Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

UC student driven by tsunami tragedy

UC student driven by tsunami tragedy
 
July 21, 2013
 
A University of Canterbury (UC) PhD student is investigating the impact of tsunamis on Samoa and other countries in the Pacific.
 
Shaun Williams was just finishing his postgraduate degree at UC when his homeland of Samoa was hit by the September 2009 tsunami which claimed 189 lives.
 
The tragedy was a catalyst for Williams to stay on at UC to study for a PhD looking at tsunamis in Samoa. He hopes to establish long term mitigation efforts for Samoa and the broader south west Pacific to help minimise the impacts of tsunamis.
 
``My PhD project is my way of contributing to the long term recovery and ease any future damage in Samoa,“ he says.
 
``About 85 percent of tsunamis in the last 200 years or so have occurred in the Pacific Ocean. The region is at the greatest risk in the world. But there is a lot we don’t know about tsunamis and the long-term risk they pose to coastal cities and communities.
 
``The 2009 tsunami resulted in calls to improve understanding of the medium to long term risks of tsunamis in the islands, in order to further mitigate their impacts.
 
``We have so far found that there is a long-term risk particularly in light of increasing coastal developments including tourism.
 
``I expect to finish my PhD project by the end of the year with applications to help not just Samoa but other Pacific islands and New Zealand.
 
``My research, supervised by Professor Tim Davies, is looking at marine deposits from previous tsunamis so we can understand them better because there is little other information available to us. We need to learn from our past so that we can work towards a safer future.

Williams says his studies point to the value of educating young children about what to do following a tsunami warning.
 
He also suggests putting in place strong multi-purpose coastal infrastructure which could serve as evacuation areas in times of need. Replanting natural coastal forests such as mangroves which absorb wave energy and minimise impacts to communities and capitalising on mobile technology for use in early warning systems were other recommendations.
 
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Howard Davis: Christopher Marlowe & 'The Tragedy Of Dr. Faustus'

Previous versions of 'The Devil's Pact' can be traced back to the fourth century, Marlowe deviated significantly by depicting his protagonist as unable to burn his books or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled... More>>

ALSO:

Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland