Captain Orr

Yours Truly

As a biologist and captain, I believe every eager student, oceanic mass, sea creature, threatened species, mountain range, pristine land track, whipping sail, developing eco-system, and unexplored route on the tip of the map deserves a champion…actually, a slew of them. That is why I have dedicated my career to the scientific subject matter that serves as my muse in the natural world – the fields of neuroscience, marine biology and environmental ecology.

I am motivated by a massive amount of inquisitiveness and the kinds of experiences that often result in wind-chapped hands and sunburn from long hours on the water or in the field. In and out of the classroom, I value rigorous learning and evidence based teaching as well as opportunities to leverage recreation as part of the discovery process.  Also, I take every effort to combine my passion for science with my personal endeavors to provide analogous examples that help students think and link their knowledge to other aspects of scientific and social advancement.  For example, following receipt of my PhD, I embarked on a two-year Pacific crossing journey on a cutter rigged sloop sailboat from Victoria B.C. to Brisbane Australia through Southern Oceania to get personally acquainted with the majesty of the marine life I planned to teach and to share marine science with children in the Polynesian villages of the Tuamotoes, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, and Vanuatu. During my Post-Doc research at Washington University in St. Louis, I taught honors courses and served as a scientific consultant at Bamfield Marine Science Center on western Vancouver Island. Following my Post-Doc research, I served as the Senior Scientific Advisor aboard the Kaisei, a square-rigged brigantine tall ship based in San Francisco. Project Kaisei explores the plastic vortex in the Pacific Gyre and investigates how ocean debris impacts our environment and marine life. While serving in these various functions, I published 18 peer-reviewed publications. See select pubs here and here. I’m also passionate about ocean technology and citizen science and recently gave a TEDx talk to that aim.

Dr. Michael Orr

Captain Michael Orr, PhD with his field class in Bamfield

When I’m not captaining tall ships or small ships, I am sharing my scientific musings, intercontinental meanderings and aquatic chronicles with students at Cape Breton University and yacht clubs throughout the region. I have taught coursework in Invertebrate Zoology, Marine Ecology, Environmental Biology, Parasitology, and Evolution.

I also hold research posts alongside Dr. Bruce Hatcher at the Bras D’or Institute for Ecosystem Research and at the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment in conjunction with Cape Breton University in Sydney, Nova Scotia and a position as Captain at the Nova Scotia Sea School. If that sounds busy, it is!