RATIONALE

Oceans largely regulate climate, the production of the oxygen that we breathe and food resources. Yet the global change rampant today and rapidly developing affects oceans’ health and functioning, which already poses many planetary and regional socio-economic challenges. Québec-Océan meets these issues by generating not only scientific knowledge on the state and functioning of marine environments, but also by training the next generation of scientists and by transmitting its results to decision-makers or the general public. Québec-Océan’s scientific program is aimed at many marine components threatened by human activity: sea ice cover, water level and coastal geomorphology, mineral resources, carbon and gas fluxes, water acidification and contaminants, marine biodiversity and productivity. The approach is fundamental or applied and is based on the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report, on the 40 Priority Research Questions for Ocean Sciences in Canada, and the new PNRI of the Québec government. Québec-Océan’s research covers the global ocean while prioritizing the Arctic and the maritime St. Lawrence, at the heart of Québec’s identity.

By grouping together Québec oceanographers, Québec-Océan creates a critical mass, capable of contributing significantly to international research and attracting top researchers. Québec-Océan works in synergy with its member institutions, ArcticNet, Takuvik, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, plus many Canada Research Chairs, for the constant improvement of research and training activities. By bringing together the diversified expertise of high-calibre researchers in various disciplines such as marine physics, geology, chemistry and biology, Québec-Océan promotes the implementation of major national and international projects and facilitates their leadership. Collaborations with the USA, Germany, France, Argentina, Japan, Norway, China, etc. make Québec exert its influence worldwide.

Québec-Océan members can count on a wide range of services, administrative, financial, IT and technical, and easier access to major infrastructures (ships and labs).
Finally, the group highly supports the transfer of knowledge generated by QO that improves the fundamental understanding of the marine environment while providing factual evidence and tools to many users, such as federal departments (e.g., DFO, EC) and provincial departments (e.g., MDDELCC, MTQ), industry (e.g., Esso and BP) and regional organizations (e.g., ZIP committees).