College of Science - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

UC research influences Government's microbead ban

16 January 2017 University of Canterbury research has influenced a Government proposal to ban personal care products containing plastic microbeads, announced today. (read article)

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Science study at UC doesn’t just take place in a lecture theatre or lab. Find out what Laura is researching at our Cass Field Station, an amazing facility for students.

Tales from the Nigerian Field Station

Matt Walters from the School of Biological Sciences is currently working at a College of Science field station, on the Mambilla Plateau in Taraba, Nigeria.
Matt’s blog

Nigerian Montane Forest Project

Summer School on Ice

Emperor Penguins, helicopter rides, visiting Scott's hut - PhD student Daniel Price shot this footage while spending three weeks in McMurdo Sound as part of his studies with Gateway Antarctica.

Read more about Daniel

‘One of the things I enjoyed most about studying at UC was the observatory at Mt. John...’

Florian Maisonneuve GradDipTchLn(Secondary)
Learning Advisor, Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery
(read profile)

 

Announcements

The Rutherford Science and Innovation Centre - an update

The Rutherford Science and Innovation Centre - an update The new Rutherford Science and Innovation Centre will create a hub for Canterbury's science and innovation network in modern state-of-the-art facilities that encourage collaborative teaching, learning and research, and be the centrepiece of the campus Science Precinct. It is part of a $216M construction project to build two new science buildings on the Ilam Campus; the Rutherford Science and Innovation Centre and a replacement for the Van Haast Building. The Rutherford Centre is a five storey flagship building which includes research and teaching labs for biology, chemistry, physics and astronomy, geology, and geography.It is expected to be open by July 2017.

Watch the latest video of its development here.

The inaugural College of Science Teaching Awards

Dr Travis Horton, Dr Kate Pedley and Dr Paul Ashwell from Geological ScienceThe winner of the College of Science Innovation in Teaching Award 2016 is a team led by Travis Horton, with Paul Ashwell and Kate Pedley from Geological Sciences. Their application outlined innovation in both content and pedagogy in reworking of two 100 level courses in response to declining 100 level enrolments and student feedback. Some of the innovation pertained to the graduate attribute of employability, and included an increased focus on modern skill development, and a change from lecture format to dynamic group-led learning.

Dr Eileen BrittThere are two winners of inaugural College of Science Kaupapa Māori Teaching Award 2016: Eileen Britt of the Department of Psychology, and John Pirker of the School of Biological Sciences. Eileen has made significant and tangible contributions to bicultural training within the Clinical Psychology Programme, as Chair of the Bicultural Working Group in the Department of Psychology, and as a member of the College’s Te Ohu Pūtaiao. John’s sustained commitment to Kaupapa Māori teaching philosophy is impressive, as is the number and breadth of bicultural teaching activities with which he is involved.

Each College of Science Teaching Award comes with a prize of $3,000 grant in aid to support the further development of the teaching work in question.

UC geologist's investigate surface faulting from Kaikoura earthquake

Dr Sarah KessansStaff and graduate students from the Department of Geological Sciences have been carrying out reconnaissance investigations of the surface faulting associated from the 15th November 2016 M7.8 Kaikoura earthquake.

Limited road access meant that the efforts have been concentrated in the North Culverden Basin and along the Inland Route as far as Mount Lyford.

Read the full report here [PDF 2.30MB].

UC researcher closer to her NASA astronaut dream

Dr Sarah KessansDr Sarah Kessans, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Canterbury, is in the top 1% of applicants shortlisted by NASA to become an astronaut.

Aspiring astronaut and University of Canterbury (UC) Chemistry academic Dr Kessans is one step closer to fulfilling her dream. She applied to be a NASA astronaut back in February and recently made the next cut for NASA's Astronaut Candidate Class of 2017.

Dr Kessans is one of about 120 invited to Houston, Texas, United States, for initial interviews later this month. From there, 50 applicants will be invited for finalist interviews, after which eight to 14 will be chosen as NASA's 22nd Astronaut Candidate Class, reporting for duty in August 2017.


He Puna Pūtaiao


He Puna Pūtaiao is a programme for Year 10 Māori students from a selection of Christchurch schools. The scheme was piloted in the Spring of 2013 and has run successfully for three years. Puna means to well up or to flow, so symbolically represents youth or rangatahi. Its meaning may also incorporate research because in a sense research is meant to flow out and create meaningfulness so as to fill the kete or baskets of knowledge. Pūtaiao is science, so He Puna Pūtaiao connotes research, youth and science.

 

 

 

 

 

Remote-controlled jet boat to investigate the Tasman Glacier

Scientists from the University of Canterbury Geography Department have used a high-tech, remote-controlled jet boat to investigate the Tasman Glacier in the South Island of New Zealand. The glacier has a relatively uncommon underwater "ramp" of ice jutting out from the glacier's edge (terminus), into the bed of Lake Tasman. The Tasman Glacier had been somewhat dangerous to investigate, as there was a risk of ice breaking off the glacier and dropping into the water. The remote-controlled mini jet boat allowed the researchers to drive it over the underwater ramp and collect bathymetric data from 240 metres below the lake while tracking its location in real-time.

Read more at the NZ Herald
Research paper

Image shows Canterbury University geography technician Paul Bealing operating a miniature high-tech jet boat to investigate Lake Tasman in the South Island. Photo: Dr Heather Purdie.