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Learn more about the impressive program of Ocean Innovation 2013!





Get your Program at a Glance‌‌

Consult the DETAILED PROGRAM.‌ ‌‌‌‌for more precise information on the conference and topics.‌


Ocean Innovation 2013 will feature a program of speakers from Canada, the United States and Europe.  The presenters are representatives of the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR), the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS-NOAA), JCOMM in situ Observing Platform Support Centre, Ocean Network Canada, the Marine Institute of Ireland, Canadian Hydrographic Service, Canadian Space Agency, Fisheries and Ocean Canada, and many other organizations concerned with ocean observation.

Some of the Guest Speakers

Zdenka S. Willis, U.S. IOOS

Zdenka Saba Willis is the director of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Program. U.S. IOOS enables decisions every day and fosters advances in science and technology.

Prior to IOOS, Ms. Willis served as Director of NOAA's National Oceanographic Data Center.  Ms. Willis is a retired Navy Captain.  Her assignments include, Deputy Navigator of the Navy, Naval liaison to NOAA; worldwide sea ice analysis and forecasting as Director of the National Ice Center; the satellite and operations officer Naval Polar Oceanography Center, the Director of the Strategic Policy Forum (a Congressional and Executive Branch crisis simulation for Members of Congress, senior Executive branch officials and military leaders) and adjunct professor in the Strategic Leadership Department at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  As a young officer she provided weather forecasts for Naval aircraft as the Officer in charge of the Naval Oceanography Command Detachment, Oceana Virginia and for the Navy vessels at the Naval Eastern Oceanography Center, Norfolk Virginia.  Her sea duties include the collection of oceanographic data onboard the USNS Harkness and USNS Maury.


Benoît Pirenne, Ocean Networks Canada

Benoît Pirenne is Ocean Networks Canada Associate Director, Digital Infrastructure.  He joined the University of Victoria in October 2004 to build the Data Management and Archiving System for the NEPTUNE Canada and VENUS observatories.  The department he directs consists of three groups: software development and testing, systems administration and network operations and data stewardship, for a total of about 30 staff.

Previously, Mr. Pirenne spent 18 years at the European Southern Observatory (ESO, Munich, Germany), a leading Organization for astronomical research.  At ESO he assumed a number of scientific and technical positions.  As head of the Operations Technical Support Department in this organization, he was responsible for running the data management and archiving system supporting both ESO's telescopes and NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Benoît Pirenne has a bachelor degree in computer science from Liège, Belgium, and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Namur, Belgium.


Marcel Babin, Unité Mixte Internationale Takuvik

Dr. Marcel Babin is an internationally recognized authority in marine optics and remote sensing.  He currently holds the Canadian Excellence Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Canada's New Arctic Frontier and is director of Takuvik, a Joint International Laboratory(U.Laval & CNRS) situated at Université Laval.  Dr. Belbin developed and led Malina (2008-2012), a joint France-Canada-US project that explored how sunlight-driven processes affect biodiversity and ecosystem processes in the Arctic Ocean.  He is also leading GreenEdge (2014-2017), an internationally consortium that will study the dynamics of ice-edge phytoplankton spring blooms and their role for future Arctic marine ecosystems and human populations.

Dr. Babin has worked at many prestigious institutions in North America and Europe, including close collaboration with several space agencies. He was also involved in applied research and has published extensively in leading international journals in his field.


Ronan Fablet, Télécom Bretagne

‌Ronan Fablet graduated from "Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (SUPAERO)", France, in 1997. He received a Ph.D in Signal Processing and Telecommunications from the University of Rennes, France, in 2001.  In 2002, he was an INRIA post-doctoral fellow at Brown University, RI, USA.  From 2003-2007, he held a full-time research position at Ifremer Brest in the field of signal and image processing applied to fisheries science. In 2008 he joined the signal and communications department of Telecom Bretagne as an Associate Professor, and has been holding a Professor position since 2012.  In 2011, he was a visiting researcher at IRD/IMARPE, Peru (Peruvian Sea Research Institute). He is also a IEEE Senior member. His research interests include statistical methods for signal processing and computer vision and applications to ocean remote sensing.



Topics to be discussed during the event will include sensors, platforms and technological advances to improve innovation capacity; bathymetry and detailed characterization of the seafloor; complex environments and remote areas; accessibility and interoperability of information management systems; integrated information management for application purposes; environmental spatial planning; modeling and operational oceanography; and practical examples of applications.


Social activities are also featured on the agenda.  On Sunday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m., the annual Ocean Innovation Icebreaker Reception will open the main conference in the Musée Régional de Rimouski.  This event will provide delegates with an opportunity to begin discussions.  Furthermore, the gala dinner will be held Monday, October 21, starting at 6:30 p.m.  This meal will highlight the work of day one, as well as offer a networking opportunity.

The Onondaga tour, an optional activity offered Sunday, October 20 at 9:00 a.m., will allow participants to come aboard the only submarine open to the public in Canada.  The participants will discover the lifestyle of submarine crew members confined within a 90-meter ship for months. The Empress of Ireland Pavilion wil also be open to present the history of the Empress of Ireland passenger ship, from its construction in 1906 to its tragic sinking on May 29, 1914.