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Mastering Marine Geoscience

2017 Marine Geoscience Masterclass - Castlepoint

2017 Marine Geoscience Masterclass - Castlepoint fieldtrip

Twenty students from universities around New Zealand and Australia were selected by their home institutions to take part in this year’s Marine Geoscience Masterclass. The programme, focused around the science led by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), ran from 4th to 8th December. The event was hosted by GNS Science, with contributions from NIWA and Victoria University of Wellington.

Funded by ANZIC (the Australian and New Zealand IODP Consortium), the Masterclass was the second of three awarded to New Zealand. Its aim is to introduce students to the exciting world of marine geosciences through a combination of practical workshops, geological fieldwork and marine activities.

This year’s program coincided with Expedition 372, the second of five IODP expeditions taking place in New Zealand waters. Students participated in a live ship-to-shore video link with the research vessel, the JOIDES Resolution, where they spoke directly with the two New Zealand co-chief scientists onboard (Ingo Pecher and Phil Barnes).

Participants also took part in a full-day of practical activities at NIWA, focused on sediment core recovery, logging and sampling. They also conducted a seismic/bottom bathymetry survey in Wellington Harbour onboard the NIWA vessel, Rukuwai.

The final days of the Masterclass were spent in the Wairarapa region, where students explored some of New Zealand’s fantastic geology. Visits to Tora and Castlepoint engaged students in various aspects of marine geoscience including stratigraphy, paleontology, sea level change, basin analysis and more.

Last year’s Masterclass had some last-minute jolts: one of the fieldtrips, to the Kaikoura area, had to be cancelled due to the large earthquake that shook the region. Despite this setback, the Masterclass was an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience for both students and lecturers, and included the chance to undertake field work in the idyllic setting of Doubtful Sound. Although the trip to Fiordland was not part of the Masterclass this year, participants had a fantastic time exploring the Wellington and Wairarapa regions, and came away with new insights into a career as a marine geoscientist.

2017 Marine Geoscience Masterclass - Manurewa Point

2017 Marine Geoscience Masterclass - Manurewa Point fieldtrip