Students put stamp on research

SEEING INTO THE FUTURE: Students Matthew Proffit (left) and Travis Mitchell have won a competition to name two earthquake observatories that will be installed off the coast of Gisborne. Their entry was by video with the help of teacher Nick Chapman (centre). Picture by Liam Clayton

TWO deep-sea earthquake observatories to be installed off the coast of Gisborne will carry the name Te Matakite.

This comes after a competition for high school students to find a name for the two observatories that will stay in place for up to a decade to provide data on the Hikurangi subduction zone.

The competition was run by East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) and GNS Science.

Te Matakite, which means to see into the future, was an entry from Gisborne Boys’ High School students Matthew Proffit and Travis Mitchell.

The pair chose the name because it reflects what the observatories are there to do.

“I really like the name because it fits in with what the research is aiming to do — learn about the subduction zone,” said Matthew.

The boys’ geography teacher Nick Chapman said they thought long and hard over a name.

“These are our top geography students. They had some spare time, so I told Matthew and Travis about this and they were interested.

“The boys had an idea that relates to a message I share in class about how the past helps us learn about the future. They wanted it to be in te reo, so we got some cultural advice from the te reo Maori teacher here and that is how the name Te Matakite came about.”

GNS scientist Dr Laura Wallace, who will lead the team that installs these observatories, judged the competition.

“Te Matakite means to see into the future, and it sums up our vision of the Hikurangi research perfectly,” she said.

“These two observatories will be our eyes deep under the ocean and will measure and record how the Hikurangi subduction zone is behaving, so we can know more about how it might behave in the future.”

Matthew and Travis created a video for their entry, with Matthew presenting and Travis filming.

Along with naming the observatories, Matthew and Travis won a visit on board the JOIDES Resolution, a scientific drilling research vessel, when it ports in Christchurch in March next year before heading to the East Coast to lower the observatories 500 metres below the sea floor.

The ship is en route to the East Coast to spend six weeks off the coast of Gisborne studying the subduction zone prior to the second trip in March.

Travis is excited about the trip to Christchurch.

“It is going to be a really interesting trip. I am looking forward to going on board the boat and also checking out the port, plus we have heaps of other activities lined up.”

In another competition, some Year 2 students from Te Hapara school will have styrofoam cups they designed put under pressure.

The cups will shrink in size when they are lowered to the sea floor during the installation of the observatories.

TWO deep-sea earthquake observatories to be installed off the coast of Gisborne will carry the name Te Matakite.

This comes after a competition for high school students to find a name for the two observatories that will stay in place for up to a decade to provide data on the Hikurangi subduction zone.

The competition was run by East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) and GNS Science.

Te Matakite, which means to see into the future, was an entry from Gisborne Boys’ High School students Matthew Proffit and Travis Mitchell.

The pair chose the name because it reflects what the observatories are there to do.

“I really like the name because it fits in with what the research is aiming to do — learn about the subduction zone,” said Matthew.

The boys’ geography teacher Nick Chapman said they thought long and hard over a name.

“These are our top geography students. They had some spare time, so I told Matthew and Travis about this and they were interested.

“The boys had an idea that relates to a message I share in class about how the past helps us learn about the future. They wanted it to be in te reo, so we got some cultural advice from the te reo Maori teacher here and that is how the name Te Matakite came about.”

GNS scientist Dr Laura Wallace, who will lead the team that installs these observatories, judged the competition.

“Te Matakite means to see into the future, and it sums up our vision of the Hikurangi research perfectly,” she said.

“These two observatories will be our eyes deep under the ocean and will measure and record how the Hikurangi subduction zone is behaving, so we can know more about how it might behave in the future.”

Matthew and Travis created a video for their entry, with Matthew presenting and Travis filming.

Along with naming the observatories, Matthew and Travis won a visit on board the JOIDES Resolution, a scientific drilling research vessel, when it ports in Christchurch in March next year before heading to the East Coast to lower the observatories 500 metres below the sea floor.

The ship is en route to the East Coast to spend six weeks off the coast of Gisborne studying the subduction zone prior to the second trip in March.

Travis is excited about the trip to Christchurch.

“It is going to be a really interesting trip. I am looking forward to going on board the boat and also checking out the port, plus we have heaps of other activities lined up.”

In another competition, some Year 2 students from Te Hapara school will have styrofoam cups they designed put under pressure.

The cups will shrink in size when they are lowered to the sea floor during the installation of the observatories.

Ship-to-shore tour of Resolution

Gisborne residents will get the chance to delve into the details of JOIDES Resolution through a live virtual tour of the ship next week.

JOIDES Resolution is a scientific drilling research vessel that will spend six weeks off the coast of Gisborne to learn more about the Hikurangi subduction zone.

It will return in March to install the two earthquake observatories from which scientists will collect drilling data from beneath the seafloor.

Information from these voyages will help reveal the causes of slow slip events and improve understanding of the risk the plate boundary poses to communities along the East Coast.

The public are invited to the Gisborne Cosmopolitan Club to watch the live video broadcast from the research vessel.

They will be given a 40-minute tour of the ship and hear from some of the scientists and crew on board.

Scientists involved in the land-based component of this work will be at the ship-to-shore event in Gisborne to answer any questions.

This event has been arranged by East Coast LAB, a project that makes it easy and exciting to learn more about natural hazards and how they affect us living on the coast near the Hikurangi plate boundary.

“We want to help ensure that communities are aware of the research that is going on, and also understand their earthquake and tsunami risk,” said Kate Boersen of East Coast LAB.

The virtual tour starts at 6pm next Thursday, December 14, in the Watson Room at the Cosmopolitan Club.

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