The Year of the Salps project
This year—with Curious Minds/Marsden Fund co-funding—AUT's Applab, the University of Auckland's Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre, Goat Island Dive & Snorkel and NIWA teamed up with students and teachers at Leigh School to develop an underwater citizen science project with a difference: Making salps count!
The students at Leigh School have been working with marine scientists and the Year of the Salps project partners to learn how to count sea salps and understand salp life cycle phases at a local case study site: Goat island Marine Reserve in Northland, New Zealand. They've also been co-designing a mobile-learning application to monitor and educate the public on the importance of salps in marine ecosystems and their carbon-cycling effects on climate change.
During the NIWA-led SalpPoop TAN1810 voyage in Oct-Nov 2018, students continued their salp research remotely by asking scientists on board the RV Tangaroa what they've found and collected from offshore salp habitats in a much larger study site: the waters of the Chatham Rise east of the Canterbury coast.
We've compiled their questions and the Voyage Leader Dr Moira Décima's answers here using videos. [Thanks to NIWA Blake Ambassador Lana Young for the salp videos and related animations]