4 February 2010
Today, a group of scientists including myself, J.P. Walsh, flys back to Wellington, New Zealand to participate in our final research cruise. More on the cruise will follow, but I want to focus this blog on giving a huge thanks to our New Zealand collaborators at NIWA.
NIWA stands for the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research, and this New Zealand organization conducts ocean and atmospheric research throughout this amazing country and its territorial waters. NIWA researchers are among the top in the world, and NIWA has state-of-the-art facilities and laboraties for accomplishing important research. Our research team has used the R/V Kaharoa (28 m, ~90 ft) for two previous cruises in 2010 (May and September) following our first expedition on the R/V Revelle, a U.S. ship. The Kaharoa is one of NIWA's several research vessels, but it is considerably smaller than the R/V Tangaroa.
Over the past year during the fieldwork for our collaborative research project, NIWA scientists and staff have been incredible. In addition to working with us on analyzing and interpreting our data, they have helped facilitate all aspects of our research, first and foremost, with the complex logistics of coordinating the research expeditions. There are so many things to plan and prepare for in getting ready for an oceanographic trip, such as shipping, supplies, chemical clearances, safety concerns, food, weather, etc. The personnel in the vessels office, the front office and in the Marine Geology group have been thorough, responsive and very professional. Additionally, they have gone the extra mile (or kilometer) on many occasions, allowing us to borrow critical equipment, use needed space and have flexibility during difficult situations. Last but not least, they have been friendly and enjoyable to work with because they are downright good people! Indeed New Zealand is a beautiful country, and I strongly recommend to anyone and everyone that they come to visit at some point (the sooner the better). Furthermore, if you are scientist or business person, I highly recommend connecting to a New Zealand colleague, so you might to have the great pleasure of working with New Zealanders. Their adventourous spirit, high moral character and courteous nature makes the experience of traveling and working in New Zealand that much more enjoyable. But I digress, let me reiterate here our extreme thanks to NIWA for all their help not only over this past year of fieldwork but also during the many years of the MARGINS research program. They have been great hosts. Last and not least, I must specifcally mention a few key NIWA people who helped facilitate MARGINS-related endeavours, Drs. Alan Orpin, Lionel Carter (now at Univ. of Victoria) and Geoffroy Lamarche in the Marine Geology group and Dr. Charlotte Severne, the Chief Scientist of Oceans at NIWA. Without these people, the various science expeditions and projects would have been impossible to complete.