Environment Waikato’s annual prize in water science has been jointly awarded to Kohji Muraoka and Catherine Sturgeon.
Introduced in 1989, the prize is awarded annually to a third year student who has shown outstanding ability in the School of Science and Engineering Part III courses dealing with water in the natural environment.
The 2009 recipients received their award on Wednesday 10 February at a meeting of the council’s environment committee chaired by Cr Jane Hennebry.
Cr Hennebry said the award, which comes with book vouchers worth $250 to each recipient, is a great way to support young scientists and ensure future interest in addressing the health of our waterways.
An active outdoorswoman and keen netballer, Catherine Sturgeon’s interest in hydrology was enhanced with a placement at the Auckland Regional Council checking the compliance of small dams on rural properties. Catherine is completing a Bachelor of Science and Technology and is undertaking a six-month placement at NIWA. She hopes to return to university in 2011 complete her masters degree, concentrating on hydrological science.
Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Kohji Muraoka’s scientific curiosities were inspired, at an early age, by his parents’ love of nature. Kohji chose the University of Waikato because of its fine reputation and the chance to improve his English language skills. Kohji is the chairperson for the biology student representative body at the university and his other interests include long distance running, tramping, public speaking, painting, gardening and reading.