Rebecca McLeod

Orokonui Ecosanctuary to open - Science Life

Oct 29, 2009

After more than 20 years of dreaming, planning and pure hard work the Orokonui Ecosanctuary will be officially opened this Friday. The 307 hectare block of land is situated near Waitati in the Blueskin Bay catchment, just a short drive from Dunedin. The opening marks the completion of the Visitor and Education Centre – a fine demonstration of eco-building. Much of the timber was milled from exotic pines that once resided within the sanctuary, the building is positioned to capture and retain sun and warmth, shipping containers have been recycled into administration areas, and waste water is treated onsite. I was lucky enough to get a guided tour around the sanctuary a couple of weeks ago, and was incredibly impressed. There are few examples of remnant forest on the East Coast of the South Island, but here is one … Read More

Environmental negotiations ??!!?? - Science Life

Oct 05, 2009

Well here we go again – the stage is being set for another battle of “the environmentalists” versus “the developers”. This time, the battle grounds are numerous, and share one thing in common – conservation land status. As the Government prepares to conduct a stock take of the mineral deposits in conservation land around the country, mining companies and those wanting continued protection of our conservation estate are shaping up for a fight. Last night on the current affairs show Sunday, “the developers” stated that they were prepared to negotiate with “the environmentalists”, so that everyone could come out a winner. In my opinion, this argument is complete nonsense – how can there possibly be negotiation when the two sides are dealing in completely different currencies? The developers are dealing in dollars, as developers tend to do. But … Read More

Takeoff to Scott Base - Science Life

Sep 29, 2009

The summer season is about to get underway at Scott Base, Antarctica – if all went to plan, the first flight carrying base and field staff left earlier today. Scientists will follow in the coming weeks. This time last year I was counting down the days until I left for the ice with a group of scientists from Otago University and the States. One of the things that blew me away about doing science in Antarctica was the massive logistic operation undertaken by Antarctica New Zealand. Every year they undertake to get everyone down there (and back of course), keep them fed and warm and happy AND make it easy and safe to do science. This was a field trip like no other. We got to the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch the day before our flight and set about … Read More