Our flagship, RV Polaris II, is a 21m wooden-hulled vessel that was acquired by the University of Otago in 2006 to replace the aging RV Munida.
Dry and wet labs, and computing facilities on board the Polaris enable research while at sea.
Accurate positioning and navigation are facilitated by GPS and Racal Microfix.
Facilities for dredging, trawling, grab sampling and shallow coring (including a piston corer), contribute to the department's sedimentological and paleontological research and teaching.
Marine geophysical equipment – used to image the seafloor and shallow sub-bottom – includes a Teledyne-Benthos towfish that contains interferometric side scanning sonar (C3D) and CHIRP, a Ferranti 5210A high-resolution/sub-bottom profiler with a Boomer source, and Klein 595 digital side scan sonar.
A CTD (conductivity, temperature, density) tool and accompanying water column sampling rosette contributes to marine geochemistry and physical oceanography studies to depths of 500m.