Westport field station
The West Coast region is an area never more than 40 kilometres wide between the mountains and the Tasman Sea. It contains a geological wonderland of limestone forms and other curious rocks and is the only region in New Zealand where high-quality bituminous coal is found. The region also offers a rich variety of ecological habitats.
The Westport field station is located in the Westport township.
History of Westport field station
In 1995 the University of Canterbury opened the newly built field station in Westport.
The facility was named after two of Canterbury's most eminent geologists - Maxwell Gage and Brian Mason.
The teaching (Maxwell Gage) building was designed primarily for undergraduate teaching groups, while the research (Brian Mason) flat is for individuals and small groups engaged in research. Naming the two buildings after the two professors was an appropriate way to commemorate the unique contribution that Maxwell Gage and Brian Mason have made to earth science both locally and internationally.
Prior to 1995 the Geology Department maintained a field station at the corner of Parkington Road and Queen Street in Westport. The house had been a nurses' home and was inadequate for conducting field courses in geology.