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Sally Carson

Sally Carson examining sea life in a square metre of seashore imageDirector, New Zealand Marine Studies Centre

Contact

Office NZ Marine Studies Centre, 85 Hatchery Road, Portobello
Tel +64 3 479 5842
Mob +64 21 279 5842
Email sally.carson@otago.ac.nz

Academic qualifications

BSc Mount Allison University
MSc University of Alberta
PhD (in progress) University of Otago

Links

New Zealand Marine Studies Centre Annual Reports

Research interests

Sally is a member of the Coastal People: Southern Skies collaboration that connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to rebuild coastal ecosystems.
Coastal People: Southern Skies

Her interests include:

  • Citizen science
  • Community engagement in science
  • Informal science education
  • Intertidal ecology

Projects

Marine Science Education for Southern NZ Schools

Science learning with school pupils on the seashore imageThe NZMSC education programmes, based in Dunedin and Nelson, use the marine context to champion science learning for both students and teachers across southern NZ. An authentic science learning environment where students work in a laboratory setting with microscopes and other scientific equipment and have access to the seashore, live animals and science specialists are key elements in a successful programme.

Our programmes link to the NZ Curriculum and focus on the Nature of Science strand, support achievement for a diversity of students including Māori and Pasifika and are tailored to meet specific learning outcomes.

Research focuses on the outcomes for both students and teachers. Case studies have shown how the programmes can be adapted for other science institutions (eg partnership with Cawthron Institute in Nelson and NZMSC).

Project supported by Ministry of Education LEOTC contract (1998-2021)

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Science Extension and Enrichment Programmes in Marine Science

Pupils examine marine life as part of an enrichment programme imageThe New Zealand Marine Studies Centre (NZMSC) has developed programmes for gifted students from southern NZ secondary and upper primary / intermediate schools to engage in a science research programme based at the Portobello Marine Laboratory (University of Otago). A series of multiday / residential marine science programmes, aimed at different levels, will provide an authentic research context, a unique learning environment (laboratory, research vessel), a range of learning experiences and opportunities to engage with experts to extend and challenge gifted learners.

These programmes support student’s knowledge building and shared learning through multidisciplinary connections and challenges. Research is focused on both student outcomes for post-graduate research students who mentor the school students to carry out in-depth practical inquiry.

Project supported by Ministry of Education Opportunities and Events for Gifted Learners (2019-2020)

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Marine Metre Squared Citizen Science Project

Marine Metre Squared data being gathered on a coastal flat imageThe Marine Metre Squared project is encouraging communities to get involved in long term monitoring of the marine environment. The development of protocols and collection of data over time allow communities to assess change of their local shoreline and supports stewardship and restoration projects. This nation-wide Citizen Science initiative helps build a picture of the biodiversity, distribution and abundance of seashore animals and plants in New Zealand’s marine environment.

The project enables students, families, community groups and iwi to participate and contribute to a meaningful, future-focused, environmental study that encourages ecological sustainability and community engagement at both a local and national level. Case studies highlight how the project has been used to address local issues (eg impact of dredging in Otago Harbour), contribute to long term data collection and habitat assessment (eg monitoring of Marine Reserves) and address the issue of data quality.

Project supported by:
MfE Community Environment Fund (2012-15)
DOC Community Conservation Partnership Fund (2016-19)
Otago Participatory Science Platform (2016-17)

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Aquavan, Developing our coastal connections

Aquavan on a coastal road imageThis project is focused on creating awareness and understanding of the connectivity between river health and the coastal environment, in a dynamic and hands-on way with both schools and the wider community. The Aquavan, a vehicle with a recirculating seawater system and live marine species, is an educational tool to spark interest, develop connections with the sea and expand Southern New Zealanders' view of their 'local' environment.

Travelling up catchments, the Aquavan engages with communities and schools to raises awareness of local environmental issues, develop networks, share good practice and develop knowledge and skills for action. Questions around the effectiveness of tools and resources for environmental monitoring and knowledge mapping, including estuary studies / data analysis with Marine Metre Squared, and methods to share scientific information and document environmental change through the use of interactive maps, narratives, multimedia and infographics with arcGIS StoryMap are being investigated.
Marine Metre Squared website
arcGIS StoryMap website

Project supported by MBIE Unlocking Curious Minds (2018-19)

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Fishy Web Cam, Linking the southern ocean with the community

Live web cams poster imageThe Fishy Web Cam is the first of its kind in New Zealand to be live streaming the underwater world. Days in the life of Otago Harbour and southern NZ coastal waters are beamed into classrooms and living rooms, via cameras installed in the NZMSC’s tanks, off the jetty, and in the labs. This smart technology provides a easy-to-access window into the sea to highlight the diversity and behaviour of marine wildlife to a wide audience.

