As part of Science Odyssey, we are interviewing a variety of STEM innovators to investigate pathways into STEM and to discuss the future of STEM learning and careers.
Dr. Kathryn (Kate) Moran is the President & CEO of Ocean Networks Canada. She co-led the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program’s Arctic Coring Expedition, which was the first deepwater drilling operation in the Arctic Ocean. This expedition successfully recovered the first paleoclimate record from the Arctic Ocean. She also led one of the first offshore expeditions to investigate the seafloor following the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Previously, Moran was a research engineer at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography where she studied the Arctic Ocean and assessed offshore constraints to resource development on the east coast. She also served as the Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program in Washington DC; managed mission-specific drilling platform operations in the North Atlantic and Arctic; designed and developed oceanographic tools; participated in more than 35 offshore expeditions; and has served as Chair and member of national and international science and engineering advisory committees and panels.
What sparked your interest and eventual career in Earth and Ocean Sciences?
Earth Day and the realization that humans were impacting the planet. I also loved spending summers at the beach on the ocean.
What role does mentorship play in engaging youth in STEM?
Mentors set examples and, for me as a woman, I felt that I can demonstrate to young girls that they too can become leaders in science and technology.
Did you have a mentor who supported you in your education/career pathway?
Not one single person, but encouragement and support stoked the early grades and continued to post-university.
What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you plan your current career path?
I liked the sciences and math, but didn’t know what careers were available until my physics teacher opened my eyes to engineering at a time when environmental engineering was in its infancy.
Tell us about your work with Ocean Networks Canada. How does your job promote greater STEM learning or understanding?
I am proud and honoured to be president/CEO of Ocean Networks Canada, an initiative of the University of Victoria, and lead an exceptional team that operates world-leading ocean observatories. These systems monitor the west and east coasts of Canada and the Arctic to continuously deliver data in real-time for scientific research that helps communities, governments and industry make informed decisions about our future. Using cabled observatories, remote control systems and interactive sensors, and big data management, ONC enables evidence-based decision-making on ocean management, disaster mitigation and environmental protection. Ocean Networks Canada supports STEM through our learning team and by hiring young students that work on challenging ocean problems.
What is Ocean Networks Canada? The University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada monitors the west and east coasts of Canada and the Arctic to continuously deliver data in real-time for scientific research that helps communities, governments and industry make informed decisions about our future. Using cabled observatories, remote control systems and interactive sensors, and big data management ONC enables evidence-based decision-making on ocean management, disaster mitigation, and environmental protection.