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General interest programmes

christyseaweedWe can adapt any of our education programmes to suit special interest groups. Experience close up viewing of local marine life that lives between the tides on our shore, take a virtual dive in a yellow submarine to explore life in the deep canyons just off our coast. Discover why Otago is a great place to study marine science.

For more information, please contact Tamlyn Somerford.
Email tamlyn.somerford@otago.ac.nz

Workshops and talks

We love to share our enthusiasm for all things marine, so as the opportunity arises, we run public workshops and organise presentations.

Some of the public events we have organised include edible seaweed workshops, shark dissections, marine science open day, a visit by the Pacific sailing waka, Haunui, and public lectures.

To find out about these, check the news and events section of our website and join our email list.

Citizen science projects

Marine Metre Squared

The NZ Marine Studies Centre is encouraging everyone to participate in long term monitoring of their marine environment – the Marine Metre Squared (Mm2) project. Anyone can take part – individuals, families, schools and community groups.

Mm2 is an easy way for anyone to survey the plants and animals living on your local seashore.

On the Mm2 website you can find everything you need to get involved in this nationwide Citizen Science project, start surveying your local seashore, and find out where plants and animals that live between the tides are found around New Zealand.

As a registered member you can get full access to our online MM2 database where you can add your own survey data to show others what’s living between the tides on your local shore, and compare your shore with others in New Zealand to find out which species live where using our simple mapping and analysis tools. Registered members can also join our online community where you can connect with other members of the MM2 network to get help with species identification.

Join the Marine Metre Squared project

Shark Spy

Sharks are crucial parts of marine food-webs. They keep the populations of their habitat controlled not only by consuming them, but also by modulating the feeding behaviour. Sharks are also simply impressive animals, whose ancestors have spanned back as far as 450 million years. To ensure the health of New Zealand’s coastal ecosystems in the future, we need to monitor shark populations and maintain their wellbeing if necessary.

In New Zealand we are currently missing some key pieces of information on multiple shark species that would help us better understand and conserve their populations. Shark Spy is a citizen science project which aims to collect baseline data on sharks local to New Zealand coasts and connect schools and communities to their coastal environment via contribution and collaboration in the project.

Shark Spy has been partnering up with school and community groups in order to actively collect information on sharks using baited underwater video systems (BUVs). These school and community groups not only collect the data, but aid in its analysis as well. In tandem with the BUV surveys Shark Spy also collects sightings information from the community. Anyone that has seen a shark and snapped a video or picture can help us grow our database. We’re also interested in sightings of their egg cases. Anyone who has a sighting of a shark or an egg case and wants to help can submit this info to us in one of three ways:

Get in contact if you have questions or requests for talks to clubs or groups by one of our scientists: shark.spy.otago@gmail.com.

Lewis, R and Carson, S. 2021. Measuring science skills development in New Zealand school students after participation in citizen science using a DEVISE evaluation scale. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies.

This project is funded by the Curious Minds Participatory Science Platform.

Teacher support and resources

The Marine Studies Centre has a wide range of free teacher guides and resources to assist you with your curriculum and assessment needs.

See the Resources section of this website.