STEM education and training at the CSIRO Marine National Facility

Dr Ben Arthur1, Mr Ben Rae1

1CSIRO Marine National Facility, Hobart, Australia


The Marine National Facility (MNF) offers Australia’s future marine scientists, managers, and teachers unique education and training opportunities on board the world class research vessel Investigator. Teachers and students from primary to tertiary education can get hands-on with the real world application of STEM related to Australia’s marine and coastal environments, both when the ship is in port and at sea. From the ‘CSIRO Educator on Board’ program which imbeds teachers on research voyages, the ‘Floating Classroom’ initiative which opens up the vessel’s labs and facilities for on-board classes when in port around Australia, the ‘CAPSTAN’ postgraduate sea training program, to live ship-to-classroom linkups. The MNF is uniquely placed to help support and develop the next generation of experts needed to address the challenges of managing Australia’s marine and coastal environments and economies into the future. Here we provide an overview of STEM education and training activities currently delivered by the MNF, and discuss the future of the Facility as a unique training platform within Australia’s innovation system.


Ben Arthur has worked in science education and engagement at the CSIRO since 2011. He currently coordinates stakeholder engagement programs at the Marine National Facility, which centre around Australia’s blue water research vessel Investigator. He has worked on a wide range of science engagement and education projects, with a particular interest in the marine and Antarctic sciences. Ben holds a PhD in marine ecology.

About the Association

The Australian Coastal Society (ACS) was initiated at the Coast to Coast Conference in Tasmania in 2004. The idea was floated as a means for those interested in coastal matters to communicate between conferences and where possible take resolutions of the conference to appropriate levels of government.

The idea was discussed further at the Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne in 2006 and it was agreed that Bruce Thom develop a constitution of a company limited by guarantee that would operate on a national basis.

This plan was accomplished and in 2008 at the Coast to Coast Conference in Darwin the constitution was ratified and an Executive appointed. The company received charitable status in 2011.

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