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Cawthron Scholarship - Water Quality and Land Restoration Register Project

Cawthron Scholarship - Water Quality and Land Restoration Register Project

Cawthron Scholarship - Water Quality and Land Restoration Register Project

Cawthron Institute

Closing Date : 10 Aug 2019

Scholarship project- the scholar will contribute to a national register of sustainable land-use actions taken to improve water quality. The collation of this information should assist landowners and communities to adopt sustainable land use practices.

Scholarship term- approx. ten weeks beginning in November 2019
Scholarship base-  Cawthron Institute, Nelson (help with organising accommodation will be provided)
Scholarship stipend- $5500

Applications close Friday, 9 August 2019.

Background to project

Despite the growing awareness of the decline of stream ecosystem health, freshwater ecosystem health continues to decline in many areas. Numerous restoration actions are underway to reduce the loss of contaminants from land and lessen their impact on the environment. The extent and intensity of action that is needed to improve water quality at the catchment scale is uncertain, as is the timeframe over which results will occur. Without this understanding, we don't know what fundamental changes in land use are needed to achieve the desired ecosystem health outcomes.There is a gap in knowledge about what, where and how interventions are underway. There is growing recognition by regional councils and the combined primary sectors that more reporting is needed.

Māori have kaitiakitanga responsibilities for catchments and they have expressed a strong desire for increased knowledge of sustainable land-use practices. The register is expected to help Māori manage commercial operations in a way that meets social, cultural, economic and kaitiakitanga obligations.

Objectives and outcomes of scholarship project

This project will develop an online register as part of the LAWA web tool ( which will summarise past and current on-land restoration actions. This register will allow landowners and stakeholders to record and report on their sustainable land use practices. We are also particularly interested to see how this online register will benefit Māori to practice kaitiakitanga. To be certain that the register also addresses Māori views and needs, the scholar will conduct an online survey aimed at Māori communities/ landowners/ stakeholders.

This project would enable the scholar to assist in the design and implementation of the online survey, as well as assisting with the analysis and interpretation of the results. The scholar will work closely with freshwater scientists, social scientists and iwi landowners.

Student requirements

  • Māori student or enrolled in Māori studies
  • Currently at 2nd or 3rdyear of tertiary education
  • NZ citizen or resident
  • Familiarity with survey tools (e.g., SurveyMonkey, Doodle Poll, etc)
  • A strong interest in water quality is essential
  • Interested in the relationships between environmental science and social science
  • Excellent computer literacy
  • Methodical approach to work, attention to detail, and persistence
  • Commitment to working as part of a team
  • Commitment to being engaged in the work environment


To apply for this scholarship project, you will need to provide the following:

  • A cover letter
  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation from tertiary institution
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) or similar for years of tertiary study

Please submit your applicaiton through our careers site - 

Cawthron scholarships overview

Cawthron scholars are guided by our scientists to develop the skills and knowledge needed to solve pressing environmental issues as well as providing students with work-place experience. There are three scholarships available.

  • Sir Theodore Rigg scholarship - male or female undergraduate students
  • Kathleen Curtis scholarship - female undergraduate students
  • Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi - Maori undergraduate students or students enrolled in Maori Studies, offered in partnership with Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.

If you have questions, please contact Kat -


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