While visiting our Hobart laboratories the Prime Minister was introduced to our research vessels, toured our marine laboratories and found out about advances made from our Argo profilers.

The Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard, has been briefed on ocean science during a 16 January tour of our Hobart facilities.

The Prime Minister was met by Chief Executive Megan Clark and Marine and Atmospheric Research Chief, Bruce Mapstone. She toured the Marine National Facility research vessel, Southern Surveyor, and was briefed on progress with the new Marine National Facility vessel, RV Investigator.  

Prime Minister Gillard received an overview of deep-ocean and coastal moorings, gliders, and the Argo robotic profiling program from oceanographer Susan Wijffels and mooring Team Leader Tim Lynch. The visit concluded with a site inspection for the new Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies which adjoins our Marine Laboratories on the Hobart waterfront.

Susan, a Wealth from Oceans Flagship Theme Leader, said the visit provided an opportunity to explain to the Prime Minister the significant advances Argo has made in just a decade. We also outlined the contribution Australia makes to the global program which involves 18 countries and the European Union working together to observe the world’s oceans.

Argo monitors the subsurface oceans globally and in near real-time through an array of over 3000 robotic ocean instruments (floats) – a major advance in observing our Earth. There are around 3200 active Argo floats globally at present, with the CSIRO-led Australian program being the largest and most active group in the Southern Hemisphere.

Argo also was under the spotlight on the western side of Australia with the completion of a specialised deployment mission in the Indian Ocean from the crew of the Lady Amber. The 20 metre South African yacht was chartered by CSIRO to deploy 55 Argo profilers, and was met in mid-January by the Western Australian Science and Innovation Minister, the Hon John Day.

Read more about the work underpinning our regional ocean observations at Australian Integrated Marine Observing System.