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NIWA (National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research) is New Zealand’s largest provider of climate, atmospheric, ocean and freshwater sciences. Approximately half of its effort is in developing new knowledge and the other half is in applying it.

NIWA’s areas of expertise cover: Coasts and Oceans, Freshwater and Estuaries, Climate, Atmosphere and Weather.

Through BLAKE’s partnership with NIWA, in 2021 we are offering seven young New Zealanders the incredible opportunity to take part in scientific research encompassing marine, climate, atmospheric and freshwater sciences around New Zealand.

These programmes allow environmentally-passionate young Kiwis to contribute to NIWA’s scientific research while advancing their career opportunities and inspiring others.

They do this by working in the field with world-class experts and developing invaluable skills, relationships and leadership qualities that can influence their career pathways.

Further information about the 2021/22 programmes are outlined below.

BLAKE NIWA Ambassador Programmes – 2021

BLAKE NIWA Ambassador – Climate/Atmosphere, Wellington/Lauder
1 position available
Late November / early December 2021 (3-4 weeks)

In this role, the BLAKE Ambassador will join NIWA science teams and become engaged in the day-to-day activities of measurement programmes at the key NIWA measurement sites of Lauder (Central Otago) and Wellington (Baring Head).

They will be actively involved in NIWA’s Climate and Atmospheric research programmes, learning how the measurements and samples are used and contribute to NIWA, New Zealand and International science programmes.

Activities will include conducting field measurements of climate and atmospheric variables and assisting with processing and analysis of measurements.

BLAKE NIWA Ambassadors – Aquaculture, Bream Head
2 positions available
November / December 2021 (4 weeks) 

In this role, the BLAKE Ambassadors will join NIWA’s highly-skilled aquaculture team at the Northland Marine Science Centre, which is home to New Zealand’s largest on-land marine research facility.

Here they will be part of a well-disciplined and efficient operation at the cutting edge of research and production to farm marine finfish and participate in the day to day operations of this vibrant and successful sight. They will learn good and ethical fish husbandry, how to look after large broodstock (fish as large as 40kg), larval rearing and the production of live microfeeds, size grading, health management, basic system management, feed management and finally harvesting.

BLAKE NIWA Ambassador – Freshwater, Waikato
2 positions available
Dates TBC: between November 2021 – January 2022 (2-3 weeks)

In this role the BLAKE Ambassadors will spend two weeks with NIWA contributing to on-going experiments by learning to conduct monitoring of experiments and analyse improvements in water quality.

They will work with NIWA to develop novel marae and rural property wastewater treatment and develop agricultural run-off treatment and nutrient recovery using filamentous algae.

A key focus in this role is contributing to on-going experiments by learning to conduct monitoring of experiments and analyse improvements in water quality.

Watch a video of 2019 BLAKE NIWA Ambassador, Watene Campbell HERE.

BLAKE NIWA Ambassador – Marine, Chatham Rise (on board RV Tangaroa)
2 positions available
4 January – 4 February 2022 (4 weeks)

In this role the BLAKE Ambassadors will spend four weeks with NIWA marine scientists and the crew of RV Tangaroa contributing to the 27th survey in the Chatham Rise trawl time series.

Surveys were carried out annually from 1992–2014, and biennially since. This is the most comprehensive time series of species abundance at water depths of 200 to 800 m in New Zealand’s 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone.

Extensive sampling throughout the EEZ has shown that the Chatham Rise is the main nursery ground for hoki aged 2 to 4 years. Abundance estimation of 2+ hoki on the Chatham Rise provides the best index of potential recruitment to the adult fisheries. The continuation of the time series of trawl surveys on the Chatham Rise is therefore a high priority to provide information required to update the assessment of hoki.

Other middle depth species are also monitored by this survey time series. These include important commercial species such as hake and ling, as well as a wide range of non-commercial fish and invertebrate species. For most of these species, the trawl survey is the only fisheries-independent estimate of abundance on the Chatham Rise, and the survey time-series fulfils an important “ecosystem monitoring” role, as well as providing inputs into single-species stock assessment.

Watch a video of 2019 BLAKE NIWA Ambassadors, Melanie Hayden and Hiromi Beran on board RV Tangaroa HERE.

Do you know a Year 5-8 student who is leading positive change within their school? Why not nominate them for a BLAKE Young Leader Award.Learn More