday, November 2 from 2-3:30PM ADT / 10-11:30AM PT

Joel Heath

Academic and filmmaker, former Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies and a 2020 Ashoka fellow

Joel Heath (he/him) is an accomplished Canadian academic and filmmaker, former Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies and a 2020 Ashoka fellow. He has more than 20 years of Arctic experience working with Inuit communities combining his expertise in ecology, sea ice dynamics, and mathematical biology with Inuit knowledge. He is Executive Director and co-founder of the Arctic Eider Society (www.arcticeider.com), an Inuit-driven charity based in Sanikiluaq Nunavut. Through this position he has worked with Inuit to help develop a network of community-driven research programs, curriculum for northern schools, directed/produced the 16x award winning film People of a Feather (www.peopleofafeather.com), and more recently led development of online and mobile technology for Inuit self-determination in research through SIKU: the Indigenous Knowledge Social Network, winner of the Google.org Impact Challenge in Canada.
Joel is a panellist for Intersectional Best Practices for Collaboration Webinar/Panel Discussion: Meaningful Engagement with Northern Communities in Research: Experiences & Lessons Learned on Wednesday, October 27 from 12-1:30PM ADT / 8-9:30AM PT

Dr. Jennifer Jackson

Physical Oceanographer

Dr. Jennifer Jackson (she/her) is a physical oceanographer who studies currents, waves, tides, how the atmosphere interacts with the ocean, and how the physical environment affects marine animals and plants. Over her career, she has studied the Arctic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Jennifer currently works as a research scientist at the Hakai Institute, a not-for-profit organization that is actively studying the coastal margins of British Columbia. Jennifer sits on several national and international committees. In her free time, Jennifer hangs out with her kids and animals and works on the British Columbia Environmental Film Festival, which she has recently co-founded.

Jennifer is a panellist for What is the UN Decade of Ocean Science? on Monday, October 25 from 12-1:30PM ADT / 8-9:30AM PT

Elin Kelsey

Author & Scholar

Elin Kelsey (she/her), PhD is an author, scholar and passionate leader in the evidence-based hope and climate change solutions movement. Her newest book for adults, Hope Matters: Why Changing the Way We Think Is Critical For Solving The Environmental Crisis was published by Greystone Books in 2020. Her influence can be seen in the hopeful, solutions-focus of her clients, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and other powerful institutions where she has served as a visiting fellow including the Rachel Carson Center for the Environment and Society, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Stanford University in the Graduate School of Education. In 2022, she will be taking up a Kone Foundation Fellowship to work with climate science researchers, the Climate and Environmental Communication Science Association and children’s book writers in Finland on the Developing Climate Change Communication with Emotional Awareness project.

Elin will facilitate Why Hope Matters: How to Find Meaningful Engagement in the Age of Eco-Anxiety and Climate Doom on Monday, October 25 from 2-3:30PM ADT / 10-11:30AM PT

Photo credit Agathe Bernard

Lisa Loseto

Research Scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Winnipeg and an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg

Dr. Lisa Loseto (she/her) is a Research Scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Winnipeg and an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Lisa’s research focuses on characterizing beluga health as means to understand ecosystem health in the Western Canadian Arctic. She works closely with Inuvialuit communities and beluga hunters to develop ways to study beluga whales, their habitat and how climate change is impacting them, using and respecting both Western science and Inuvialuit knowledge (IK). Her research programs are carried out in partnership with communities and co-management boards of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. She strives to serve all Canadians by providing knowledge and advice to decision makers and by helping to empower the people of the north through scientific knowledge combined with their own knowledge of their ecosystem and home. Lisa obtained a B.Sc. Honours at York University in Toronto, a M.Sc. in toxicology at the University of Ottawa, and a PhD in zoology from the University of Manitoba.
Lisa is a panellist for Intersectional Best Practices for Collaboration Webinar/Panel Discussion: Meaningful Engagement with Northern Communities in Research: Experiences & Lessons Learned on Wednesday, October 27 from 12-1:30PM ADT / 8-9:30AM PT

