‘Surfonomics’ subject is set to make waves
STUDENTS will have the opportunity to study the science of surfing, including wave characteristics and tourism benefits, in a new geography subject being offered at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Using technology such as drones and GPS devices, students of Special Field Studies topic, Geography of Surfing, will measure waves along the iconic Noosa point breaks, that have been recognised as a World Surfing Reserve.
They will also conduct surveys to collect “surfonomics” information, including where surfers are coming from and how much money they spend locally, which will be used to help local businesses better understand the economic benefits of surfing.
Geography of Surfing course co-ordinator Dr Javier Leon said he believed it was the only subject of its kind in Australia – and one of only a few in the world – and would appeal to students studying environmental science, management and tourism degrees.
“The point of the course is to look at the relationships between Noosa’s unique surfing culture, the community and the environment,” Dr Javier Leon said.
“By the end of it, we’ll be able to answer questions such as what makes the waves around Noosa so great from a physical perspective.
The subject will be first offered by USC during the upcoming summer semester.
USC Geography of Surfing co-ordinator Javier Leon rides the nose at Tea Tree Bay.