Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Dunedin schools, clubs, and associations – anyone – ahoy!

Wednesday 4 December

Otago Museum’s Dr Claire Concannon is going to the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, and Dunedin is invited along for the ride!

Dr Concannon, Otago Museum Science Outreach Projects Coordinator, is boarding the JOIDES Resolution, an ocean research vessel, on 3 January 2020, to be part of Expedition 378. The ship is heading into the South Pacific to drill deep into the earth beneath the ocean to collect samples from Earth’s history, which will be used to inform climate models being developed today.

The exciting thing for Dunedin though, is that Dr Concannon and the crew of the JOIDES Resolution will be available for ship-to-shore video calls.

If a club, group, or school is interested in the science of climate change models, ocean expeditions, or just science generally, they can get in touch. They will hear about what’s happening on board, get a tour of the ship, and meet some of the scientists at the cutting edge of research. There are limited calls available, from mid-January until the beginning of March, when the crew disembark in Tahiti.

The expedition’s main focus is the Paleogene period, a geological time period between 65 and 25 million years ago. During this period a massive release of carbon meant the atmosphere was trapping heat, and Earth got a lot hotter than it is today. By drilling down and recovering the sediment laid down as this occurred, scientists can uncover what was happening in the Pacific Ocean at this time, discovering its chemistry, currents, and life as the global temperatures changed.

The current climate change Earth is experiencing is a complex and dynamic problem. Modelling what will happen to the Earth’s climate as carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures rise allows us to prepare for what is to come. The scientists on-board the JOIDES Resolution are hoping to reveal clues as to what might be in store for us by uncovering information about what was happening in the ocean during this warm period millions of years ago. This expedition will fill in gaps in the climate data for the remote South Pacific, and make more accurate models for our future. The Pacific is the world’s largest ocean and changes to its chemistry and circulation as sea temperature rise will have global effects.

The scientists will also be taking the opportunity to drill back further in time at a drill site near the Sub Antarctic Auckland Island. They have received permission to drill across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (when the dinosaurs disappeared) so they can investigate what was happening in this region during that period, and attempt to uncover microorganism fossils.

“I love both science and adventure, these two things combined, wow! I can’t wait!”, said Dr Concannon. “It’s an amazing opportunity for me and I’m so grateful to the Otago Museum for allowing me to take advantage of it. I’m so excited to be doing the ship’s communications and sharing with the world what the scientists discover. I have always been fascinated by the ocean, and it will just be incredible to be part of this expedition.”

JOIDES stands for Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling, and, as well as a drill rig that can reach over 8 kilometres below the ocean’s surface, the ship has an incredibly sophisticated set of laboratories and equipment that will process the sediment cores while out at sea. From the cores, the scientists on board can tell a lot about what was going on from the times the sediment is from, ocean currents, sea temperatures, and ocean productivity, among other things.

The ship operates out of Texas, and expeditions are organised by The International Ocean Discovery Programme (IODP), an international consortium of member countries. The New Zealand branch is based in GNS Science, which has supported Dr Concannon and one other New Zealand-based scientist aboard the ship, Dr Chris Hollis, who specialises in Palaeontology, to be on this expedition.

Dr Concannon will be responsible for outreach and education while on-board, and will be running ship-to-shore workshops with a team of young people from Otago and Southland who are developing a museum exhibition on climate change as part of the Unlocking Curious Minds funded Science Journeys project. Dr Concannon’s journey will be chronicled on the Otago Museum blog, and also on the JOIDES Resolution social media sites.

To learn more about Expedition 378, or to request a ship-to-shore call, go to


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Reserve Bank: Further Easing In Monetary Policy Delivered

Tēnā koutou katoa, welcome all. The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to expand the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme up to $100 billion so as to further lower retail interest rates in order to achieve its remit. The eligible assets remain ... More>>

Retail: Post-Lockdown Retail Card Spending Picks Up

The rise in retail card spending was boosted by sales of furniture, hardware, and appliances, Stats NZ said today. “For a third consecutive month, card spending on the long-lasting goods (durables) remained at higher levels than last year, after ... More>>

Contact: Business Drops, New Generation On Hold

New Zealand’s second-largest energy company Contact Energy (‘Contact’) released its full year financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 (‘FY20’) this morning. More>>

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>


Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>


NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>


Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>


QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>


Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>


FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>