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Name a Deep Sea Observatory

An example of an installed deep sea observatory instrument

Scientists onboard the R/V JOIDES Resolution will be installing two deep sea observatories at the Hikurangi plate boundary in 2018.

These two observatories will be lowered into two boreholes, both 500m below the seafloor off the East Coast of Gisborne. They will remain down there for at least 10 years, gathering valuable information on earthquakes and tsunami waves.

Have you ever named a deep sea observatory? Well, this is your chance! There aren't many of them in the world at all.

Come up with a name for one of these two observatories and persuade us via an A3 poster (PDF) or a 1-minute video explaining why your name is the best name for the deep sea observatory. This is open to individuals entries only. 

We want the entries to reflect the learning the student has done to come with a name – the science of earthquakes and the purpose of the observatories.

The two best winning names will be painted on the two observatories and the best four entries will win their ‘namers’ a return flight from Gisborne to Wellington or Christchurch on March 9 (or March 12) 2018. Final date to be confirmed with the winners in February 2018.

During your trip you will be given a ship tour of the R/V JOIDES Resolution, an international ‘floating laboratory’'. You will also be hosted by GNS Science and will learn about exciting discoveries in Earth Science

Entries will be judged on:

  1. The video or poster shows deep understanding of the science behind the observatories and the mission
  2. Quality of the 1-minute video or poster
  3. Persuasiveness of the video or poster
  4. Artistic composition and creativity of the name
  5. Overall impression of the entry

Note for teachers: This fits into the Arts/ Visual Arts Curriculum. Understanding the Arts in Context (UC) strand: Research and analyse the theme of why we use scientific drilling and ocean observatories to study earthquakes to devise a unique name. The name can look like a logo, but the background research behind how you came up with it is as important as the design. See the judging criteria above.

These are some useful resources for your students: 

  • Watch this great short video by Dr. Laura Wallace explaining the deep sea observatory instruments
  • Read this basic instrument fact sheet  and use it as a handout in class
  • Book your class in for an interactive virtual tour of the ship run by an on board educator out at sea