2023 Oceanography Field School at Batemans Bay

April 18th-21st, 2023

April 23, 2023, Zhou Bing-Bing

As part of our Oceanography program, we hold the SSCI Oceanography 2&3 Field School annually. This is a crucial part of our program and is geared towards providing our graduating Oceanography 2&3 class with valuable ocean-going experience. This year, we organized a successful four-day field trip to Batemans Bay from April 18th to April 21st. During the field school, our Oceanography students and staff participated in various tasks, including project planning and measuring waves, tides, currents, temperature, and salinity/density in the Bay. The students also had the opportunity to utilize equipment, such as the Nephelometer, ADCP and Valeport, to survey the inner Bay's water level, current, as well as the CTD to collect samples of temperature, salinity, and density at different stations. We also deployed four phone drogues to detect the wave-driven current and nearshore circulation in the Bay. The students were divided into three groups, each assigned a specific task for each day, such as designing stations and deployment time to examine interesting phenomena like the river plume, offshore flow, along shore flow, upwelling/downwelling, etc. After each day's fieldwork, the collected data were analyzed, and each group gave a presentation on their tasks in the evenings, exploring the understanding behind the phenomena.

The field school's design allowed our students to gain a deeper understanding of hydrodynamic processes taught in the classrooms, including wave-driven current, and river plume and flood impacts on water quality and estuarine circulation in Batemans Bay. It was declared that the 2023 Ocean field school a great success. We acknowledge the support from the Defence and SSCI for the field school expenses, including accommodation, catering, transportation and boating costs. We also thank Shamaram Eichmann from Batemans Marine Park for providing a boat and her time driving it, Bashir Ahmad for preparing equipment and moorings, and Sandra Harrison for organizing accommodations, catering and transport.

A photo of field-school students and staffs after completing all the tasks.