Monday, 2nd November 2015

Students chosen to join expedition to NZ's lost islands

A group of 14 students with a passion for the environment have been chosen by the Sir Peter Blake Trust to join a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to the Auckland Islands. The year 11-13 students who are part of the Young Blake Expedition (YBE) will depart in February 2016 on board HNZMS Otago.

Each student needs to raise $1,000 to take up their place in their expedition and are asking for the support of their local community in their fundraising efforts. Hannah Prior, Environmental Programme Director at the Sir Peter Blake Trust, says ‘”this 14 day trip truly will change and shape these students futures. They also will come back champions for a unique and special part of New Zealand’s environment. ”

“They will work alongside scientists and experts and get to experience ship life. They will be up close with sea lions, Albatross and Penguins.”

The expedition will take four days to get to the Auckland Islands. Once they arrive they will work with leading scientists on terrestrial and marine ecology and geology projects that will inform the proposed Blake Station. “From the moment they lose sight of land, they will be fully engaged in ship life from learning about navigation to helping in the galley” says Prior. “They will be seasick, totally out of their comfort zone and challenged in ways they didn’t imagine. This trip will shape them and give them the skills and knowledge to help lead environmental projects.”

This voyage continues the legacy of Sir Peter’s own ‘Blakexpeditions’, which sailed to Antarctica, the Tierra del Fuego and the Amazon to inspire and motivate people to care for our natural environment and to understand the issues it faces.

The students will stay on HNZMS Otago when they reach the Auckland Islands. When they are there they will:

  • Explore the Auckland Islands and understand the unique environment
  • Work on conservation projects that will help inform the proposed Blake Station
  • They will be on small boats with a ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) looking at the sea floor
  • Repair the weather station that records rain fall and temperture at the proposed Blake Station site
  • Take soil samples to understand the historical development of plants and wildlife on the island
  • Take sediment cores to understand the geology of the area.
  • They will have opportunities to talk and have lectures with scientists, experts and other leaders on board and work with a filmmaker

Students who attended the Sir Peter Blake Trust’s annual Young EnviroLeaders’ Forum (YELF) were eligible to apply for the expedition. Young Blake Expedition was established by the Sir Peter Blake Trust in 2012 through voyages to the Kermadecs and the Auckland Islands. It continues Sir Peter Blake’s vision and his legacy by challenging and developing the leadership potential of Young New Zealanders so that they may follow in his footsteps and becomes champions for some of planets most unique and special places.

The expedition is a partnership between the Sir Peter Blake Trust, the Royal NZ Navy, The Department of Conservation, NZARI, NIWA, Kelly Tarltons, Ministry of Education, Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Youth Development.

For more information please contact Sally Paterson, sally@sirpeterblaketrust.org or 021 446 708

YBE 2016 Final Announcement

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