NZIF Foundation awards winners

Wednesday 4 Sep 2019

NZ Institute of Forestry recognises outstanding contributions of individuals to New Zealand forestry - The NZ Institute of Forestry recognised the contribution of an outstanding leader at its Annual Awards Dinner in Christchurch last Monday night, when Dr John Wardle received the NZIF Forester of the Year award. The award recognises an Institute member who has made an outstanding contribution to either the forestry profession, or the forestry sector. The award recognises leadership, excellence and personal integrity, particularly where this demonstrates the character and strength of the forestry profession, and it is one of the highest accolades the Institute can bestow.

“The Forester of the Year award is a fitting recognition of the contribution that Dr John Wardle has made to the sector over a large number of years”, said the President, David Evison. “Dr Wardle’s earlier contribution to research included writing the authoritative text on the New Zealand beech species, and research into the effects of introduced wild animals on New Zealand’s native forests. More recently Dr Wardle, in partnership with his wife Rosalie, has developed and managed a unique forestry operation at their property “Woodside” in North Canterbury. They have pioneered innovative management of both indigenous and exotic forests for multiple uses including timber and honey production and conservation. The property is managed under an open space QEII covenant, which guarantees sustainable management into the future with emphasis on both education and research activities. The QEII covenant on Woodside is unusual, in that it provides for both conservation and sustainable timber harvesting.”

The Institute also celebrated the election of James Treadwell and Mike Marren as Fellows of the NZ Institute of Forestry. The election to this special membership status is granted by a vote of members and recognises outstanding contributions to the profession of forestry.

The NZIF Foundation announces education and research awards totalling $22,500. “For this year’s allocation of funds, we had a good number of quality applicants, but we were disappointed there were no applicants for some awards”, said Dr Andrew McEwen, the Foundation’s chair.

“In 2012, the first year of the Foundation’s operation, we had four awards worth a total of $6,500. For 2019 we advertised nine award categories plus four student poster competition prizes worth $40,000. What is especially pleasing is the applicants come from a range of institutions and forestry interests, with research projects in plantation forest management, export procedures, indigenous forests and urban forests.”

The awards were announced at the joint conference of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry and the Institute of Foresters of Australia in Christchurch on Monday 26th August. Daniel Boczniewicz, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury School of Forestry received a $10,000 Future Forest Scholarship for his research on modelling stem properties for eucalyptus in New Zealand’s dryland environments.

The Chavasse Study Award for $3,500 was awarded to Bernadette Nanayakkara, a scientist at Scion working on wood formation physiology. Bernadette plans to attend the International Union of Forest Research Institutions conference “Forest Research and Cooperation for Sustainable Development” in Brazil later this year.

Georgia Craig who is in her fourth year of a B.For.Sc. (Hons) degree at the University of Canterbury School of Forestry, received the $5,000 NZ Redwood Company Scholarship. Georgia’s honours project is looking at the effect of debarking logs on air quality emissions at export ports.

The Frank Hutchinson Postgraduate Scholarship of $1,000 went to Monique Hall, an M.Sc. student at the University of Waikato who is studying restored urban forests. Reihana Fisher a 4th year Bachelor of Forestry Science (Hons) student at the School of Forestry at the University of Canterbury received the undergraduate award. His dissertation topic is looking at the benefit of pruning.

Four forestry students from Canterbury University received prizes in the student poster competition at the Conference. Reihana Fisher received first prize of $800, Georgia Craig second prize of $600, Nick Berry third prize of $400 and Shaun Coles the fourth prize of $200.

“We were delighted with the number and quality of applications”, said Dr McEwen. “We congratulate the recipients of the awards and thank all applicants and encourage them to persist with their research and education and to make a career associated with New Zealand’s forests, which have a vital role to play in this country’s environment, economy and society.”

Photo: Dr John Wardle awarded NZIF Forester of the Year.

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