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Two summer studentships available for Maori students

The Centre for Sustainability's Indigenous Agroecology project (Dr Marion Johnson) has successfully bid for two additional summer students funded by Nga Pae o te Maramatanga. These studentships are specifically for Maori students and are outlined below.

1.Title Baseline Biodiversity ? how do we measure advances along the Indigenous Agroecology pathway.

Purpose The Indigenous Agroecology programme draws upon M?tauranga Maori and Kaitiakitanga to develop an agroecological method unique to Aotearoa New Zealand. The project is grounded on three case study farms and has generated interest from farmers across Aotearoa New Zealand , but how can we demonstrate to land owners and managers the changes that may occur as land use patterns alter?

Programme Devise a monitoring programme that will demonstrate the changes occurring as principles of Indigenous Agroecology are developed and applied to a farm. The programme will be developed in consultation with the Indigenous Agroecology team and is envisaged to include invertebrate, bird and botanical sampling, indices of water quality, soil biology and animal health. Some consideration should also be given to more holistic measurements such as mauri and aesthetics. The programme should be inexpensive and applicable across Aotearoa New Zealand.


2.Title Establishing a space-time dataset as the basis for assessing future spatial changes in indigenous agroecology practice

Purpose This project would scope and implement the collection and storage of land cover spatial data using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies. A farm practicing indigenous agriculture (Te Putahi, Banks Peninsula) would be the site of this project. This has two purposes ? to form a baseline data set against which future space-time changes can be measured and assessed, and to form a contextual dataset for the Indigenous Agroecology programme in their project to develop a new agroecological method.

Programme The programme will be in three stages. The first stage will be designing and implementing a GIS database, capable of storing present and future data to enable change assessment, but also working closely with the agroecology project and the Indigenous Agroecology team, as they define the scope of their monitoring programme. Monitoring activities such as flora and fauna sampling, water quality measurement will have a data component that will have to be ?housed? in the database. The second stage will be GPS fieldwork to collect the data, undertaken in conjunction with the agroecology team. The third stage will be the populating of the database with collected data, error assessment and compilation of metadata (?data about data?) to support future data collection.

These internships (and others offered by NPM) can be viewed at Applications close on September 20.