Meteor visits again

Learners from two local schools could board a high-tech research vessel docked at the Port of Walvis Bay.

01 October 2019 | Technology

When the high-tech German research vessel Meteor docked in Walvis Bay from 16 to 19 September, learners from Namib High School and Private School Swakopmund had the opportunity to visit the ship, thanks to the German Embassy.

Both schools are members of the PASCH (Schools: Partners of the Future) network in Namibia. PASCH is a worldwide programme for the development and advancement of German at selected schools. It also promotes intercultural exchange and the development of an international learning community for schools.

The Meteor is a research vessel operating mainly in high seas and provides an interdisciplinary research platform for scientists from numerous research fields. She belongs to the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and is registered in Hamburg.

The visit by learners included a presentation by Mr Philip Tuchen, a PhD student in physical oceano­graphy at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, who talked about the research activities on the ship.

The learners were also treated to a guided tour of the vessel, including the laboratories and the bridge.

For many learners it was the first time on board a ship, which led to much excitement and many questions to the researchers and crew.

With the Meteor's most recent docking in Walvis Bay, a research cruise came to an end that had started on 4 August 2019 in Mindelo, Cabo Verde.

The purpose of the research, led by chief scientist Dr Matthias Zabel from the University of Bremen, was to investigate the link between the oxygenation of the ocean and climate variations both in the past and today. For this purpose, they took water and sediment samples.

In addition, the cruise served to exchange oceanographic mooring systems, which have been installed for more than two decades in close cooperation with Namibian researchers.

The Meteor left Walvis Bay on 19 September for its next research trip with a new team of researchers led by Prof Dr Peter Brand of the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel.

The expedition aims to investigate circulation, upwelling and biogeochemistry in the equatorial Atlantic and along the eastern boundary en route to Recife, Brazil, of the tropical South Atlantic.

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