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Recognising NZ’s coastal leaders – past, present, and future

Recognising New Zealand’s coastal leaders – past, present, and future

At the New Zealand Coastal Society’s recent 20th annual conference in Auckland, postgraduate students Claire Kain (PhD student at University of Canterbury) and Edwin Ainley (MSc student at the University of Auckland) were awarded NZCS research scholarships for their exceptional coastal research proposals. NIWA Principal Scientist Dr Terry Hume was also recognised by his peers with a Life Membership to the New Zealand Coastal Society – only the fourth NZCS member to ever receive this distinguished honour.

Dr Terry Hume
Dr Hume has 35 years’ experience as a marine geologist and coastal oceanographer and has been at the forefront of research on New Zealand’s coastal environment. He has worked from coast to coast in the areas of sea-level rise, estuary and delta characteristics, natural hazard planning, and sedimentation from land-based sources. His recent research has increased our knowledge of the rates of sedimentation and the effects that activities like forestry, farming, and development have on estuaries.

Dr Hume was instrumental in establishing NZCS to promote dialogue between coastal engineers, planners, and scientists. He served on the management committee (1992-1994 and 1999-2004) and was also editor of the society’s newsletter Coastal News.

NIWA Coastal Hazards Programme Leader Rob Bell says Dr Hume “aptly applies his astute knowledge of coastal processes, acquired from countless field observations, to resolve often contentious coastal issues and to assist councils, central government, iwi, and other coastal interests in better understanding – and managing – the coastal environment.”

Claire Kain – PhD candidate, University of Canterbury
Claire Kain received a $5,000 NZCS scholarship to continue her PhD research on prehistoric tsunami sediments in New Zealand. As recent history has shown, tsunamis occur relatively frequently around the world and have the potential to cause massive destruction. The purpose of her research is to more clearly define the relationship between tsunami waves and their sedimentary deposits. The research findings will assist in assessing and managing tsunami risk in New Zealand.

Edwin Ainley – MSc candidate, University of Auckland
Edwin Ainley received a $2,500 NZCS scholarship to continue his research on the effect that sediment from land has when it is carried into the Hauraki Gulf. While activities such as development and farming greatly increase the amount of sediment going into our coastal environment, relatively little is known about the effects this is having on marine life. This research is intended to add to our understanding of the relationship between land-based activities and the health of our coastal ecosystems.

Recognising coastal leaders
At the conference, the NZCS management committee also unveiled two new initiatives to recognise outstanding contributions to our coastal environment and continue to build our collective knowledge of the coastal zone. The two initiatives are:

• the Coastal Champion Award to recognise individuals or groups who are making a difference to the coastal environment within their own communities
• the Professional Development Award to support an NZCS member’s work or research that will contribute to our knowledge about the coastal environment.

The two new award schemes will begin in 2013.

The New Zealand Coastal Society was formed in 1992 to promote and advance knowledge and understanding of the coastal zone. An IPENZ technical group, the society has over 400 members including representatives from a wide range of coastal science, engineering and planning disciplines.

www.coastalsociety.org.nz

ENDS

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