Building a National Ocean Literacy Strategy

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: social sciences, Ocean Literacy

Principal Investigator: Hoover, Carie (1)
Licence Number: 16679
Organization: Trent Univerisy
Licensed Year(s): 2020
Issued: Jan 20, 2020
Project Team: Whitney Lackenbauer

Objective(s): To enhance public awareness of the intrinsic importance of the ocean; to deepen researchers’, policy-makers’, educators’, and other sectors’ (e.g., health, industry, etc.) understanding of the importance of the ocean for community, regional, and national well-being; and, to foster collaborative civic engagement with the ocean across diverse regions and sectors.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.4601.

The study conducted by the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition (COLC) researchers (at multiple universities across Canada) will contribute new knowledge to emerging regional, national, and international research and practices related to Ocean Literacy (OL) by developing uniquely Canadian interpretations and approaches to OL. The aim is to take the ‘pulse’ of OL in Canada to: 1) enhance public awareness of the intrinsic importance of the ocean; 2) deepen researchers’, policy-makers’, educators’, and other sectors’ (e.g., health, industry, etc.) understanding of the importance of the ocean for community, regional, and national well-being; and 3) foster collaborative civic engagement with the ocean across diverse regions and sectors.

The Principal Investigator (PI) serves as the regional coordinator for the Inuit Nunangat region, and will be responsible for all research activities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR). The national coordinator will assist the PI as needed. They will work together to integrate the Inuit Nunangat regional work into a national perspective.

Five regional coordinators (RC) will oversee the (a) focused document analysis, and (b) asset mapping processes within the five identified regions (Atlantic, Pacific, Inuit Nunagat, St.Lawrence, and Inland). This research will be supported by research partners and COLC member organizations within each region. The national coordinator (NC) will oversee the (a) focused document analysis and (b) asset mapping for pan-Canadian organizations, as well as oversee (c) the national online survey (COVES) and (d) the National ocean literacy round table in Ottawa. Specific locations for interviews (e.g., organization’s office, by phone, etc.) and focus groups/sharing circles (e.g., conference venues, host COLC members’ offices, etc.) with key stakeholders/rights holders will be co-determined with participants, following the preliminary asset mapping inventory of publicly available documents and information.

The research will consist of:
1. A Focused Document Analysis: A coding template will guide the research team in conducting a focused document analysis process that is consistent across regions and also offers unique regional narratives.
2. Asset Mapping: The asset mapping process includes: a) a regional online survey, b) a semi-structured interview guide, 3) a regional focus group; and 4) a national round table discussion3. Semi-Structured Interviews: The semi-structured interviews will ask key stakeholders/rights holders to share in-depth and nuanced narratives about contributions to ocean literacy through their communities, organizations, industries, institutions, etc. Semi-structured interviews will take place at a location convenient to the participants (in-person or teleconference, depending on availability and travel). These are likely to occur via teleconference.
4. Regional Focus Group: will be a group meeting to ask participants to review the data gathered in steps 1-3 for the Inuit Nunangat region and analyse and interpret the preliminary findings; ensure that there are no gaps in the data; and review the emerging asset map to ensure that findings are culturally-relevant and represent local and regional dynamics.
5. National Online Survey (COVES): Will be shared online using SurveyMonkey held by the University of Ottawa. It will take approximately 10 minutes for respondents to complete, and there are no restrictions on who can participate. This will provide a diverse perspective of Ocean Literacy in Canada.

All COLC members are updated with research progress for the Inuit Nunangat region, as well as national updates. Any participant (organization) of this research is able to join COLC, and will be supplied the same information. This can also be arranged, without regular updates, as all participants will be notified of research results at the end of the study (in the same manner as COLC member organizations, but without membership).

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from January 20, 2020 to December 31, 2020.