Partnership extended to safeguard marine health
The $5 million agreement expands the current three-year partnership JCU has to track the health of the marine environment around NQBP’s ports at Mackay, Hay Point, Abbot Point and Weipa and will enable new PhD and BSc scholarships based on the work.
Associate Professor Michael Rasheed from JCU’s Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER) is co-director of the project.
Dr Rasheed said NQBP’s operational footprint offered a one-of-a-kind opportunity for marine science research and student learning as the government-owned corporation had three ports adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef.
“They take their environmental responsibilities very seriously. To this end, JCU provides scientifically robust and credible information on key port marine environmental assets for government agencies, stakeholders and the community,” Dr Rasheed said.
Over the next five years JCU researchers will introduce remote camera systems to replace divers, trial next generation photomosaicing, and bring in Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and improved sensors and data loggers.
Professor Marcus Lane JCU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor said the partnership would introduce new scholarships for two PhD and five Bachelor of Science students to work on science relevant to applied management in the port industry.
He said NQBP would provide five $5000 per annum scholarships for Bachelor of Science (Marine Science) students for three years, a total commitment of $75,000. NQBP and JCU will also fund one PhD scholarship each, worth a combined $200,000 over three years. In addition 10 internships for undergraduate students will be offered.
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