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Thursday 5 December 2019 4:44pm

Kara surveying on the Polaris II
Kara surveying on the Polaris II.

Kara Jurgens (final year BSurv student) was recently awarded a NZ Coastal Society (NZCS) 2019 Undergraduate Excellence Award.

The award is run by the NZCS to encourage students at undergraduate level studying within a New Zealand Tertiary Institution. Awarded students demonstrate academic excellence as well as a passion for the coast and are studying coastal science, planning, engineering, ecology or management.

Kara taking a cast on the Polaris II
Kara taking a cast on the Polaris II.

During her degree Kara chose to study the optional introductory and advanced hydrographic surveying papers SURV322 and SURV452 as well as choosing to take a marine related SURV470 Professional Project. Her individual project investigated shipwreck surveying, titled “Shipwreck Surveying with Multibeam: Investigations over the Marine Maid, Stewart Island”.

Kara undertook analysis of the multiple options available to users of modern multibeam systems – such as high-density mode, watercolumn data and different frequency options – and discussed their use and relevance to understanding and mapping underwater structures.

Kara demonstrated a passion for marine work during her project which involved fieldwork in Stewart Island, learning to process data with new software, liaising with professional companies to learn their techniques and working independently on the final report write-up.

In addition to choosing a hydrographic project this year, over the 2018–19 summer Kara selected to join a small team at the School of Surveying investigating our 'professional ancestry' back to Captain Cook – coinciding with the 250 year commemorations of Māori and European contact in NZ.

Kara read through Cook's journals and compared past and present hydrographic surveying and charting techniques and worked on a questionnaire of current hydrographers in New Zealand.

Kara's work (along with fellow undergraduate Jean Louis Morrison) was recognised in sponsorship by the Australasian Hydrographic Society (AHS) to present findings from this work at the Survey+Spatial NZ conference in Auckland this year.

This work was also shared at the recent NZCS conference in Invercargill, and at two seminars at the School of Surveying.

Shipwreck survey data from Kara's Professional Project
Shipwreck survey data from Kara's Professional Project.

More information about the NZCS awards and 2019 recipients:

New Zealand Coastal Society past awards

New Zealand Coastal Society Scholarship and award winnersfor2019

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