Newfoundland m’dear! For IMCC4!

I just got back from the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John’s Newfoundland, put on by the Society for Conservation Biology. The last time I went to this meeting was in 2011 when it was in Victoria. It’s one of my favourite conferences to go to because it draws a really top-notch international crowd in addition to being well attended by government employees, NGOs and conservation practitioners.

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A big highlight was that it took place in St. John’s Newfoundland – a totally beautiful coastal town in Canada that I love. It’s so rich in culture and Newfie’ness, and is relatively small which helps to make the conference feel a bit more connected and intimate.

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Charlotte and I enjoy the colourful St. John’s “jellybean houses” (or at least that is what we called them).

Some beautiful Newfoundland seascapes!

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The conference theme was “Making Marine Science Matter” and there was a ton of excellent presentations focusing on the interface of marine science and management. On this note, it was SO GOOD to see so many Canadian federal employees, both presenting and attending. I went to several great presentations about the plan to establish a federal network of marine protected areas – it’s nice to see progress is finally happening on this front.

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Presentation by Maxime Westhead outlining the 5 point plan that the federal government announced on Oceans Day.

Tons of presentations focused on BC also – with special sessions and numerous presentations highlighting the joint First Nations – BC Province Marine Planning Partnership and resulting marine spatial plans for the North Coast region.

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I personally really enjoyed the full session of presentations put on by the Ocean Tipping Points Project. Their work is directly related to what I’m studying with sea otter recovery and tipping points on the Central Coast of B.C.

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What was also great was a number of presentations that focused on the human side of conservation – how to work with coastal communities, and within management institutions and governance structures to generate outcomes that are beneficial for both the oceans and people! Not an easy task, but it’s great to see many people working towards this goal!

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And….to top it all off…at the closing plenary I was honoured to be recognized as a finalist for Best Student Presentation!! That’s a pretty big deal in my books…considering how many good presentations I saw! Thank you! And thanks to the Hakai Institute and others for tweeting about it 🙂 Way to end a conference on a high note!

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