Vol.13 No.1 - March 2005

Deceptively calm on a mild summer day, Piha Beach on Auckland’s west coast is well known for its rougher moods. NIWA research helps trace the formation of today’s coastline in Rapid shoreline building on a stormy coast.

In this issue

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    Making concrete: ecological implications of gravel extraction in New Zealand rivers

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    David Kelly, Alistair McKerchar, and Murray Hicks have combined biological and sedimentological data to form a picture of downstream effects.
    Digger at work on the Waimakiriri. (Photo: G. Fenwick)
    Current licenced river gravel extraction rates.
    Binding gravel together with cement makes concrete, the country’s most widely used construction material. Gravel-bed rivers close to urban areas are ideal sources of material for concrete and roading aggregates.
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    The life and death of planktonic foraminifera

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    Helen Neil, Penny Cooke, and Lisa Northcote use present-day biology to reconstruct oceanic and climate change of the past.
    Globigerina bulloides magnified 330 times. (Photo: L. Northcote)
    Factors influencing foram distribution and the resulting assemblages.
    Sampling sites across Campbell Plateau.
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    Eumadicole midges - film stars of the freshwater world

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    Ian Boothroyd takes us on a tour of the stars’ homes.
    New Zealand has become famous for its film productions, and has produced its own fair share of celluloid heroes. Less well known are the film stars that inhabit some of the more unusual and secretive places of New Zealand.
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    2. LakeSPI

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    LakeSPI goes online: lakespi.niwa.co.nz
    The LakeSPI report card for Lake Rotoiti (Rotorua) in 2003 shows the lake in a poor condition. The report card also indicates the key plant types found in the lake (below).
    A new NIWA web resource puts at your fingertips information on lake condition and freshwater plants in New Zealand. Lake assessments are based on LakeSPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators), a management tool that uses surveys of submerged plants to indicate lake condition.
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    3. larval eel - Kaikorai website - Too small - Fish survey

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    Strange larval eel caught by Tangaroa
    Specimen of Leptocephalus giganteus. (Photo: D. Jellyman)
    Eels have a worldwide distribution, and there are 720 species of ‘true eels’, or Anguilliformes. Almost all of these species are marine; for example there are over 130 species of conger eels, 170 of moray eels, and 250 of worm eels. Worldwide, there are 15 species of freshwater eel, Anguilla, 3 of which are known from New Zealand.
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    4. Taxonomy training - White Island - Biodiversity initiatives - February floods

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    Taxonomy training with an expert
    Belinda Longakit holds a specimen of Callyspongia ramosa, a common New Zealand sponge. (Photo: M. Kelly)
    Belinda Longakit arrived in Auckland in September 2004 to work for two months with Dr Michelle Kelly, the sponge expert with NIWA’s National Centre for Aquatic Biodiversity & Biosecurity. Belinda, who is from Cebu in the Philippines, came over for some intensive training in sponge taxonomy so that she could complete her MSc in Marine Biology at the University of San Carlos.
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    Keeping the global environment safe: monitoring for the nuclear test ban treaty

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    Science and technology have been applied to help protect the world from what may be one of the most significant threats to the environment. Jeremy Bulleid, Graham Elley, Bob Newland, Martin Gledhill, and Owen Kilgour describe the first stages of a Pacific monitoring network.
    The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which at the time of publication has been signed by 175 countries including New Zealand, is seen as a major step towards the curtailment of nuclear-weapons production and eventual disarmament.
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    Rob Bell takes a lesson from Thailand's tsunami

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    NIWA scientist Rob Bell first heard about the Indian Ocean tsunami on the news late on Boxing Day. As the coordinator of New Zealand’s sea-level network and a tsunami expert, he knew that he would be on call to answer tsunami questions from Government and the media. What he wasn’t expecting was to be sent to Thailand as part of a New Zealand reconnaissance mission to learn from the response to the Sumatra earthquake and resulting Indian Ocean tsunami.
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    Using Water & Atmosphere in your classroom

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    One of NIWA’s aims with this magazine is to contribute to science education in New Zealand. To this end we distribute Water & Atmosphere without charge to New Zealand high schools. Most of the magazine’s articles are assigned ‘Curriculum Connections’ to indicate which of the NZ NCEA Achievement Standards they can complement as a classroom resource.