The project also provides a new set up for marine investigations and research. Data collection of real time environmental variables, alongside the web cameras, provide opportunities to investigate changes and responses in biotic assemblages, over short and longer-term time scales. A variety of educational resources have been developed to support the use of the web cams in the classroom. How this live stream is being utilized by schools and the effectiveness of the platform as a teaching resources are key questions to be investigated.

Project supported by Chorus and the Digital Community Trust (2018-19)

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Shark Spy Citizen Science Project

Researcher on vessel preparing to monitor shark activity imageThe main objective of this project is to explore the abundance and demographics of shark populations local to the Otago region. There is currently a paucity of data pertaining to shark species that inhabit coastal ecosystems around New Zealand. The Otago region has a rich marine diversity and previous research has indicated that numerous species of shark frequent the coastal waters around Dunedin.

Schools and the wider community can help monitoring sharks along the Otago Coastline with Shark Spy to collect valuable information about species diversity and seasonal abundance of sharks and their prey species. Students will help set aited remote underwater videos (BRUVs) at set locations around the Otago coastline and analyse the data collected. A photo system for reporting opportunistic encounters of sharks by the wider community (divers, surfers, fishers, boat users, etc.) will provide incidental occurrence data. Lastly, conducting surveys for shark egg cases on local beaches around the region will provide information about seasonality of reproductive behaviour for some species.

Project supported by Otago Participatory Science Platform (MBIE)

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Hoea te Waka, Piki te Mātau

Hoea te waka flyer imageThrough waka as traveling classrooms this project is engaged youth and develop their science skills, grow their understanding of environmental process, and built capacity for sustainable ocean management.

The project included:

  1. Consultation with youth, waka leaders and Kaitiaki / Tangata Tiaki
  2. Development of a series of environmental science activities in combination with a waka experience
  3. Working with community leaders to deliver the programmes
  4. Evaluation of how the project grew youth awareness of the environment, of themselves and their cultural connectedness

Working alongside communities and cultural leaders, provided an experience where youth develops positive attitudes and values for coastal stewardship and sustainable marine management for future generations. Supporting educational resources were developed.

Project supported by MBIE Unlocking Curious Minds (2015 - 16)

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Postgraduate students

Smith, A. 2019. Assessing citizen science in the marine environment. MSc Thesis

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Publications

Imuta, K., Scarf, D., Carson, S., & Hayne, H. (2018). Children’s learning and memory of an interactive science lesson: Does the context matter? Developmental Psychology, 54(6), 1029-1037. doi: 10.1037/dev0000487

Carson, S., & Rock, J. (2018). How can citizen science support communities to expand their narrative: Seashore stories from New Zealand. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 133). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Carson, S. (2018, May). Can citizen science drive more than student learning: Diving deeper with Marine Metre Square. Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Department Seminar].

Carson, S., & Morris, R. (2017). Collins field guide to the New Zealand seashore, 416. Auckland, New Zealand: Harper Collins New Zealand.

Rosin, V., Cutler, S., & Carson, S. (2017). ‘Seaing’ the difference: Turning policy into practice in a secondary science gifted programme in marine science. In M. Sumida & K. S. Taber (Eds.), Policy and practice in science education for the gifted: Approaches from diverse national contexts. (pp. 34-47). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Commissioned Report for External Body

Bolstad, R., Bull, A., Carson, S., Gilbert, J., MacIntyre, B., & Spiller, L. (2013). Strengthening engagements between schools and the science community: Final report. Commissioned by Ministry of Education. Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Council for Educational Research. 105p.

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Other Research Output

Carson, S. (2018, May). Can citizen science drive more than student learning: Diving deeper with Marine Metre Square. Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Department Seminar].

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Authored Book - Research

Carson, S., & Morris, R. (2017). Collins field guide to the New Zealand seashore, 416. Auckland, New Zealand: Harper Collins New Zealand.

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Authored Book - Other

Probert, K., Jillett, J., & Carson, S. (2005). Southern seas: Discovering marine life at 46° South. Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago Press, 64p.