Gwyneth MacMillan

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE) at McGill University

Gwyneth MacMillan (she/her) completed her PhD in Biological Sciences at the Université de Montréal in 2019 and she is now pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE) at McGill University. She is interested in how ecology can influence the fate of contaminants and the quality of wildlife resources important to northern Indigenous Peoples. During her thesis, entitled “Hunting for trace metals in a rapidly changing North: limnological, ecological, and collaborative approaches”, she carried out fieldwork in Nunavik, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. Her postdoctoral research focuses on collaborative research approaches to studying moose habitat quality with Cree communities in Eeyou Istchee.

Gwyneth is a panellist for Intersectional Best Practices for Collaboration Webinar/Panel Discussion: Meaningful Engagement with Northern Communities in Research: Experiences & Lessons Learned on Wednesday, October 27 from 12-1:30PM ADT / 8-9:30AM PT

Melanie Duc Bo Massey

Co-Director of Diversity of Nature (DoN)

Melanie Duc Bo Massey (she/her) is co-founder and co-director of Diversity of Nature (DoN), a science outreach initiative that provides cost-free and immersive programming to underrepresented youth across Nova Scotia. Through DoN, she has gained extensive experience in science outreach and program development. Melanie has been working in scientific outreach for six years with both children and adult learners. She has worked with private (Mad Science Program) and nonprofit (Canadian Association for Girls in Science, WISEAtlantic) groups as a workshop developer and demonstrator. She has also freelanced as a science promoter, giving public lectures and workshops to numerous Ontario elementary schools, naturalist groups, and public libraries. She has worked in institutional teaching roles as university faculty (laboratory instructor, Mount Saint Vincent University), in numerous teaching assistantships (University of Toronto, Dalhousie University), and continues to work part-time as a high-school biology teacher (King’s View Academy), giving her extensive insight into students’ science curriculum needs.

Melanie will co-facilitate Translating Marine Science into Effective Scientific Outreach on Tuesday, November 2 from 2-3:30PM ADT / 10-11:30AM PT

Paul Meyers

Lead of the Prediction Core at MEOPAR

Paul Meyers (he/him) is a physical oceanographer and a professor and Associate Dean Research (Science) at the University of Alberta. His research focuses on the role of freshwater in the ocean, as well as understanding the linkages between the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Paul is the Lead of the Prediction Core at MEOPAR, as well as the Canadian NEMO Ocean Modelling Forum. He was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society in 2021.

Paul is a panellist for What is the UN Decade of Ocean Science? on Monday, October 25 from 12-1:30PM ADT / 8-9:30AM PT

Fanny Noisette

Professor in Biological Oceanography

Fanny Noisette (she/her) is a professor in biological oceanography at the Institut des Sciences de la Mer from the Université du Québec à Rimouski. Her research focuses on the functioning of marine coastal ecosystems in the context of environmental changes, with a particular interest in seaweeds and seagrasses. As the leader of the UNESCO Chair in integrated analysis of marine systems, she promotes interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral, multiple ways of knowing research to address sustainability in coastal oceans.

Chúk Odenigbo

Founding Director, Future Ancestors Services Inc

Chúk Odenigbo (he/him) is a black Franco-Albertan from Calgary. He is passionate about the interactions between health, culture and the environment. This passion inspired him to pursue his PhD in Medical Geography after completing his master's degree in Environmental Health at the School of Public Health at the University of Montréal. He is one of the Founding Directors for Future Ancestors Services Inc., and the Co-founder of The Poison and The Apple. Chúk has worked in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, fashion retail, and academia. He is interested in the multidisciplinary nature of our existence and in exploring new solutions that respond to recurring problems.

