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Alpine Adventure Beckons For NorthTec Student

Alpine Adventure Beckons For NorthTec Student

A NorthTec student has been awarded a prestigious scholarship which will see him working in the Southern Alps for his summer break.

Former roofer Dane Tuialii, from Waipu, is studying for a Certificate in Conservation and Environmental Management at NorthTec’s Whangarei campus.

He is one of only three students nationally who will be heading off to work for Landcare Research in Dunedin for 12 weeks, starting in early December.

Dane will be looking at the way in which forestry and rural landscapes can regenerate into native bush, and will be working in diverse environments including Alpine ecosystems.

Tutor Dai Morgan said he was very proud of Dane, and had put his name forward for the scholarship as “he shows heaps of initiative and is a really good student.” He will be working under the supervision of leading New Zealand ecologists, some of whom are world renowned in their field.

Dane is the first NorthTec student to receive a summer scholarship of this type, with the other scholars coming from the University of Otago. All three will be paid to work on specific projects for Landcare Research, based on their previous study. Dane will carry out projects on seed predation by rats, possums and mice, and on the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

Dane, 32, was a roofer for 13 years and spent seven years working in Australia. When he returned to New Zealand he realised he did not want to continue working in roofing, and made the decision to go back to study and gain qualifications which could lead to his dream job.

After completing level 3 and 4 foundation programmes at NorthTec, he decided his heart lay in working with nature and studying the environment.

Dane said: “I have always been someone that has enjoyed nature. I just wanted to work in a job that connects me back to the natural world.” While he hasn’t figured out exactly what career path to take, he is interested in teaching environmental science one day.


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