April Abbott, Macquarie University, Director of CAPSTAN
Last day group photo on the bow. Photo Credit: Marine National Facility/CSIRO
With an incredible crew, wonderful trainers, enthusiastic students, and favourable seas we couldn’t have asked for a more successful CAPSTAN pilot voyage!
Drone in flight at sea. Photo Credit: J Kaempf
The last full day at sea was an appropriate end to an epic 13 days crossing the Great Australian Bight. Students recapped the research results, our sea bird counts soared (# of total individuals increased 4x over the last day), we had regular marine mammals checking us out, and flat seas allowed the drone back into the air! The day was split between observations, presentations, writing, cleaning, and some celebrating!
A seal was snoozing peacefully until we came along!
The morning was busy as students finalised their presentations, trainers cleaned the laboratories, and everyone took some time to enjoy our surroundings! Student groups presented their findings to the science team after lunch- each team a demonstration of the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration! The research completed in a short 4 days on station is incredible, especially considering over-the-side deployments ceased at night.
Students sort the rock dredge. Photo Credit: Marine National Facility
Not only did the students’ ability to relate data across disciplines show, but their science communication skills also got a chance at the spotlight. Elise even broke down the importance of interdisciplinary approaches by relating the benthic ecosystem to by far the most popular board game of the trip, Settlers of Catan (one night after dinner 20% of the people on board were all playing at the same time!) – assigning each resource (wheat, wood, brick, etc) to an important ecosystem component (phytoplankton, benthic organism, sediment composition, etc).
Dolphins riding the bow wave
It is hard to believe we’re back on shore already- we’ll miss our ship family! Who knows, we may even see some of our students back as trainers in the years to come!
The bow of the ship was busy most of the day, as calm seas and our proximity to Tasmania made for a beautiful sight and lots of marine visitors!
Stay tuned to the CAPSTAN website and this page as we start to look ahead to voyage 2019!
“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science“
E Hubble 1929