A Day with the Canada C3 Researchers

By: Denis Wong

When the Canada C3 ship anchored in the 100 Wild Islands archipelago, a dreamlike place along the coastline of Nova Scotia, duty called the researchers on board the ship: Mike Wong, Kristi Miller-Saunders et Jennifer Doubt. I had the chance to follow them throughout the day.

Jennifer Doubt, the Botany Curator at the Canadian Museum of Nature, took out her tools iin order to collect the plants that have taken root in the 100 Wild Islands coastline. She notiiced that there were very different environments for the plants, as this region’s coast includes forests as well as humid maritime areas.

Kristi Miller-Sounders, a Researcher Scientist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Nanaimo, collected pieces of plastic trash on the beach in order to classify them and analyze their composition. As it’s a regions where lobster fishing is common, she found elastics for lobster claws and fishing nets. She also took advantage of the opportunity to collect samples for her environmental DNA project.

Mike Wong, the Leg 4 Chief Scientist and former senior manager at Environment Canada and Parks Canada, analyzed water components found in the region. He noticed that the salinity levels were relatively low as a whole. This is caused by the large number of freshwater rivers and streams in the 100 Wild Islands that flow into the Atlantic.

The research projects conducted during this expedition are unique in that they cover such a large area, because C3 is travelling from coast to coast to coast. It is a unique opportunity to collect samples that will provide unprecedented milestones for the current researchers and those that pick up the torch at the end of the expedition.