RV Investigator turns into a floating classroom

Thursday, 11 August, 2016

RV <em>Investigator</em> turns into a floating classroom

A new training program for Australia’s future marine scientists is set to transform CSIRO’s science research vessel, the RV Investigator, into a floating classroom.

The postgraduate training initiative is called CAPSTAN — the Collaborative Australian Postgraduate Sea Training Alliance Network. It will give students and trainers dedicated time on board Investigator — which can operate anywhere from the ice edge to the equator — and expose them to a range of world-class scientific equipment and technology.

“This program provides practical training for students on board a multidisciplinary ocean class research vessel,” said Ron Plaschke, director of CSIRO’s Marine National Facility.

“It gives students, and trainers, learning opportunities that are not available anywhere else in Australia.”

Macquarie University’s Dr Leanne Armand, program coordinator for CAPSTAN, said the program will “change the landscape of marine science education in Australia”.

“We can’t wait until the first students are on board and get underway on their voyage — it’s an exceptional project and groundbreaking partnership between Australian research institutions, industry and our nation’s leading science agency.”

The training programs enabled by Investigator aim to train future generations of Australia’s marine scientists and inspire interest in STEM. Teachers and trainers on board the vessel are even able to share their experiences with students across Australia through live ship-to-shore video broadcasts.

The CAPSTAN application process is expected to open in early 2017, with the first participants expected to join a transit voyage on Investigator later next year. Further details are available at https://research.science.mq.edu.au/capstan/.

Image ©Stewart Wilde

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