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March Update

30 March 2021

Opportunities fund

Several expressions of interest and one full proposal have been received to date, for the Opportunities Fund. The $1 million research fund provides individual grants of up to $100,000. The aim is to support researchers to take advantage of unexpected, high priority opportunities not supported by other means. It may leverage an important capability, a substantial international effort or contribute a unique and critical New Zealand perspective. The proposed project must support excellent science that is closely aligned with the Platform mandate and will have an important and relevant impact. For more information about the fund, and how to apply, click here.

Ships of Opportunity

A Project Four team was able to carry out atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2)flask sampling this summer, onboard a Sanford’s fishing vessel. The samples are due to be returned to the laboratory for measurement at the end of the month. Meanwhile, analysis of samples taken the previous season, is underway. The oceans, and in particular the Southern Ocean is an important sink for atmospheric CO2 working as a critical regulator of how much CO2remains in the atmosphere. As the Southern Ocean warms and its salinity decreases due to global warming, its ability to sequester CO2 reduces. The flasks collected by Sanford will allow our scientists to measure CO2 concentration at these remote sites. In addition, isotopic analysis of radioactive carbon in the samples enables the team to calculate the amount of relative CO2uptake. The results will contribute to a critical assessment of the Southern Ocean’s ability to absorb CO2 now and into the future

Nau mai Prof. Sharon Stammerjohn

A hearty welcome goes out to Professor Sharon Stammerjohn, our newest member on the International Science panel (ISP). Professor Stammerjohn is an internationally recognised expert in polar oceanography and climate, and is particularly well known for her interdisciplinary approaches to understanding environmental and ecosystem response to climate variability and sea ice. Prof. Stammerjohn is at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder and has a long and distinguished career dedicated to Antarctic research. She is a (co-) author on over 100 publications, and is well connected within the community. Prof. Stammerjohn complements the Platform’s existing ISP.

Sharon Stammerjohn

Professor Sharon Stammerjohn has joined the Platform’s Independent Science Panel.

Whakamihi ki te Manukura

Whakamihi (congratulations) to Aimee Kaio who will join Sandy Morrison in chairing the Kāhui Māori for the Platform. From Ngāi Tahu and Te Arawa, Aimee has been with the Platform’s Kāhui from the outset, and is passionate about community, hapu and iwi development. She is Programme Manager of Tribal Economies with Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu, focusing on tribal economies and intergenerational wealth models. The collaboration will support the Co-Chairs to maintain the high pace and diverse efforts of the increasing portfolio of the joint Deep South National Science Challenge and Antarctic Science Platform Kāhui in key initiatives. Nau mai rā, e Aimee!