25 January 2017 - A Successful Open Day on the RV SONNE in Auckland

Enlarge image (© Botschaft Wellington)

"The Germans have the toys, we have the sandpits, so they come down and play here with us” – that's how a New Zealand oceanologist the work by the German research vessel SONNE in the Pacific region in a talk on TVNZ. The broadcaster had extensively reported about the SONNE Open-Ship-Day organized by the German Embassy in Wellington, both during the 6 o'clock news and live on Breakfast TV. The giant "toy" met with great interest among the New Zealand public with over 1.500 having a look around the flagship of German oceanology on 25 January. The visitors learnt a great deal about the German research fleet, German and New Zealand oceanographic institutes and about Germany generally, both on the Open-Ship-Day and at the Science Fair at Princes Wharf.

Captain Lutz Mallon and his crew, experienced in events such as this, welcomed the visitors on board and went to great lengths to provide a fascinating insight into the daily life and work on a research ship.

In addition, the researchers taking part in the upcoming research trip SO254 under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Meinhard Simon patiently answered endless questions and showed the guests the laboratories, samples of the Selice and Matt from the local iwi (Orakei Marae) with Ambassador Thiedemann at the reception Enlarge image (© German Embassy Wellington) ir work and high-tech equipment such as the Remotely Operated Vehicle ROV-6000 by the MARUM Oceanographic Institute. Scientists from all the larger research institutes in Germany and New Zealand presented their work at the Science Fair in the Pavillion at the Pier which was staged parallel to the Ship Visit. They included the Alfred-Wegener Institut (Helmholtz-Centre for Polar- and Oceanographic Research), GEOMAR, the Institute for Ocean Chemistry and Biology (ICBM) of the University of Oldenburg and MARUM. The Consortium of German Oceanographic Research (KDM) shared a stand with the representatives of the Science Year "Oceans and Seas". Also present was the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Raw Materials (GBR). The German representation was rounded off by a presentation from the Suva office of the Society for Internal Cooperation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, the German-New Zealand Chamber of Trade and - of course - the German Embassy in Wellington.  New Zealand was represented by the Antarctic Research Center of Victoria University in Wellington, the University of Waikato with its highly successful bilateral research group INTERCOAST, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), GNS Science and the School of Environment from Auckland University.

Both the ship and the science fair tent at the pier were open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A screening room had been constructed in the hangar showing a range of films about the activities related to the field of of German oceanographic research. A special screening targeting New Zealand scientists also found an enthusiastic audience. To round off the Open-Ship-Day, German Ambassador Gerhard Thiedemann and Captain Mallon joined in welcoming the participants together with other invited guests to an evening reception. At this occasion, both crew and the vessel were honoured with local Auckland iwi representatives Visitors at the bilateral Science Fair Enlarge image (© German Embassy Wellington) The state-of-the-art research vessel had berted at Auckland at the end of January 2017 during a number of research trips in the South Pacific, exchanging crew members and equipment. The new flagship of the German research fleet is completing a programme of research journeys during the first half of 2017. As a multi-disciplinary high-tech vessel, it is equipped for a broad range of research disciplines, increasing our knowledge in such diverse fields, among others, as oceanography, geophysics, geology, chemistry, biochemistry and meteorolgy. New Zealand researchers, too, regularly take the opportunity to use the vessel to further their research.

The event was sponsored by

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Antarctic Research Center, Victoria University Wellington

Logo AWI Enlarge image (© AWI)

AWI/Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

Logo BGR Enlarge image (© BGR)

BGR – German Federal Institute for Geosciences, Natural Resources and Polar Geology

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DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service

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Logo GIZ Enlarge image (© GIZ)

GIZ-Suva – Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Station Suva

GNS Science

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Logo INTERCOAST Enlarge image (© INTERCOAST)


Logo German Marine Research Consortium/KDM Enlarge image (© KDM)

Konsortium Deutsche Meeresforschung/Wissenschaftsjahr

Logo MARUM Enlarge image (© MARUM)


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Alexander von Humboldt Foundation


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RV SONNE - Open Day, 25 January 2017 in Auckland


Picture Gallery - RV SONNE Open-Ship-Day 2017

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Logo BGR

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