Talented rangatahi research at sea

Boudine Brown - excited about studying at sea.

Boudine Brown – excited about studying at sea.

Boudine Brown is one of two Ngāi Tahu rangatahi who have been awarded a 2015 Rangatahi o Te Moana scholarship.

The scholarship, which is offered by the University of Otago – New Zealand Marine Biology Centre, is for gifted and talented year 11 or 12 Māori students interested in pursuing a career in health sciences.

Boudine, 15 (Ngāi Tahu – Ngāti Irakehu), and fellow iwi member, Josh Abel of Timaru Boys’ High School, are among 20 rangatahi, who were hand-picked to attend a five-day expedition from August 26-30, which includes visiting Ōtākou Marae and staying on Quarantine island in Otago Harbour.

They will be mentored by experienced marine scientists and will spend time at sea on the University of Otago research vessel, RV Polaris II. The students will research one of three subjects: benthic survey, oceanography, or plankton and benthic-pelagic coupling.

Boudine, who is a year 11 Timaru Girls’ High student, says she will be researching plankton and benthic-pelagic coupling, and says she is looking forward to learning more about the subject.

Students will spend time collecting and sampling objects from the different marine environments and at the end of the trip they will present their findings to the rest of the group.

Boudine is excited about the expedition and hopes she will meet like-minded rangatahi with a passion for science and animals. Although science is one of her favourite subjects she is still unsure about what she will study once she graduates from secondary school in 2017; but she is optimistic that the trip may give her other career options to consider.