Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, was in Hobart this week. During a site tour with senior officials from the University of Tasmania (UTAS), the Minister and his staff visited the headquarters of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).
“We welcomed the opportunity to meet the Minister in person, and showcase some of the fantastic research being underpinned by our infrastructure” said IMOS Director Tim Moltmann.
Australian Government support for IMOS was recently boosted by a further $1,330,697 under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Agility Fund.
UTAS Senior Lecturer Dr Christopher Watson explained how the height of the ocean surface is measured from space using satellites called ‘altimeters’. Dr Watson leads an IMOS facility that provides the only calibration and validation data for these satellite missions from the Southern Hemisphere.
Satellite tracking of elephant seals was highlighted, noting that the data had been used in a Nature Communications paper published earlier that day.
Dr Ana Lara-Lopez (Scientific Officer) then explained the workings of the IMOS Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Facility. Image handling software was used to demonstrate the bleaching of a reef system off Western Australia, and its subsequent recovery.
The Minister’s visit was particularly timely. Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO had led a Hobart site tour and consultation session earlier in the week, as part of the process to develop the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap.