Wellington students to swap books for nature


A group of talented Wellington students will be packing their books away this summer and heading into the environment after each winning a Blake Ambassador Award.

Lisa Dowling (22) from Victoria University will join NIWA scientists on Monday (27 November) to conduct field work including measurements of climate and atmospheric variables at the key NIWA measurement sites of Lauder and Wellington (Baring Head).

Victoria Carrington (20) also from Victoria University will join an expedition from 4 January to 3 February on board the RV Tangaroa to assist NIWA scientists as they survey species abundance on the Chatham Rise. 

Anna McKenzie-Pollock (25) will head to Port Waikato in January to assist the DOC Dotterel Ranger and local volunteers with Port Waikato Beach Care’s shorebird protection programme.

Sian Moffitt (19) will travel to Nelson between 29 January and 23 February 2018 to work with DOC rangers and partners on the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project (RNRP), one of the original six mainland islands set up in the mid-1990s to test pest control methods and establish best practice for DOC operations.

The Sir Peter Blake Trust, in partnership with Antarctica New Zealand, the Antarctic Heritage Trust, NIWA and the Department of Conservation (DOC) are announcing 11 awards in total this year.

The Blake Ambassadors, aged 18-25 years, will be working alongside leading scientists, conservators and rangers, developing relationships and partnerships in their field of interest and experiencing the ‘hands-on’ elements of their field of study.

Sally Paterson, Acting CEO of the Sir Peter Blake Trust says “these programmes offer talented young people unique opportunities to work alongside world-class subject experts.” 

“By developing new applied skills in the field and building leadership qualities our Blake Ambassadors use these experiences to share and inspire others,” says Paterson.

“As the trust’s official science partner, NIWA has been welcoming its ambassadors to sites around the country for several years now. This year we are particularly excited to see such an enthusiastic and talented group of young people joining us over summer. We look forward to working alongside them and fostering their interest in leading environmental science.”


John Morgan - NIWA Chief Executive 

To be eligible to receive a Blake Ambassador Award applicants must be 18-25 years old with leadership potential and have demonstrated a passion for the environment. In some cases study in the relevant field may be required. Applications for the 2018 awards will open in April 2018.

More information on internships

Follow them on #BlakeAmbassadors