This week’s photo installment was going to be the People’s Choice winners! But, one of the winners was featured in volume 1 (A foraminifera catching and beginning to eat a copepod by Dr. Oscar Branson), so this installment instead contains the stories of the two other winner of the People’s Choice prizes, and then an writers choice photo! Enjoy.

Keas 

People’s Choice Award for ‘Where We Go’

– Dr Jonathan Pownall (ARC DECRA Fellow in Structure Tectonics)

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In November last year, I travelled to Arthur’s Pass National Park on New Zealand’s South Island.  Walking from Arthur’s Pass Village—New Zealand’s highest settlement—I climbed for a few hours up Avalanche Peak, just above the snow line, where I was greeted by a number of Keas, the world’s only ‘Alpine’ parrots.  I took a few photos, surprised by how close I was able to approach (I had only a wide-angle lens).  And by how enthusiastically they were trying to destroy my rucksack, which I left on a nearby rock.  I’d like to say that some level of skill was behind this photograph, but the truth is that it was just a lucky shot.  A spilt second before I took the photo of the Kea on the right, it was scared by another Kea landing to the photo’s left, and burst into flight.  The result: an amazing glimpse at the Keas’ fiery-orange outstretched wings amid the spectacular snow-capped Southern Alps.

The Sermon at Tomakin 

People’s Choice Award for ‘Who We Are’

– Paddy Goodarzi (PhD Student in Experimental Petrology)

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The photo was taken at Tomakin Cove during last year’s EMSC1008 South Coast field trip. Tightly folded beds of rainbow-layered cherts extend from high in the cliff out into the ocean. Not just visually arresting, the complex structures found here offer a good opportunity for the students to develop their fieldwork skills. They are tasked with explicating the observed structures with the aid of field sketches.

Dr. Andrew Berry, the course convener, is here recapitulating the main points of interest against a backdrop of these stunning rocks.

 

The Southern Ocean

– Hayden Martin  (PhD Candidate in Biochemistry)

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This photo was taken from the bridge of the RV Investigator during a storm at approximately 67 degrees south as we were sailing towards Antarctica. I was one of the research technicians on board the ship assisting with sample collection and analysis. This voyage was part of a global program to document chemical, physical and biological changes throughout the water column. Sampling water from the surface to the ocean floor, over 6km deep at some points!

This voyage was just over 30 days at sea. We set sail from Hobart and headed south the ice edge. Once we reached the ice edge, we turned north and followed a transect sampling the water column until we reached Wellington NZ. During my time on the boat I got to experience some amazing things including seeing the Aurora Australis, watching the caption navigate past icebergs and playing ping-pong during some fairly rough seas.

More photos next week!