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Explore BC’s Sea of Glass
Wed, 23 March 2016, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM PDT
Explore the Wonders BC’s Sea of Glass
In 1987 a remarkable discovery was made just off the BC coast. 200 metres below the surface, in the inky blackness of the deep sea, Canadian scientists found an underwater oasis exploding with life: gigantic reefs built by fragile glass sponges. The reefs cover more than 1,000 square kilometers of sea floor and in some places reach the height of an eight story building. British Columbia’s Sea of Glass is a Canadian national treasure
Join CPAWS and a team of international scientists to discover the mysterious world of BC’s Glass Sponge Reefs
(photo: Sally Leys & Miriam O)
6:30pm - Doors Open
7:00pm - Welcome from CPAWS
7:15pm - Dr. Kim Conway and Dr. Manfred Krautter talk with Sabine Jessen about the discovery of the Hecate Strait glass sponge reefs and the amazing history of the prehistoric glass sponge reefs that existed 40 million years ago, with questions from the audience
8:00pm - Dr. Sally Leys and Lauren Law from the University of Alberta reveal the amazing world of the living glass sponge reef and present their cutting edge work to understand the reefs, with questions from the audience.
8:45pm - Sabine Jessen, CPAWS' National Ocean Program Director talks about efforts to protect the reefs from damage and establish the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reef Marine Protected Area.
9:30pm - Close
Kim Conway, Marine Geoscientists, Geological Survey of Canada
Kim Conway is a Marine Geologist who works out of the Pacific Geoscience Centre near Victoria BC, which is an office of the Geological Survey of Canada. Together with Dr. J. Vaughn Barrie, Kim discovered and documented the sponge reefs in Hecate Strait in 1988. Over his 34 years with the Geological Survey of Canada Kim has worked on many aspects of the marine geology of the Canadian west coast and the western Arctic. Kim has mapped much of the western Canadian continental shelf and has published extensively on the geology of continental margins, fjords and coastal areas. His work has focused on marine habitat mapping, especially sponge and coral benthic habitats. In 1999 Kim and Manfred developed a joint Canadian and German sponge reef research project to examine ancient and modern reefs and this productive collaboration ha
Dr. Manfred Krautter, Professor of Paleobiology, University of Stuttgart
Professor Dr. Manfred Krautter obtained his Diploma in Geology and Palaeontology in 1985 and his Ph.D. in Geology in 1990, both at the University of Stuttgart. Dr. Krautter has studied the biology and ecology of fossilized prehistoric sponges and sponge reef ecosystems since the early 1980s, (prior to the discovery of living reefs). Together with Kim Conway and J. Vaughn Barrie, Dr. Krautter was one of the first scientists to study the biology and ecology of BC’s glass sponge reefs. Dr. Krautter describes the discovery of living glass sponge reefs as “like finding a herd of dinosaurs walking around on Vancouver Island!”
Dr. Sally Leys, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, University of Alberta
Dr. Sally Leys is presently a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology at the University of Alberta. Her work concerns the evolution of the first animal bodies. Dr. Leys leads a team of postgraduate researchers who are looking at a variety of aspects regarding the biology of glass sponges, including reproduction, filtering and feeding, and their responses to environmental stressors.
Sabine Jessen, National Oceans Program Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Sabine has been involved with CPAWS since 1991 and became the first Executive Director of the BC chapter in 1992. Sabine has served as an Advisor to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Parks, the British Columbia Commission on Resources and Environment, and the Economic Council of Canada. For more than 20 years, Sabine has been a leading voice for marine conservation in Canada and has been campaigning for protection of the glass sponge reefs since they were brought to her attention in 2001.