Chúk will facilitate Anti-Racism & Equity in Science on Wednesday, October 27 from 2-4PM ADT / 10AM-12PM PT

Liisa Peramaki

Director of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Liisa Peramaki (she/her) is the Director of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. She leads an enthusiastic and dedicated team that is working with the national and international science community to advance Canada’s contribution to the Ocean Decade. Since joining DFO in 2002, Liisa has been responsible for a variety of programs within the Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector: including marine conservation, habitat science, environmental response, and international biodiversity science. Liisa grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, playing on the beach and sailing on the ocean. While she will forever consider the west coast her natural habitat, she now lives in Ottawa with her family and golden retriever. Liisa has a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Victoria, a Masters of Environmental Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a PhD in Planning from the University of Waterloo.

Liisa is a panellist for What is the UN Decade of Ocean Science? on Monday, October 25 from 12-1:30PM ADT / 8-9:30AM PT

Mo Phùng

Marine Biologist

Mo Phùng (they/them) is a queer Việt/Người Kinh second-generation immigrant who was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. They are a Marine Biologist, Ocean Technologist, visual artist, and photographer based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). They currently work as an Alchemist of Ancestral Services at Future Ancestors Services and are a National Advisory Council Member of the Platform, a civic leadership platform for Black, Indigenous, and racialized young women and gender-diverse youth. They were a Co-founder of Oceans Week HFX, a youth-led initiative that supports the growing ocean community through relationship building, youth engagement and connecting community members with local businesses and organizations. Mo has experience working with the Nova Scotia ocean sector and non-profits who work in ocean conservation, education, and underwater photography. Their work approach is to engage the ocean and environmental sectors to create climate justice frameworks and prioritize racialized voices, relationships and connections.

Mo will facilitate Anti-Racism & Equity in Science on Wednesday, October 27 from 2-4PM ADT / 10AM-12PM PT

Robyn Roscoe

Project Management Professional

Robyn Roscoe (she/her) is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with nearly 20 years of experience in the management of large health research projects, and 30 years of experience in project management in the scientific and technical fields. She is currently Director of Management and Administration for the Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at BC Cancer/PHSA responsible for project, finance, and operations management, as well as program management for the Personalized OncoGenomics (POG) program. She previously worked in the oil & gas sector as a project manager, operations specialist, and environmental manager. She holds a BSc from the University of Manitoba.  Since 2004, Robyn has been delivering training workshops and presentations throughout Canada, reaching more than 3,000 trainees and professionals looking to develop and expand their management and leadership skills. You can find Robyn on LinkedIn and Twitter at robynroscoe.com and lyricmgmt.com, and by email at robyn@lyricmgmt.com.

Robyn will lead Hybrid Model of Working Remotely – Lessons Learned on Thursday, November 4, from 12-1:30PM ADT / 8-9:30AM PT and Communication Basics for Virtual Interactions on Thursday, November 4, 2-3:30PM ADT / 10-11:30AM PT

Kika Tuff

Founder, Impact Media Lab

Kika Tuff (PhD, she/her) is a scientist, entrepreneur, and visual communicator deeply rooted in the ecological community. Since founding Impact Media Lab in 2016, Kika has led storytelling campaigns for individual scientists, research organizations, and large scientific institutions. She has created websites, films, museum exhibits, and more, to help scientists reach a wider audience and build community through their work. Learn more at impactmedialab.com

Kika will present Bringing Your Whole Self to Your Science: How to do it and what it offers your communication and career on Tuesday, November 2 from 12-1:30PM ADT / 8-9:30AM PT

What is Gather Town?

Gather Town is a video chat platform designed to make virtual interactions more human. Gather Town is the Metaverse, a virtual layer over the physical world where people can work, socialize, and learn. For the ATM, MEOPAR has created four unique virtual spaces in the Gather Metaverse to host networking sessions: Observation Ocean, Response Den, Forecast Forest, and Prediction Space Station. You’ll create a personalized avatar to reflect your virtual persona, and from there, you can explore each universe, checking out their unique layouts, chatting with like-minded folks on central discussion topics, or just taking it easy and playing virtual games solo or with other MEOPeers.

Curious to see what Gather is all about? Watch this short video where the creators walk you through one of their own virtual spaces. For a walk-through tutorial on how to use Gather watch this video.