‘Sur­fo­nomics’ sub­ject is set to make waves

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - LIFE / EDUCATION -

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.

PHOTO: KJ LOCKET

USC Geog­ra­phy of Surf­ing co-or­di­na­tor Javier Leon rides the nose at Tea Tree Bay.

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