CAMPBELL RIVER, BC – It is with sadness and heavy hearts that we share news of the passing of Dr. Don Noakes, former Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, at Vancouver Island University. Between 2015 and 2019, Don served as Chair of the BC Salmon Farmers Association Science Advisory Council (2015 – 2019), an advisory board on the Association’s Marine Environmental Research Program. He was a kind face at research meetings and workshops, and was a strong supporter of science-based communications in aquaculture, and particularly salmon farming.
Don provided a calm presence and “steady hand on the tiller” in his leadership and council on marine science and aquaculture issues. He was a strong advocate for the aquaculture industry in BC, a trusted advisor, and brought an appreciated wealth of insight to the conversation, based on a long career in ocean sciences. His last publication: Oceans of opportunity: a review of Canadian aquaculture, in Marine Economics and Management (Vol 1. Issue 1, 2018) is an important testament to the opportunities for aquaculture in Canada, while acknowledging the challenges the sector must overcome to realize this potential.
Between 1985 and 2003, Don held a number of important roles with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, finally serving as Director of the Pacific Biological Station and Head of Aquaculture. Don returned to Nanaimo and joined VIU in 2014, following time spent at Thompson Rivers University, where he served as Dean of the School of Advanced Technologies and Mathematics as well as Acting Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies.
In addition to his unassuming calm and rigorous approach to scientific interpretation, Don will be remembered for his sense of humour, thoughtfulness, and enthusiasm for life – particularly his love of curling, gardening and the bagpipes.
On behalf of BC salmon farmers, we offer sincere condolences to Don’s loving wife, Olga, and their family, closest friends and colleagues. A memorial service date has not been set at this time. Don asked that donations be made to a charity of choice in his memory.