Research voyage reaffirms goalsPraveen Kumar
Creating vlogs about a little-known sea creature while on a research vessel has reaffirmed to an Otago University student her passion lies in creating science resources.
Science communication student Lana Young (23) was made a Sir Peter Blake ambassador this year and spent 29 days on research vessel Tangaroa studying salp, a tiny planktonic sea creature.
The voyage concentrated on the Chatham Rise, east of the South Island, where converging subtropical and subantarctic water masses create an environment salp thrive in.
She worked from noon to midnight every day studying the creatures, and spent her spare time filming footage of seabirds to go towards a documentary she is creating as part of her master’s degree. Her time on the boat reaffirmed to her that she wanted to eventually create teaching resources.
“It was really cool to get all that filming done,” she said.
Her time at sea was spent with three other ambassadors and a team of Niwa scientists, and she spent about 50% of time on deck and 50% analysing salp samples in the lab.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect. The people on the boat were awesome.
“We got a really nice, kind of small, tight-knit team.”
Salp also contribute to the ocean’s carbon cycle by transferring significant amounts of carbon from the surface to deep waters.