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Far reaching recommendations from scholarships

Far reaching recommendations from scholarship students

Auckland, 28 April 2010 Better river management plans, extending bans on shellfish collection, planting more totara forests and implementing rat control programmes to help save endangered native skinks are just some of the recommendations to come from the 2009/2010 Bayerboost Environmental Scholarship winners.

The scholarships, awarded in late 2009, fund six secondary and tertiary level students to take part in environmental projects throughout the summer. Students submit reports on their projects that include their findings and recommendations.

The scholarship scheme is funded by Bayer New Zealand Ltd and administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Bayer spokesman William Malpass says he is delighted with the work the students have completed over the summer.

“They’ve obviously put a huge amount of effort into their research and produced results that can really help preserve some of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna.

“The challenge now is for regional and local bodies to look at the students’ findings and where feasible, act on the recommendations.”

The 2009/2010 scholarship winners come from Invercargill, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Otago and two from Wellington.

They worked on a range of environmental research projects around New Zealand including:

• Investigating microbial contamination of shellfish at Riverton, Invercargill
• Research on stream environments, profiling the Mangaharei and Mangakino streams on the East Coast
• Evaluating and characterising deep-sea life from video and still images
• Researching the ecological and economic impact of fresh water eels in the New Zealand environment
• Re-measurement of the Totara trial at Tapapakanga Regional Park to gather data for improving the diversity of native New Zealand forests
• Researching the small-scaled skink in the Tongariro-Taupo region.

Bayerboost offers students a unique opportunity to be involved in hands-on research and to learn skills appropriate to their chosen fields of study through summer work projects.

The 2009/2010 students will received between $3,000 and $6,000 in grants, depending on their level of study.

William Malpass says that as a research-based global company, Bayer has supported environmental and education initiatives for more than 100 years and supports a number of global projects aimed at increasing environmental awareness and improving knowledge of the environment among young people.

“What has impressed us about these young people is the emphasis they have placed on the cultural, economic and ecological impact of their research.

“They really are pushing the boundaries of what so many of us take for granted and they should be heralded for their passion and commitment,” he says.

Through the partnership with the Royal Society, Bayer is in its second year of contributing $120,000 over three years to the BayerBoost environmental scholarship scheme.

The 2009/2010 BayerBoost Environmental Scholarship winners who have just completed their research reports are:
Recipient: Bailey Lovett, Year 12 student at James Hargest School, Invercargill
Host: Environment Southland
Research: Six week study on microbial contamination of shellfish at Riverton

Recipient: Raumiria Pohatu, Year 12 student at Aranui High School, Christchurch
Host: He Oranga mo nga Uri Tuku Iho Trust, Ruatoria
Research: Six weeks research on stream environments, profiling the Mangaharei and Mangakino stream within the sub-catchment.

Recipient: Sonja Hempel, Year 13 student at Onslow College, Wellington
Host: NIWA, Wellington
Research: Ten weeks evaluating the intensity of sampling required to adequately characterize deep-sea benthic assemblages from sea floor video and still images.

Recipient: Alexandra Bowles, Year 13 student at St Mary’s College in Wellington
Host: Otago University’s Zoology department
Research: Ten weeks researching fresh water eels and their ecological and economic impact in the New Zealand freshwater environment.

Recipient: Vicki Alderson-Wallace undergraduate Bachelor of Science student at Otago University
Host: Scion Research, Rotorua
Research: 12 weeks to undertake a research project to assist in the re-measurement of the Totara trial at Tapapakanga Regional Park.

Recipient: Moniqua Nelson-Tunley undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree at Massey University
Host: Tongariro Natural History Society
Research: Twelve week research into the small-scaled skink of the Tongariro-Taupo region

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