Feature story

Farmers visiting Fieldays at Mystery Creek in June could not have missed the take-home message: that science and innovation are key to their continued success.
As a child growing up in Dunedin, Juliet Milne was always a sporty, “outdoorsy” type.
Our flagship research vessel RV Tangaroa recently spent 16 days in dry dock at Devonport Naval Base for three-yearly maintenance and repairs.
Humans don't always make it easy on fish to get where they are going. New Zealand's first national set of Fish Passage Guidelines – co-developed by NIWA - is expected to help.
The hard concrete surfaces that characterise New Zealand towns and cities are barely likely to register as a problem with most people. But they're never far from the minds of our urban water researchers.
Being prepared to give anything a go and thinking outside the box to get a job done – often in incredibly challenging conditions – is something Bob takes great personal and professional pride in.
Less than a week before the official end of summer on 28 February, temperatures dropped and a cool breeze made a whistle-stop tour of the country.
A hot and steamy summer saw Kiwis heading down to rivers and lakes to cool off. But they weren’t the only ones enjoying the warmer weather – algae had a great time too.
Efforts to create interest in STEM education (science, technology, engineering and maths) have led to a 40 per cent increase in tertiary students taking the subjects this year.
How long would it take to count all the grains of sand in the world? About 5000 seconds – a little over an hour and 20 minutes – if you had a Cray XC50. NIWA has just installed one at the High Performance Computing Facility in Wellington.
Massive increases in computing power are allowing NIWA scientists to not only analyse more data, faster, but also to envisage completely new experiments.
As climate change takes hold, regional council planning, sustainability and hazard managers are looking to NIWA for help to understand how their communities will be affected.
Ruth Beran discovers that public interest in the state of fresh waterways has driven a dramatic change in the tools used by scientists.
NIWA scientists like Leigh Tait were saddened by the human impact of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, but he also says that it provided a “massive natural history experiment”.
The first Wednesday of the month finds Philippa Eberlein and her Friends of the Maitai colleagues collecting samples from the Maitai River in Nelson.
How a regional climate history helped save a farm and cure depression
New Zealand’s glaciers have all retreated and lost volume since NIWA started surveying them in 1977.
In October a team of scientists from New Zealand and Finland travelled to Antarctica for a scientific diving expedition under the ice.
A group of volunteers who love the Hutt River are helping to care for it over summer.
As the road behind Hanmer Springs turns to gravel and a dust cloud forms in the rear vision mirror, the southern edge of Molesworth Station unfolds.
Every year NIWA carries out numerous marine surveillance missions, surveys at ports and harbours around the country. Their divers are looking for the pests that have hitched a ride to New Zealand waters and are capable of destroying our unique ecosystems and shellfish industry.
“You almost become a fishing psychologist – you can tell by the way people walk up the ramp to get their trailer if they’ve had a good day.”
Four seasons with a little bit of everything. It started with the bummer summer… then came the fires, rain, flooding and a very weird November. But it’s all in a year of weather as NIWA wraps up the seasonal highlights.
It’s been a year of discovery for NIWA scientists who now know more than they did 12 months ago – their top five discoveries for the year range from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the atmosphere.
Rapid warming of the ocean near Tasmania may provide a good indication of how the water around New Zealand will change as the planet warms, say NIWA scientists.

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