It has just been announced that Shari Gallop has been awarded a Laurie Prandolini Fellowship Award by the ANZSPAC Division of the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (www.imarest.org). Only one Fellowship is awarded every year to a selected candidate judged to be of outstanding potential to enable a significant piece of work to be undertaken in an approved maritime engineering/science/technology subject to Doctorate (PhD) or post-Doctorate level. This award includes AUD $6000 per annum for a period of two years to undertake research on the “Real-time forecasting of rip currents and their variability”.
Globally, rip currents are one of the main causes of drowning with the annual number of drowning’s due to rip currents exceeding 500. Video cameras, installed on major beaches for coastal monitoring provide a cost-effective solution to collect high-resolution data for investigating surf-zone processes, including rip current development. To be most effective, automated calibrated image analysis needs to be undertaken of long-time series datasets. Shari with co-workers Seb Pitman, Ivan Haigh (both in OES), Karin Bryan (Univ. Waikato, NZ) and Roshanka Ranasinghe (UNESCO-IHE, Netherlands) aim to collect field data of rip current flows and rip channel bathymetry from beaches in New Zealand for validating the development of automatic detection of rip channels in video imagery. Ultimately, the aim, is to produce a globally applicable approach to the automated identification of rip currents from imagery which could be used for real-time forecasting and extracting data sets.