Student chosen for Sub-Antarctic Young Blake Expedition
October 31, 2013
Student voyagers chosen for Sub-Antarctic Young Blake Expedition
The Sir Peter Blake Trust has named the 12 young leaders who will journey to the Auckland Islands in February to commence planning for a new world-leading climate change research station.
The twelve young leaders, aged 16-18, will join a group of environmental scientists on the Young Blake Expedition to the Sub-Antarctic, a region that has been identified by scientists as critical for studying the effects of climate change.
Hannah Prior, Programme Director at the Sir Peter Blake Trust says, “The twelve students were selected for their natural leadership ability and for having led environmental projects and initiatives in their schools and communities. Their role on the expedition will be to help draft a feasibility study for the establishment of a research station, which will allow local and international agencies to work collaboratively on integrated climate and marine science programmes in the Sub-Antarctic.
“In 2015 a second group of young leaders, this time joined by New Zealand’s Governor General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, will return to help build the station,” says Prior.
The establishment of a New Zealand Sub-Antarctic research station will provide new access for researchers implementing The Deep South National Science Challenge, one of 10 National Science Challenges being launched by government over the next two years. The Deep South Challenge was funded to help safeguard the country’s economic and environmental future from the changing influence that Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic will have on New Zealand’s climate and ocean, as our planet warms, and the research station will also help direct and support conservation of this World Heritage site.
Sir Peter Blake Trust CEO, Shelley Campbell, says she was delighted to receive a letter this week from National Youth Affairs Minister, Nikki Kaye, regarding a grant of $28,500 to go to Young Blake Expeditions, which will help ensure that young leaders have the opportunity to join future research expeditions and use their experiences for the benefit of all New Zealanders on their return.
“The aim of Young Blake Expeditions is to tool these young Kiwis with the knowledge and skills to become leaders and passionate advocates for the marine environment. The experiences the students will have on this expedition will be simply life-changing and the work they will undertake will have a profound impact on many generations to come,” says Ms Campbell.
The Sub-Antarctic expedition follows in the footsteps of a previous Young Blake Expedition to the Kermadecs, where 30 young environmental leaders ventured in August 2012.
“Sir Peter Blake was passionate about drawing attention to the fragility of the marine environment, which was where he’d spent much of his early life and career - firstly as a professional sailor and later as a keen environmentalist. His aim through Blake Expeditions was to drive awareness of critical marine environmental issues and we honour his legacy today through Young Blake Expeditions, which aims to mobilise the next generation of environmental leaders,” adds Campbell.
Also joining the February Sub-Antarctic expedition is Professor Gary Wilson, Director of the NZ Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) and a Blake Leader, who said, “Over the next five years, the proposed station will become an international centre for science and research activity occurring in the Sub Antarctic – which is a region rich in biodiversity and ideally located to monitor and study climate and ocean change”.
The crew of 22, including representatives from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric (NIWA) and the Department of Conservation, will journey to the Auckland Islands aboard the Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Wellington and spend around eight days at sea, with up to five days on the Auckland Islands. At this stage, it is expected that they will depart from Auckland on 10 February and return to Bluff by 23 February 2014.
The 2014 Young Blake Expedition students are:
Elizabeth Huang, Year 11, St Cuthbert’s
Tremayne Reid, Year 12, One Tree Hill College, Auckland
Sedef Duder-Ozyurt, Year 12, Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, Auckland
Ben Richards, Year 12, Tauranga Boys’ College, Tauranga
Mania Oxenham, Year 12, Rotorua Boys’ High School, Rotorua (from Matamata)
Katrina Jensen, Year 13, Palmerston North Girls’ High School, Palmerston North
Jed Long, Year 12, Taumarunui High School, Taumarunui
Jessica Jenkins, Year 12, Paraparaumu College, Paraparaumu
Mitchell Chandler, Year 12, Nayland College, Nelson
Samantha Kingsbury, Year 12, Buller High School, Westport
Isabella Brown, Year 12, St Margaret’s College, Christchurch
Hamish Lilley, Year 12, Otago Boys’ High School, Dunedin