The NZIF Foundation announced its 2017 awards at the New Zealand Institute of Forestry conference dinner in Rotorua last week.  The awards encourage and support forestry-related education, training and research through the provision of grants, scholarships and prizes; promoting the acquisition, development and dissemination of forestry-related knowledge and information and other activities.

A Future Forest Scholarship of $10,000 was awarded to Fei Guo, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury looking at the use of spectroscopy of cellulose and wood to predict growth-stress levels in standing trees and logs.  This is a new award for the Foundation, made possible by a donation of $70,000 from the forest investment company New Forests.

The Otago/Southland Award of $1,500went to Luke Holmes, a Bachelor of Forest Engineering Honours student at University of Canterbury whose research topic is the productivity of fully mechanised cable logging operations.  He is studying a cable logging operation in Southland using an innovative method of cable logging.

Michael Pay, a second year Master of Forestry Science student at University of Canterbury received the Frank Hutchinson Scholarship of $1,000 for a postgraduate student.  Michael’s project is estate modelling of a multi species, multi-objective forest.

A University undergraduate scholarship of $1,000 was received by Morgan Scragg, a first year Bachelor of Forestry Science student at the University of Canterbury.

The Mary Sutherland scholarship of $1,000 went Pauline Edge, a second year Diploma of Forest Management student at Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua.

Winners of the student poster competition held at the NZIF Conference were:

William Hollis, a Diploma in Forest Management student at Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology, Rotorua, for a poster on the classification of native forest using remote sensing imagery (first prize of $800)

Okey Francis Obi, a PhD student at University of Canterbury, for a poster on the efficiency of logging crews (second prize of $500)

Michael Pay, a Master of Forestry Science student at University of Canterbury for a poster on outcomes from management of a marginal hill country forest property (third prize of $200)

Announcing the awards, the Chair of the Foundation, Dr Andrew McEwen, said how pleased the Trustees were at the number and calibre of applicants.  “This augured well for the future of forestry in New Zealand, a sector which contributes significantly to New Zealand’s economy, environment and society and which requires highly trained individuals in order to make that contribution.”

Contact: Andrew McEwen, Chair, NZIF Foundation