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Student voyage of marine discovery

Mapping the ocean floor and observing sea life were just two of the experiences Deakin University students Sam Wines and Danielle Harmshaw had as members of the inaugural CAPSTAN sea training voyage in November last year.

Twenty students representing 12 Australian universities were aboard the CSIRO research vessel Investigator for the voyage across the Great Australian Bight from Fremantle in Western Australia to Hobart in Tasmania. Standing for the Collaborative Australian Postgraduate Sea Training Alliance Network, the CAPSTAN program aims to ‘transform marine science education through the development of a national approach to teaching and learning in the marine realm’. The program is supported by the Marine National Facility and governed by a network of leading industry, government and university partners including Deakin.

Sam Wines - photo: Carlie Devine / Marine National Facility

Mr Wines is doing honours at Deakin Warrnambool with the Deakin Marine Mapping Group this year after completing his Bachelor of Environmental Science (Marine Biology). He says the adventure was like a dream come true.

‘I had no idea I’d have this sort of experience when I came to Warrnambool,’ he says. ‘I remember being in Hobart in my first year and seeing the Investigator docked in the harbour. I thought it would be so cool to work on that so to be on the other side was pretty mind-blowing.’ He says the program aimed to introduce students to a variety of research experiences. ‘Water sampling, mapping the ocean floor, mammal and seabird observations, plankton nets, and deploying Argo floats as part of a worldwide data initiative led by Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System were some of the activities.

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