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School Photo Competition Focuses on Water - Our Greatest Resource

7th September 2012
School Photo Competition Focuses on Water - Our Greatest Resource

#schoolproject – A Transition Year Photo Competition, entitled Water - Our greatest Resource, has been launched that will offer transition year students in Galway and Mayo an opportunity to conduct scientific research onboard the Marine Institute's research vessel the RV Celtic Voyager, in Galway Bay on Sunday October 7th as part of GMIT's 40th anniversary celebrations.

This competition celebrates over 25 years of marine scientists training with GMIT, as well as the close association GMIT has with the Marine Institute, particularly with the use of the national research vessels used for training expeditions.

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute welcomed the [email protected] initiative saying, "This competition and the work of SMART (Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training) programme highlights the importance of creating opportunities towards a student's professional development and career. The programme continues to provide quality offshore training for students of marine science, technology and engineering which is highly relevant to the realisation of the economic potential of our marine resources".

On Sunday the 7th of October the RV Celtic Voyager will leave from the docks in Galway for a marine survey centred on the core disciplines of Benthic Ecology, Fisheries Biology, Marine Geophysics and Oceanography. The expedition will be led by experienced scientific personnel from the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

Dr Des Foley, Head of the School of Science, and Research and Innovation at GMIT, thanked the Marine Institute for providing the RV Celtic Voyager for this special occasion. He added, "the unique access to Marine Institute vessels over the years has given our students and graduates a fantastic opportunity to train at sea and to acquire practical skills which are second-to-none. I would also like to thank our own staff, some of whom are now retired, who developed and delivered ship-based training and education programmes and to recognise such innovation as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations."

Using state of the art equipment and instrumentation students will work alongside scientists to investigate physical, chemical and biological aspects of Galway Bay and learn about potential careers in marine science and technology. Ireland is poised to realise the full potential of her ocean resource and transition year students with a strong aptitude for science, engineering and technology now have an opportunity to whet their appetite for this adventure.

The "Water - Our Greatest Resource" competition can be entered by uploading the photo entry and description to the GMIT Facebook page:

Application are asked to submit a photograph of an aspect of Ireland's ocean that interests them with no more than 200 words of text explaining its significance. Each photo entry must include:

Your Name

Your School

A Contact Number/Email

Your Photo

A 200 word photo description

Please visit for more information.

Please note: Applications should be supported by the Transition Year coordinator in your school and a letter of permission from parent or guardian.

The closing date for applications online is Friday 21st of September 2012.

Published in Marine Science Team

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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