Emily Fewster joined RV Investigator for a 15-day voyage in the Tasman Sea from 27 December 2018 to 10 January 2019.

Emily worked alongside voyage researchers to collect volcanic rocks from seamounts to help piece together the story of the breakup between Australia and Antarctica some 34 million years ago.

The Challenge

Emily Fewster is a secondary teacher at the Sydney Distance Education High School. Here she is cutting rocks hauled from a dredge on the diamond saw.

Although this voyage had a strong focus on Geology, Emily also wanted to use her voyage experience to highlight career pathways in Oceanography using staff roles on RV Investigator as examples for her students, and to provide insight on the different technology used to survey the ocean floor. Onboard, Emily learnt about various scientific equipment used to study the marine and atmospheric environment. One example is the ‘Argo Float’, a sensor that measures ocean conditions. When deployed, Argo floats collect subsurface observations at depths of between 1 and 2 km, before ascending to the surface every 10 days, transmitting data to satellites, and then dives down again to start a new cycle.

The Impact
a cyclinder with sensing device attached and labelled Alan

“Alan” the Argo Float ready for deployment in the Southern Ocean

To discover more about oceanography in the Southern Ocean, Emily and her Year 11 Marine Studies students decided to trial the “Adopt-A-Float" project3. The first step of the adoption process was to name their Argo float, with the deceptively simple entry of ‘Alan’, being the preferred choice, named after the world’s oldest living krill at the Australian Antarctic Division. Since his successful deployment in May, Alan the Argo Float has travelled around 700km and is currently collecting data in waters off South Africa.

In 2020, Emily’s senior Earth and Environmental Science students will look at Alan’s data and compare it to larger data sets to investigate changes in ocean currents, ocean circulation and ocean acidification.

Teacher Developed Resource

A range of marine education resources developed by our Educator on Board alumni are available for free download. You can download Emily's student inquiry based lesson here:

Catch-My-Drift

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