The Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) is a global aquatic research, data management and partnership platform headquartered at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


OTN is guided by a governing council whose members are appointed by the host institution, Dalhousie University.

OTN Council

The OTN Council provides independent, external stewardship of OTN on behalf of Dalhousie University, CFI, and other OTN stakeholders. The Council is composed of members with leadership experience in government, industry, academia, and the non-profit sector. Council members share their expertise to guide OTN and keep the organization accountable to its strategic plan and mandate.


  • Doug Bliss, OTN Council Chair
  • Zdenka Willis (Vice-Chair), Veraison Consulting
  • Alice B. Aiken*, Dalhousie University
  • Shelley Denny, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources
  • Bruce Hancock, Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Jim Hanlon, Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship
  • Peter Harrison, Queen’s University
  • Charles Macdonald, Dalhousie University
  • Christine Penney, Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership
  • Louie Porta, Oceans North
  • Marlies Rise*, Research Services, Dalhousie University
  • Marc Trudel, St. Andrews Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Sara Iverson*, OTN
  • Fred Whoriskey*, OTN
  • Evelien VanderKloet*, OTN
    *non-voting members

Advisory committees

OTN Council receives input and guidance from four main advisory committees:  

International Data Management Committee (IDMC)

The IDMC ensures the OTN data management model is implemented reliably and effectively. The IDMC advises OTN on changes to data processes and policies to ensure they align with internationally recognized standards for data management. Membership includes representatives from regional and partner nodes and networks, and data management experts from around the world.


  • Joy Young (Chair), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Mat Biddle, NOAA – US IOOS – MBON/ATN
  • Catalina Gomez, DFO
  • Alex Hearn, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador
  • Fabrice Jaine, Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Australia
  • Catherine Jardine, National Data Centre for Birds Canada
  • Reyna Jenkyns, Ocean Networks Canada
  • Taryn Murray, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
  • Pieter Provoost, IOC Project Office, Belgium (OBIS)
  • Frank Smith, InnovaSea (VEMCO)
  • Frederick Whoriskey*, OTN
  • Jonathan Pye*, OTN
  • Evelien VanderKloet*, OTN
    *non-voting members
International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC)

The ISAC’s role is to guide, advise, and integrate the planning of Canadian and international research activities and direction. The ISAC identifies strategic scientific and funding opportunities and supports the development of collaborative research initiatives that align with OTN’s mandate.


  • Steve Cooke (Chair), Carleton University
  • Aaron Fisk, University of Windsor
  • Michelle Heupel, Integrated Marine Observing System
  • Scott Hinch, University of British Columbia
  • Nigel Hussey, University of Windsor
  • Sara Iverson, Dalhousie University
  • Megan McKinzie, MBARI
  • Joanna Mills Flemming, Dalhousie University
  • Taryn Murray, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
  • Jean-Marc Nicolas, NS Power/Emera
  • Vivian Nguyen, Carleton University
  • Chris Vandergoot, Michigan State University and Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System
  • Kim Whoriskey, Early Career Researcher
Deployment Committee

The Deployment Committee provides scientific and technical evaluations to project proposals in which the request for OTN loan equipment exceeds five units. It consists of the Scientific and/or Executive Director, Senior Operations Manager, a representative from both the Project Management and Field Operations team, and a minimum of three external reviewers. External reviewers are selected by the project management team in consultation with the Scientific and Executive Directors, based on their expertise in the proposed area of research. These reviewers provide feedback to OTN on the proposal’s scientific objectives and relevance to advancing the global network. Evaluations from the deployment committee determine if a proposal is successful, conditionally approved pending revisions, or declined.

Project Facilitation Committee

The Project Facilitation Committee’s purpose is to ensure that the OTN is properly supported and facilitated by OTN’s host institution, Dalhousie University, and that it is managed responsibly in accordance with funding agency guidelines and Dalhousie regulations and policies. The committee meets on a quarterly basis and is comprised of the following individuals or designates: Associate Vice President Research, Oceans (chair); Dean of Science; Associate Vice President Research; Assistant Vice-President, Research Services; Director, Finance and Operations (Research Services); Associate Director, Research Accounting; Manager, Institutional and International Programs (Research Services); Executive Director, OTN; Scientific Director, OTN; Senior Operations Manager, OTN; and the Finance Manager, OTN.

Strategic Plan

OTN works toward a five-year strategic plan (currently 2018-2023). The strategic plan is supported by two guiding documents: 1) OTN’s management plan, which guides the implementation of strategic goals and objectives, and 2) the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (EDIA) strategy, which actions OTN’s commitment to EDIA within all areas of operations.

General inquiries
+1 902 494 4101

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