Meghan Paulson

Meghan Paulson

Science/Data Team
Director Observatory Digital Operations
Ocean Networks Canada

Tell us about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?

I lead a team of data scientists, data stewards, systems engineers and software developers at Ocean Networks Canada. We work together to keep the flow and access of data from ONC's cabled ocean observatories and autonomous instruments open and available to researchers, stakeholders and the public.

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

As a civil engineering undergraduate, I took a co-op work term with the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic) and had the opportunity to sail on research vessels collecting sediment core in the North Atlantic. Working with the science team and crew was the perfect combination of contributing to the understanding of geological processes and implementing practical and engineering solutions to retrieve and test the sediment that make the research possible.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

My supervisor at my co-op work term who introduced me to the possibilities of ocean research and offshore expeditions. That supervisor is now my boss at ONC! Proving that opportunities given to students can last a lifetime!! (Even if there are gaps in between!!)

What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?

I find the people that I work with and have encountered throughout my career to be the most interesting, fascinating and memorable part of my work experiences. Everyone has something to offer and I have learned from so many over the years!

What other jobs led you to your current career?

My career has nearly come full circle. Starting out as a student working in ocean research on the east coast of Canada, I then spent many years on the Gulf Coast of the US working in industry. I am now back in Canada on the west coast, again working in ocean research. What I've learned is to take chances with my career. I could have never imagined all of the twists and turns along the way, all valuable in shaping my overall experience.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering - Dalhousie University (TUNS) 1999; Masters of Science in Ocean Engineering - University of Rhode Island 2006

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy running, cycling and practicing yoga. I've recently started spending lots of time gardening.

How did you get involved with the Ocean Exploration Trust?

After having just started my new role at Ocean Networks Canada in 2020, I had the opportunity to sail and learn on an ONC focused expedition to operate and maintain our offshore infrastructure. The experience was invaluable to understanding the complexities of our operation and my new role at ONC. I'm pleased to have the opportunity to sail again, representing ONC, in collaboration with OET and Nautilus.

What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

The best advice I can give is to take chances with your career. Say YES when opportunities come your way. Apply for positions, even if you think they are a long shot. Do the field work, even if it sounds crazy and hard and dirty and will take you away for a couple of months. Learn from those that you admire and be generous with your time and insight to those wanting to learn.


Meghan participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: