New era in coastal science kicks off
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 8:30 a.m.
Bay of Plenty regional councillors and staff gathered this week to welcome the new Chair in Coastal Science, Dr Chris Battershill.
The role, based at the University of Waikato, is being funded for 10 years by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. A whakatau was held for Dr Battershill on January 18 to welcome him to the region. It was attended by about 60 representatives from the regional council, the university, district councils, groups and others.
The regional council's Chairman John Cronin told guests this important role had been a long time coming - it has been nearly 12 months since the university and regional council signed the Chair in Coastal Science agreement.
The regional council already funds the Chair in Lakes Management, also based at the University of Waikato. Mr Cronin told guests the great success of that Chair, held by Professor David Hamilton, was a major reason the council was keen to fund another role.
The new Chair in Coastal Science is an integral part of the INTERCOAST programme, established by the University of Waikato and Bremen University in Germany to focus on marine research in the Bay of Plenty region.
Dr Battershill, who will be based in Tauranga, said he was "enormously humbled" by Tuesday's welcome, which was held at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. The university has been working with the Polytechnic for more than a decade to develop programmes and increase tertiary education opportunities in the area.
Dr Battershill comes to the role from a position as Principal Scientist and Research Team Leader at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. He told guests he was looking forward to the new role as New Zealand and the Bay region had all the environmental entities on the doorstep.
The university's Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Doug Sutton, said basing the Chair in Coastal Science in Tauranga was another example of the university joining forces with organisations to provide excellence in teaching and research that would benefit the region.