Acadia’s Involvement In Tidal Energy: Acadia As a Facilitator to Tidal Energy Research.

It is seen that Acadia University is on the verge of celebrating over 100 years in the field of tidal energy research. With this in mind the author of this service learning project chose to take a comprehensive look at Acadia University as a facilitator to tidal energy research. To do this, this project explores Acadia University’s long lineage of organization that have either underwent or is currently undergoing tidal power research.  Starting with the works of the Cape Split Development Company to that of the Acadia Tidal Energy Institute, this project unhinges these organizations to find out why they were created and what purpose they serve. This project also endeavored to not only give the lineage of Acadia University’s involvement in tidal energy research through the years, but to show how these organizations have impacted the greater Acadia Community.

Organizations Affiliated with Acadia

In starting with the Cape Split Development Company it is seen that there has been five major organizations Acadia has worked with or created to undergo tidal energy research.  Those are that of the Cape Split Development Company, the Fundy Environmental Science Committee (FESC), the Acadia Center for Estuarine Research (ACER),  the Fundy Energy Research Network (FERN),  and last but not least the Acadia Tidal Energy Institute (ATEI).

In 1915 it is seen that Acadia’s interest in tidal energy is sparked by that of the Cape Split Development Company. This was really a land mark year because it not only marked the year where members of the Acadia community divested an interest in tidal energy, but actually made an attempt to get involved.  In the subsequent years we’ve seen the rise and fall of FESC (1976-1984), and the birth of three other research organizations which include ACER (1985-present), FERN (2009- present), and Acadia University’s most recent research organization which was established last fall ATEI (September 2012-present).

Major Findings

Upon examining these organizations that are affiliated with Acadia University the author sought out to answer four simple questions, Why where these organizations created?, Who pays the bills?, What underlying factors shaped their direction and mandate?, and How do these organizations impact the Acadia Community.  It is seen that there are specific reasons why each of these organizations had their beginnings but in a general sense it is safe to say that these organizations were all created because members of the Acadia community felt as though the “questions hadn’t been answered” in the words of Graham Daborn. (Daborn, 2013)Each organization in their own way have made attempts and are still making attempts to find the answers to these questions through the spectrum of ways in which they conduct research and garner funding. One of the most interesting facts that was found by the author was that the mandates or underlying factors of these organizations were not scripted by the University in any way. It is also seen that each organization created their own mandate which all impact the Acadia Community in different ways. And last but not least it is seen that in answering these questions it is easy to conclude that Acadia’s overall interest in tidal energy has shifted through the years.  The idea of harnessing tidal energy with the Cape Split Development Company has seemed to fizzle away for the lack of a better term and brought rise to research around the impacts of tidal energy stations with a particular focus on the Bay of Fundy and the Annapolis Tidal Station.

Want to learn more about these organizations?


Acadia Center for Estuarine Research. N.p., 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.

Acadia Tidal Energy Institute. N.p., 2012. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.

Daborn, Graham. “Tidal Power.” Lecture, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, March 15, 2013

Fundy Energy Research Network. N.p., 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2013

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