Madeleine Whittaker

Madeleine’s passion for New Zealand wilderness is reflected in the way she spends nearly every weekend in the mountains. In the summer of 2018/19 she was funded by the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand to tramp the length of the South Island to raise money for vulnerable youth to attend Outward Bound. It was spending extensive time in these remote environments that really awoke Madeleine’s care for our remote places and the rich biodiversity found there.

Madeleine represented New Zealand at the London International Youth Science Forum in 2017. Following this, she decided to apply her sense of wonder regarding our native ecosystems and the magnitude of space, glacial and Antarctic environments through the study of physics and ecology at the University of Otago.

In her time at Otago University, Madeleine has been actively involved in outdoor and conservation activities. Madeleine maintains a trapping line in Dunedin through the community conservation Halo Project and is actively involved with DOC Dunedin, Fiordland and Fox Glacier through volunteer Hoiho monitoring, trapping and river clean up initiatives. Through her leadership roles in the Otago University Tramping Club, she hopes to enable more students to have experiences that might inspire care for our wild places.

Madeleine is both humbled and excited to be a 2019 BLAKE DOC Ambassador. She looks forward to meeting and working with the incredible team behind the kākāpō conservation efforts and sharing her experience on Anchor Island.