ROPOS Team Awarded the

J. P. Tully Medal of Oceanography

June 5, 2024

On June 5, 2024, the ROPOS At-Sea Team was announced as the 2023 winner of the prestigious J. P. Tully Medal of Oceanography from the Canadian Meteorology and Oceanography Society (CMOS)! The award recognizes any person whose scientific contributions have had a significant impact on Canadian oceanography.

Keith Shepherd, Keith Tamburri, Peter Lockhart, Luke Girard, Barry Brake, Vincent Auger, Jonathan Lee, Ray Morgan, Kim Wallace, Rodger Adamson, Robert Holland and William Glatt were collectively recognized for:

  • Being unique and highly professional,
  • Their dedication and talent,
  • Their positive, ‘can do’ attitude and their ‘anything is possible’ approach,
  • Taking the time to understand all the different projects and the reasoning and expected outcome of the different sampling operations, enabling them to deliver exactly what the scientists need,
  • Their near-perfect operational readiness,
  • Being pioneers in their fields of technology and engineering,
  • Their ability to develop innovative solutions at sea to meet challenging technical requirements in marine research (including a gas sampling and storage chamber),
  • Their ability to operate safely at higher sea states than any other scientific ROV,
  • Their ability to maintain their perspective and sense of humour under often-demanding conditions of work at sea,
  • Making the work enjoyable and highly successful,
  • Their investment in the scientific outcomes,
  • Their willingness to understand the needs of researchers and students in science and coach them in submersible operations,
  • Empowering students and researchers to push the boundaries of knowledge,
  • Enabling Canadian marine scientists with different research backgrounds to become international leaders in their various disciplines of research,
  • Facilitating the establishment of infrastructure for ROV operations and research programs at outside organisations (Schmidt Ocean Institute & Amundsen Science), and
  • Establishing themselves as world leaders in precision subsea operations,

As well as for enabling advancements in marine science in the areas of biology, geology, physics and chemistry, including but not limited to:

  • Selection of Canada’s first Marine Protected Area (MPA), the Endeavor Hot Vents,
  • Management of the large, proposed Tang.ɢwan ḥačxwiqak-Tsig̱is, as well as the Laurentian Channel and Gully MPAs,
  • Establishing the Barkley Canyon as an active seep of thermogenic gases that are extremely rare worldwide and as an outstanding natural laboratory,
  • Design, logistics and construction of major components of Ocean Networks Canada’s VENUS and NEPTUNE ocean observatory arrays,
  • Collection of novel data on changing conditions in the Arctic Ocean and their influence on carbon cycling,
  • Internationally-recognized work on deep-sea sponges and their habitat, and
  • Directly elevating and sustaining Canada’s reputation as international leaders in deep-sea scientific research.

The ROPOS Team will be joining the likes of past J. P. Tully Medal of Oceanography recipients, including: Rolf Lueck (2022; Senior Oceanographer and Co-Founder at Rockland Scientific International, Inc.), Robert “Bob” Keeley (2020; Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ontario and Prairie, Canadian Ocean Data Centre), Ken Denman (2019; Professor, University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences; VENUS network), John Smith (2018; Research Scientist at DFO, Maritimes Region), Michael G.G. Foreman (2017; Head of the Integration and Prediction Centre at DFO, Pacific Region and Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia and UVic), Keith Thompson (2016; Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, Department of Oceanography and Department of Mathematics and Statistics), William “Bill” Crawford (2015; Research Scientist at DFO, Pacific Region and Adjunct Professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UVic), Ann Gargett (2014; Professor Emerita, Old Dominion University, Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), Susumu Tabata (2007, Pacific Oceanographic Group, Fisheries Research Board of Canada) and other esteemed individuals.

The announcement was made at the CMOS Annual Congress, and the medal and certificate will be presented in person in late fall of 2024.

We are truly honoured to receive this distinguished national recognition!

Credits: Content from recommendation letters written by six Canadian researchers. Story written and cover image compiled by Janet Ferguson-Roberts (Independent Contractor, CSSF), including photos of the J.P. Tully Medal of Oceanography, which were supplied by Gordon Griffith (Executive Director, CMOS), as well as photos by Nicole Holeman, Janet Ferguson-Roberts, Ray Morgan, Hyeon Kim and Woody Straley.