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International partnership brings the world to the University of Otago to study Hydrography

Monday 18 January 2016 6:08pm


In December 2015, the School of Surveying at the University of Otago, in partnership with the Hydrographic Academy of the Marine Learning Alliance (Plymouth, UK), offered their inaugural Southern Hemisphere practical hydrographic paper (SURV562). This paper was part of a Postgraduate Programme students can study via e-learning with MLA and is also available to School of Surveying students. Attending the truly international course were students from NZ, Australia, Hong Kong, Ghana, Germany and The Netherlands, as well as an MLA instructor from the UK and Emily Tidey from the School of Surveying!

The paper was structured so that students arrived in Dunedin having undertaken five weeks distance learning study. Students stayed at Te Rangi Hiroa College during the three week residential portion of the paper, and they are now back at home (or working at sea!) while they finish a final assignment that is due at the end of January 2016.

During their time at Otago the students undertook a variety of land and vessel-based surveying measurements and calculations - including an overnight voyage in conjunction with the Department of Geology, which is investigating fault lines off the south coast of Dunedin. We were very lucky to receive generous support from IX SURVEY, Fugro BTW Ltd and GNS Science who provided equipment and/or personnel for our use on the university vessels.

Students also heard from 12 researchers from around Otago who told them about their investigations in marine and spatial fields. It was a very busy schedule, with some varied weather conditions, but the students were very positive about their time at Otago and all plan to return to the School of Surveying for their second field paper, currently proposed for the end of 2017.

Working with the MLA gives the University of Otago the opportunity to showcase its marine facilities and environment to a variety of international professionals and greatly benefits the School of Surveying by ensuring it maintains its knowledge of the latest hydrographic surveying techniques and equipment.

Below are two pictures of the SURV562 students - working at the School of Surveying and onboard the university vessel Polaris II - as well as the MLA logo. For more information on the paper or the MLA please visit: or contact Emily Tidey.

Many thanks again to our generous supporters; IX SURVEY , Fugro BTW Ltd , and GNS Science.