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Chapter in Book - Research

Rosin, V., Cutler, S., & Carson, S. (2017). ‘Seaing’ the difference: Turning policy into practice in a secondary science gifted programme in marine science. In M. Sumida & K. S. Taber (Eds.), Policy and practice in science education for the gifted: Approaches from diverse national contexts. (pp. 34-47). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Carson, S., Cutler, S., & Rosin, V. (2016). Creatures, costumes, cryptic creations: Integrating creativity in a secondary science gifted program in marine science. In M. K. Demetrikopoulos & J. L. Pecore (Eds.), Interplay of creativity and giftedness in science. (pp. 281-297). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense. doi: 10.1007/978-94-6300-163-2_16

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Journal - Research Article

Imuta, K., Scarf, D., Carson, S., & Hayne, H. (2018). Children’s learning and memory of an interactive science lesson: Does the context matter? Developmental Psychology, 54(6), 1029-1037. doi: 10.1037/dev0000487

Tolich, M. B., Shephard, K., Carson, S., & Hunt, D. (2013). Co-managing the sustainability of University internship programmes in brownfield sites. New Zealand Sociology, 28(1), 156-170.

Carson, S., & Rosin, V. (2013). Oceans of discovery: Supporting science in primary schools. Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy & Practice, 28(2), 28-41.

Komatsu, M., Sewell, M., Carson, S., & Chia, F. (2000). Laval development and metamorphosis of the sea star Luidia foliolata (Echinodermata: Asteroidea). Species Diversity, 5, 155-162.

McEdward, L. R., & Carson, S. F. (1987). Variation in egg organic content and its relationship with egg size in the starfish Solaster stimpsoni. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 37, 159-169.

Mladenov, P. V., Carson, S. F., & Walker, C. W. (1986). Reproductive ecology of an obligately fissiparous population of the sea star Stephanasterias albula (Stimpson). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology, 96(2), 155-175. doi: 10.1016/0022-0981(86)90240-6

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Carson, S., & Rock, J. (2018). How can citizen science support communities to expand their narrative: Seashore stories from New Zealand. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 133). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Smith, A., Lamare, M. D., Sander, S. G., Carson, S., the White Island Blitz Team. (2016). The White Island Blitz: Investigating a southern-hemisphere temperate vent system. Proceedings of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society (NZMSS) and Australian Marine Sciences Association (AMSA) Conference: Sharing Ocean Resources: Now and in the Future. (pp. 72). Retrieved from https://innovators.eventsair.com/QuickEventWebsitePortal/nzmss-amsa-2016/home/Agenda

Smith, A. M., Lamare, M. D., Sander, S. G., Carson, S., the White Island Blitz Team. (2016). The White Island Blitz: Investigating a Southern Hemisphere temperate vent system. Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World. Retrieved from http://www.highco2-iv.org/

Carson, S., & Rosin, V. (2014). NZ seashore transect study: Citizen science on NZ's seashore. Proceedings of the New Zealand Association of Science Educators (NZASE) Science Conference (SciCon). Retrieved from http://wired.ivvy.com/event/AKB002/

Scarf, D., Imuta, K., Carson, S., & Hayne, H. (2014). Education and enrichment: The role of classrooms and field trips in children's learning. Proceedings of the 7th Educational Psychology Forum: Working Together to Create Positive Futures. Retrieved from http://www.eenz.com/epf/

Tolich, M., & Carson, S. (2013). Co-managing the sustainability of University internship programmes. In J. McDonald, S.-K. Loke, A. McLean & M. Rajoo (Eds.), Proceedings of the Spotlight on Teaching and Learning Colloquium. (pp. 28). Dunedin, New Zealand: HEDC, University of Otago. [Abstract]

Carson, S., Mills, T., & Rosin, V. (2011). Ocean threats: Public perceptions and actions. Proceedings of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society (NZMSS) Conference: Understanding, Managing, and Conserving our Marine Environment. (pp. 5). Retrieved from http://nzmss.org/assets/Conference/NZMSS2011AbstractsOralPresentations.pdf

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Smith, A., & Carson, S. (2016, July). Communicating ocean acidification. Verbal presentation at the 9th Annual New Zealand Ocean Acidification (NZOA) Workshop, Wellington, New Zealand.

Scarf, D., Imuta, K., Carson, S., & Hayne, H. (2013, November). Education and enrichment: The role of classrooms and field trips in children's learning. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) National Conference: Creativity in Research: Generative Inquiries for Educational Futures, Dunedin, New Zealand.

More publications...