University marine bike ride part of Seaweek activities

27 February 2014

Phil Ross

Marine Station's annual Open Day: The Marine Station’s Dr Phil Ross leads the 2013 bike ride.

The University’s Coastal Marine Field Station staff will lead a coastal bike ride ‘with a difference’ as part of the Marine Station’s annual Open Day on Saturday 8 March in Tauranga.

The family friendly bike ride will follow trails around the harbour coastline, and parts of Waikareo Estuary. En route, the University’s Professor Chris Battershill, Associate Professor Conrad Pilditch and Caine Taiapa, from Manaaki Taha Moana, will talk about the area’s biodiversity and numerous ecological and cultural points of interest.

Marine Station open to public

Between 12.00-4.00pm, the Marine Station will be open for people to come and learn more about the Bay of Plenty’s thriving marine environment. The free activities include observing microscopic marine life, searching sand core samples for small marine organisms, conducting simple science experiments and a scavenger hunt.

The public can also join a student field trip up Mt Maunganui looking at Currents and Coastal Processes, and, back at the Marine Station, NIWA marine ecologist Dr Carolyn Lundquist will give a presentation on managing mangrove expansion.

Professor Battershill said the open day activities were a chance to engage with the community about what’s going on in our coastal environment, and look at things from a different perspective.

Bike ride

“During the bike ride we can look down into a small pool, for example, and focus on the small stuff. You can see how everything interacts and even see how we can derive useful leads, such as new pharmaceuticals from nature’s clever chemistry. From another perspective, we can look up from the mud flats to our surrounding city and hills and gain an appreciation of the many stresses and strains the estuary is under.”

The two-hour bike ride leaves the Coastal Marine Field Station, Cross Road, Sulphur Point, at 10am. To register for the ride, please email [email protected], or phone 07 577 5376. For more information on the Open Day activities please visit and click on community notices.

Seaweek activities run throughout New Zealand from 1-9 March.

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