Fifteen students have received scholarships to take part in the monitoring programme for Rena Recovery. The students will be acknowledged tonight at the opening of the University of Waikato Coastal Marine Field Station’s extended premises in Tauranga.
The student programmes include one PHD, seven Masters of Science and seven summer school internships.
Professor Chris Battershill, Waikato University Chair of Coastal Science, who is helping to oversee the monitoring programme, said that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for these students.
“At this time in their studies, this is a brilliant opportunity for them to be a part of such an extensive, comprehensive research project. Their help is greatly appreciated and they will add huge value to what we can achieve,” he said.
The 15 students will be based at the Sulphur Point Marine Station, although some will also spend time at the University’s Hamilton campus. Their research will focus on a range of areas within the monitoring programme from ecotoxicology to microbiology.
Professor Battershill said the studies include researching the long-term impacts of Rena oil on soft sediment kaimoana, the effects on water quality around Motiti Island and Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef) and developing a hydrodynamic model to monitor the dispersal and mixing of Rena oil in the Bay of Plenty.
All students will receive the support of supervisors from Te Mauri Moana, a collaborative tertiary group formed to deliver the Rena Recovery monitoring programme. Te Mauri Moana includes: University of Waikato, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and the University of Canterbury.
“We are very excited to welcome these students on board, and particularly in this unique case where tertiary partners are working collaboratively to be able to ensure the highest calibre of research is undertaken,” Professor Battershill said.
To keep up to date with the Rena Recovery Monitoring Programme visit www.renarecovery.org.nz