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NZ Coastal Society announces 2011 scholarship winners

9 November 2011

New Zealand Coastal Society announces 2011 scholarship winners

Winners of the 2011 New Zealand Coastal Society scholarships were announced at the society’s annual conference in Nelson, 7 to 9 November.

Winner of the 2011 awards include:

PhD scholarship – Amir Emami, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Waikato, for his investigation of beach processes at Auckland’s Muriwai Beach.
Master scholarship – Megan Young, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Albany Campus, for her research on the breeding biology of northern New Zealand white-faced storm petrels.

The winner of the PhD scholarship receives $5,000 toward study. The winner of the Master scholarship receives $2,500 toward study.

Each year the New Zealand Coastal Society offers up to two scholarships for Master and PhD students. Scholarships are awarded to students conducting research that has the potential to lead to solutions to some of New Zealand’s most challenging coastal issues. This year there were 17 scholarship applicants from universities around the country.

Society Chair and University of Canterbury senior lecturer Dr Deirdre Hart says the quality and range of research into coastal issues is an indicator of the growing interest in coastal issues.

“Judges were impressed by the calibre of all the applications. As an island nation, our coastal environment is absolutely critical to our economic, environmental, social, and cultural well-being, the research being carried out by all of these students plays an important role in our growing understanding of our coasts,” Dr Hart says.

Award winners and honourable mentions were announced at the New Zealand Coastal Society’s 19th Annual Conference which was held in Nelson, New Zealand, 7 to 9 November 2011. Over 40 presentations on coastal issues were given during the conference. Keynote speakers included NIWA principal scientist Rob Bell who discussed sea-level rise due to climate change and world-renowned photographer Craig Potton who discussed the need for continued coastal conservation work. During the conference, Department of Conservation Deputy Director-General Doris Johnson also discussed the development of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 Implementation Plan.

Scholarship award winners and honourable mentions

PhD scholarship
Winner: Amir Emami, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Waikato. Thesis: Seepage line influence on beach face volume at Muriwai Beach.

Honourable mention: Shawn Harrison, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Waikato. Thesis: Modelling sediment exchange in and around ebb-tidal deltas in meso-tidal zones.

Master scholarship
Winner: Megan Young, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Albany Campus. Thesis: Breeding biology of northern New Zealand white-faced storm petrels (Pelagodroma marina maoriana): in preparation for the first translocation of the species.

Honourable mention: Lisa McCartain, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato. Thesis: The effect of a thin terrigenous deposit on porewater fluxes in permeable sediments in response to modified hydraulic activities of Macomona liliana.

About the New Zealand Coastal Society
The New Zealand Coastal Society (NZCS) has about 400 members who represent a wide range of coastal science, engineering, management and planning disciplines. They are employed in the engineering and environmental consulting sectors, in local, regional, and central government, in research institutes, in the tertiary education sector, and in schools. NZCS is a technical group of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ).


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