Marine Institute

Over 10,000 Visitors Attend Sea2Sky Event

Students from Northampton, Kinvara show off polystyrene cups that  were compressed at 3,000 metres deep in the water when attached to the Remotely Operated Vehicle ROV Holland 1 on the recent VENTuRE mission.Photo Cushla DromgoolRegan Over ten thousand visitors descended on Salthill in Galway last Friday (September 23rd) for Ireland’s first participation in European Researchers Night ‘Sea2Sky’. Organised by NUI Galway in collaboration with the Marine Institute, Galway Atlantaquaria and other partners from the world of art and event management, this celebration of art, science and research ran in parallel with similar events across 320 cities in Europe. At Sea2Sky, hundreds of researchers from organisations in the Galway area displayed their work in the fields of Marine Science, Atmospherics and Astronomy.

 
 

The event was visited by European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn after her visit to the Marine Institute at Oranmore earlier that day. It featured such marine exhibits as the recent VENTuRE collaborative mission to the mid-Atlantic ridge, the deepwater Remotely Operated Vehicle ROV Holland 1, a modern weather buoy and demonstrations of the Marine Institute’s work on seabed mapping, research vessel operations, monitoring harmful algal blooms from space, climate change and the tracking of sharks in Irish waters. 

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn examines sharks teeth with Edward Farrell and Ryan Saunders from the Marine Institute.

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn examines sharks teeth with Edward Farrell and Ryan Saunders from the Marine Institute.

Commenting on Sea2Sky, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said, “Researchers’ Night is an exciting, pan-European project that aims to engage young people in the magic of research and science, and I am proud that the European Commission is supporting Researchers’ Night in 320 cities all over Europe this year. Research and science hold the answers to many of the major challenges we face in Europe, including climate change, the need for safe, sustainable food and the needs of our ageing population. We need one million new researchers in Europe if we are to rise to these challenges. By bringing science and research alive, I hope that the Sea2Sky Researchers’ Night will help to encourage the young people of Galway to consider careers in research and science.”

Thomas Furey from the Marine Institute explains the importance of seabed mapping around Ireland.

Thomas Furey from the Marine Institute explains the importance of seabed mapping around Ireland.

Visitors to Leisureland chatted to scientists about their research, participated in experiments, and watched demonstrations and simulations. Throughout the event, which was open to schools earlier in the day, parallel exhibits were run in the Galway Atlantaquaria.

Chief organiser, NUI Galway’s Dr Andrew Shearer, says “Around the world, Ireland’s reputation is growing as a hub of science, discovery and innovation. It was great to see such a great turnout for the first Irish participation in European Researchers Night. There is a genuine thirst for knowledge and interest in science among schools and the general public, which helped in turn to make our event such a success.”

Dr Andrew Shearer from NUIGalway highlights the success of the Sea2Sky event on television.

Dr Andrew Shearer from NUIGalway highlights the success of the Sea2Sky event on television.

Organisers also thanked the 75 volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the day and night, and in the run up to the event. 

Sea2Sky offered scientists from a range of disciplines and organisations around Galway an ideal opportunity to meet the public face to face and explain their work in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere,” said Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute. “I’m sure the people of Galway not only learned a lot more about the ground-breaking science that is taking place all around them on a daily basis but also about the excitement and enthusiasm of the young researchers taking part.”

One of Ireland's national weather bouys on display at the Sea2Sky event.

One of Ireland's national weather bouys on display at the Sea2Sky event.

Sea2Sky was funded under the European Union’s Marie Curie Programme and by the Forfas programme Discover Science & Engineering.