In the second week of the last holidays Ted and I went on a five-day camp at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, known as the Deep Thought Programme. This camp was run by the University of Otago and hosted around 30 students from all over the South Island. Over these five days we were expected to come up with an investigation that we would then research, take samples for and present our findings.
Ted and I were working in the same research group and were investigating Physical Oceanography. The objective of our investigation was to find the relationship between visibility and chlorophyll concentration in and around the Otago Harbour. To complete this investigation, we spent our first day at camp planning and organizing our sampling. We hypothesized that the further offshore, away from Dunedin city we went, the higher the visibility and the higher the chlorophyll production. We then spent two days collecting and sorting data. To collect our data we went on a boat skippered by Sean, who works at the NZMSC, going to 10 different sites in and around the Otago Harbour. At each site we dropped a CTD which is a device for measuring conductivity, temperature and depth with a Fluorometer for measuring fluorescence attached, as well as a secchi disk so that we could later get the visibility.
After we finished gathering our data, we went back to the labs to make graphs so we could get our results. We also made an informative poster and a presentation to present in front of the parents on the Friday. In conclusion we found that our hypothesis was correct that as the visibility of the water increased, the chlorophyll concentration also increased.
The time we spent up there wasn’t all working. We met lots of new people from many different schools who we bonded with during activities on our time on the Island. We designed eco-friendly farms and did many other cool activities to help us get to know each other more. At the end we were all sad to leave. We’d like to give a massive thanks to Mrs. Heads who helped us apply, the Ministry of Education who makes programmes like this possible, and the NZMSC who helped us learn and grow our understanding of the marine world.
Hannah O’Connor and Ted Nelson - Year 11