News and Events


Sustainable Oceans 2019

Sustainable Oceans 2019 co-chairs Breanna Bishop, Sara Vanderkaden and Priyanka Varkey


Sustainable Oceans is the annual conference organized by Master of Marine Management students of the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University and supported by the Sobey Fund for Oceans. This year, the eighth annual conference is taking place in the McInnes Room located in the Student Union Building of Dalhousie University on Friday, September 27th and Saturday the 28th. The conference will be exploring the theme One Ocean, Infinite Connections.

This student-led conference aims to bring together diverse knowledge groups in order to showcase the abundance of ways that people are connected to the ocean. The goal is to support building bridges between diverse knowledge groups while encouraging conference attendees to consider new perspectives towards the ocean. The conference organizers will encourage participants to challenge conventional approaches to environmental problem-solving that can result in conflict and division among stakeholders, disciplines, and communities.

Friday evening kicks off the conference with a panel discussion featuring Rachel Bailey (Mayor, Town of Lunenburg), Colin Sproul (President, Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association), and Sigrid Kuehnemund (VP of Ocean Conservation, WWF Canada). Panelists will discuss the topic of Reconciling different interests in Atlantic Canada’s marine and coastal resources. This topic is of particular importance given the growing number of anthropogenic and environmental pressures facing Atlantic Canada, and reconciling diverse interests in order to forge a sustainable path forward is essential.

Saturday will feature a full day of student oral and poster presentations, followed by a keynote speech by Dr. Emma McKinley, Research Fellow at Cardiff University and Chair of the Marine Social Sciences Network. Dr. McKinley’s talk, “One Ocean, Infinite Connections: Connecting People and the Sea,” will discuss how human connections play a significant and impactful role in the future of our oceans.

Supported by the Sobey Fund for Oceans, this free, public event brings together students, faculty, members of the marine community, and the public.  Regardless of your background, discipline, interests or affiliation, we look forward to having you join us on September 27th and 28th at Dalhousie University, located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.

August 25th, 2019  - Storytelling Fundraiser

Constellate + Good Robot


Join us on August 25th, 2019 from 8:00 PM - 10:30 PM at Good Robot Brewing Company (2736 Robie St.) for an evening of true stories about the ocean! All proceeds from this event will go towards the 2019 Sustainable Oceans Conference. Tickets for this event are $7.50 and can be purchased here

August 20th, 2019 - Conference Updates



Rachel Bailey - Mayor of Lunenburg

Sigrid Kuehnemund - VP of Ocean Conservation WWF Canada

Colin Sproul - President of the Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association

The panel will be taking place on Friday, September 27th, 2019 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. 

May 23rd, 2019 - Conference Updates

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Emma McKinley

Emma McKinley is a Research Fellow at Cardiff University in Wales, UK, focusing on how society interacts with the global seas and coasts. In addition to her research, Emma is the Chair of the Royal Geographic Society Coastal and Marine Research Group and co-chair of the British Ecological Society’s Wales Policy Group.

Her work has led to collaborations with numerous partners including local and regional government bodies, the United Nations Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), NGOs including the RSPB, WWF, the Marine Conservation Society, as well as academic partners across Northern Europe, United States, South America, Australia, and South Africa. Recently, she has led the formation and growth of the international and interdisciplinary Marine Social Sciences Network, which was officially launched in September 2018.

Dr. McKinley will be presenting the Sustainable Oceans Conference keynote address on Saturday, September 28th, 2019. Her talk is titled "One Ocean, Infinite Connections: Connecting People and the Sea" 

To find out more, follow Emma on Twitter at @EmmaJMcKinley or keep up to date with @MarSocSci!

Conference Theme: One Ocean, Infinite Connections

Our connection to the ocean is boundless. Every second breath we take and much of the food we eat comes from the ocean. Yet, the wicked problems facing the ocean often result in conflict and divide amongst user groups and disciplines. It is important to recognize that these issues cannot be solved from one perspective. This year we aim to build bridges between diverse knowledge groups, encouraging individuals to consider a new knowledge perspective towards the ocean. 


May 9th, 2019 - Photography Contest!

The 2019 Sustainable Oceans Conference is calling any and all photographers to submit their ocean-related pictures for this year’s photography contest! We ask that each photo exemplifies a connection with the ocean, in whatever form that may take for you.

The top 10 photos will be selected to be displayed at the conference, based on image quality and relevance to the overall conference theme of One Ocean, Infinite Connections. Prizes of $75 and $50 will be awarded to the 1st and 2nd place winners, respectively, and will determined by a people’s choice vote throughout the weekend. The winners will be announced at the conference on Saturday, September 28th.

We ask that your image be 11’ x 14’, water marked with your name, and given a unique title. So, next time you head to the ocean, don’t forget your camera!

Submission Deadline: September 7th, 2019

Questions? Email:

May 6th, 2019 - Registration is Open!

Registration for the 2019 Sustainable Oceans Conference is now open! Please register online for each day of the conference that you plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!


Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract for this year's conference! We look forward to seeing you in September.