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Getting involved

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There are many ways to get your feet wet and minds salty at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre!

Book an education programme

The Marine Studies Centre offers a wide range of marine programmes. 

From school visits to community workshops and programmes ranging from an hour to several days in duration, there is a marine activity for all age groups.

See our education pages for more details.

Citizen scientists required!

Find out what lives between the tides at your local shore! Marine Metre Squared (Mm2) is a citizen science project that anyone can help with. Participate and contribute to the Mm2 project by monitoring a 1m x 1m square patch of your local shore once every season. All you need to do is count the animals and plans you find and record them on a data sheet that can be downloaded from our website. This is the perfect project for students, community groups, families, school groups - anyone looking for ways to engage with and improve their local environment.

See mm2.net.nz for details and to join.

Teacher professional development

The New Zealand Marine Studies Centre runs workshops for teachers, and welcomes teacher participation in its school programmes. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the NZMSC Director, Sally Carson (email sally.carson@otago.ac.nz).

The Centre regularly hosts Royal Society Teacher Fellows. The Fellowship Scheme, funded by the Government and administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand, offers primary, intermediate and secondary teachers the opportunity to improve their teaching through working in New Zealand based host organisations for 2 terms.

To find out more about what is involved and projects previous Fellows have worked on, see the Royal Society of New Zealand Science Teaching Leadership Programme.  If you would like to discuss the possibility of being hosted at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, please contact Director, Sally Carson (email sally.carson@otago.ac.nz).

Volunteer opportunities at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre

From time to time opportunities arise at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre for volunteers to help with general animal husbandry and office work or to take on specific projects such as displays or surveys. In order to keep a Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium going many different skills are required and you may be surprised to find out ways you can help us!  If you have a special skill such as computing, film-making, drawing, painting, teaching or practical DIY, let us know.  You may be able to help us in ways we have not even thought of yet!

Please note that:

  • Volunteer positions are unpaid.
  • Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age.
  • Volunteers must commit to at least four weeks full time or three months if working one day a week

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, email your CV and a letter of application to marine-studies@otago.ac.nz. We will contact you to let you know if we think we are able to offer you a volunteer placement. As we are part of the University of Otago, all volunteer placements have to be officially approved by the University.

Opportunities for University of Otago students to get involved

In addition to the suggestions listed above for getting your feet wet and mind salty, there are other ways that students studying at the University of Otago can get involved in community engaged teaching and learning.  For example you might mentor a student through a school science fair project, or help out at the International Science Festival.  A benefit of such activities is that you can log your hours and get recognition in the form of an Outreach Certificate from the University.

Download information about how to get involved in community engaged teaching and learning (PDF file, 123 KB)

Showcase your research

Communication is an important part of being a Marine Scientist – what is the point of your research if you don’t tell people about it? At the NZMSC there are opportunities for students and researchers to talk about their work, mount an exhibition or have a research poster on display. Please contact the NZMSC Director, Sally Carson (email: sally.carson@otago.ac.nz), if you are interested.