Craig received his education in England, earning an honours science degree in zoology from the University of Reading and a PhD in marine ecology from the University of Portsmouth. In addition to his work with NSCC’s Applied Research department, he is an adjunct professor at Memorial University in St. John’s.
Through his work in government and industry, Craig has a broad knowledge of marine affairs. He has firsthand experience of applied and pure research in such sectors as oil and gas, fisheries and aquaculture, and marine renewable energy.
Sonar technologies that map the seafloor are Craig’s main research focus. “The technologies have become more sophisticated over the years, and they can now generate highly detailed maps of the ocean floor,” he says. The goal is to make a detailed map from data obtained from a combination of techniques, including high-resolution photos and videos of the seafloor, which can ultimately lead to more sustainable environmental management and assessment processes.
Craig received an Industrial Research Chair award from NSERC in 2015 to embark on a 5 year program of study on Integrated Ocean Mapping Technologies. The applied research will work with ocean sector partners to develop innovative seafloor mapping methods and techniques to support a variety of offshore activities, initially focusing on fisheries applications. “We’re at the cutting edge of oceanography and at a stage where a lot of the ocean floor has never been mapped,” he says. “Thanks to new technologies, we have the opportunity to improve our understanding of seafloor systems which will support sustainable management of marine resources.”
Craig will be investigating the latest innovations in ocean survey instruments, including subsea camera systems and multibeam echo sounders, and how these technologies can be improved and used to collect high-resolution data from the ocean floor for a range of applications. In the near future, he believes that autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) submersibles will play a significant role in ocean floor surveying.
Brittany Curtis graduated from the Ocean Technology Advanced Diploma program with honours at NSCC (Ivany Campus) and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Victoria with a combined major in Biology and Earth and Ocean Science. She previously worked as an aquarist, a Pacific salmon fisheries observer, and as a lab technician and research assistant. Her work with the Applied Oceans Research Group involves collecting and analyzing seafloor video data, as well as research and development of new technologies related to underwater imagery.
Vicki Gazzola joined NSCC’s Applied Oceans Research Group (AORG) in 2015. Since graduating from NSCC’s Center of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in 2006, she has gained experience producing and managing geospatial data and map products using a variety of GIS software. With an eye for graphic design, she often combines GIS packages with graphics packages to produce high quality cartographic results. Her years of involvement in off shore exploration and research have given her experience with the deployment, retrieval and sub sampling of a variety of ground truthing methods. Her familiarity and understanding of these methods has proven useful to her role in the AORG where she combines that knowledge and her GIS expertise to build MBES surface grids that are used for environmental analysis, assessing habitat suitability, and benthic interpretation.
Amy is a first-year mechanical drafting student at NSCC completing a work term with the AORG. She is helping to develop underwater camera housing to be adapted and used for future projects. With previous experience in animation and visualization, she is hoping to take her skills into more product development.