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The challenge

A multidisciplinary workforce

Australia’s growing blue economy is an industry estimated to be worth $100 billion dollars a year to the nation by 2025 - and marine science is a critical discipline to support that. Marine researchers help us better understand our vast marine estate to ensure the sustainable management and prosperity of our ecosystems and the industries that depend on them.

CAPSTAN students examine rock dredge sample.

To help Australia fulfil its blue economy potential and prosper as a nation, marine science requires a multidisciplinary workforce. And while Australian marine science training is world-class in a range of areas, few Australian universities offer multidisciplinary training that encompasses the full spectrum of marine science disciplines aligned with the needs of industry and government.

Our response

CAPSTAN – a collaborative training alliance

The Marine National Facility (MNF) is part of a network of leading Australian industry and university partners delivering CAPSTAN (Collaborative Australian Post-Graduate Sea Training Alliance Network), a program equipping marine science students with industry-relevant training on board RV Investigator.

CAPSTAN is a first of its kind program in Australia that transforms the way marine science education is delivered. Led by a passionate team of educators and marine science experts, the program is helping develop the next generation of marine experts. CAPSTAN is a targeted and collaborative response to address the key challenges facing Australia’s oceans and blue economy. It is aligned with Australia’s Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) agenda and the National Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) strategy.

The pilot program of CAPSTAN was administered by Macquarie University and supported by the MNF through dedicated sea time on RV Investigator, Australia's advanced ocean research vessel.

The results

Future careers in the marine sector

CAPSTAN has delivered unparalleled teaching and training to over 40 postgraduate students and 16 trainers and Chief Scientists/co-Chief Scientists from 17 Australian universities, representing every state and territory.

Many participants from the inaugural CAPSTAN voyage in 2017 have furthered their education and careers in the marine sector, with several having undertaken research projects based on their experiences and data collected on their voyages.

The connections and professional networks that have been acquired by CAPSTAN participants will prove invaluable as they work towards their future careers in the marine sector.

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