Auckland Islands 2016
In 2016 delegates travelled to the Auckland Islands on board HMNZS Otago to learn from world class scientists and environmental leaders while undertaking science research and exploration.
The Auckland Islands are located in the Southern Ocean where the Antarctic Convergence in the south meets the Subtropical Convergence in the north.
The Auckland Islands have the richest flora of the five New Zealand Sub-Antarctic island groups with 233 species recorded, of which 196 taxa are indigenous. This gives them the greatest diversity of the Sub-Antarctic Islands as well as being the farthest south that trees grow naturally.
Students worked with a range of scientists, to explore the region and find out why it is so critical to understand climate change and ocean health. They completed a sea floor survey, used a ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), collected plankton, and took sediment cores from the sea floor to create a picture of the geological history of the area. They visited shipwrecks and historical sites of human endeavour and obvserved albatross, sea lion, and yellow-eyed penguin in their natural environment.
During this time students were full integrated in the ships company, learning valuable lessons about life on board a Navy ship and formeing strong friendships and networks.
“As I sit in the hanger, looking out to the Sub-Antarctic ocean at twilight. I can’t help but think how lucky I am and thankful for this opportunity. This experience has extended my love for the water and to be working on such a unique island with knowledgeable mentors and such enthusiastic student voyagers, it’s clear for me that I want my future to be filled with many more adventures.”
– Isla Christensen, 2016 BLAKE Expeditions Voyager
Meet our 2016 student voyagers
Meet our 2016 crew
Chief Operating Officer
Communications / Media
Natural Resources Engineer
Educator at Sea
Shay Van Der Hurk
Department of Conservation
Cameraman / Editor
Department of Conservation Liaison