Student marine scientists complete voyage

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Young marine scientists head to sea. 

Australia’s future leaders in marine science have arrived in Hobart after an unforgettable voyage as part of the CAPSTAN sea training program.

Travelling from WA to Tasmania via the Great Australian Bight, the inaugural voyage in the program gave 20 postgraduate students two weeks of at-sea training on Board Australia’s advanced marine research vessel Investigator.

CAPSTAN (Collaborative Australian Postgraduate Sea Training Alliance Network) is a national approach to developing the next generation of marine scientists and provides multidisciplinary at-sea training to meet the needs of industry and government.

The program makes use of Investigator’s wide research capability to deliver training that ranges from seafloor coring and marine life surveys to sea survival skills and ship navigation using charts.

Students also receive training in the traditional maritime skill of knot tying from the ship crew.

The diverse training on offer was matched by the range of students and trainers on board the ship for the first CAPSTAN voyage.

CAPSTAN students aboard the Investigator during two weeks at sea as part of their training.
CAPSTAN students aboard the Investigator during two weeks at sea as part of their training.

Twelve Australian universities were represented, along with staff from the Marine National Facility, reflecting the highly collaborative nature of the CAPSTAN program.

CAPSTAN Director, Dr April Abbott from Macquarie University, said the first voyage had exceeded all expectations and provided more than a few memorable experiences.

"The voyage has been amazing, and both students and trainers have described it as a once in a lifetime experience," Dr Abbott said.

Chief Scientist on the CAPSTAN voyage, Associate Professor Jochen Kaempf from Flinders University, echoed the many benefits that the CAPSTAN voyage had delivered.

"CAPSTAN offers research-based training for students and this voyage has resulted in the collection of new scientific data that will help underpin our understanding of the marine environment," Professor Kaempf said.

"Students have assisted in 3D mapping previously unmapped regions of seafloor, revealing features that may play a vital role in coastal nutrient cycling in the Great Australian Bight region. CAPSTAN training involves the collection of real data and students are contributing to real world research.

CAPSTAN will continue on board Investigator in coming years with a further two training voyages scheduled in the initial three-year pilot program.

CAPSTAN is led by Macquarie University, supported by the Marine National Facility and governed by a network of leading industry and university partners. The program aims to provide a platform for institutional, industrial and generational knowledge transfer and collaboration to help support Australia's growing blue economy, which is expected to contribute over $100billion a year to the Australian economy by 2025.

 More information available at: www.csiro.au/en/News

 

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