Environmental management students dominate three-minute thesis competition

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The Southern Institute of Technology’s annual three-minute thesis competition saw the School of Environmental Management dominate the results, winning not only the main and final oral presentation awards, but also the highly recommended top prizes for presentations. by posters.

The event at SIT is inspired by the international “3MT” competition held in more than 200 universities around the world. The SIT competition differs in that it is open to undergraduates as well as postgraduate students, and is in its ninth year at SIT. The event took place on November 12 at Hansen Hall in front of a (COVID) crowd of around 75 fellow students and SIT staff. This year, for the first time, awards were also given for the best research poster presentations, which were displayed in the lobby and hall.

Participants making oral presentations should present their research in just three minutes, with the aim of making it understandable to an audience that may have no prior knowledge of the research area. Posters should also be concise and easy to digest. The competition provides a format for students to develop their communication, presentation and research skills, thereby enhancing their ability to report on their research.

This year’s judges were Dr Keri Milne-Ihimaera (Director General – Maori Development), Dr Sally Dobbs (Head of SIT2LRN & Telford Faculty) and Dr James Savage, (Research Coordinator), who also judged research posters with Dr Jerry Hoffman (SITJAR’s Lecturer and Editor-in-Chief).

Four environmental management (EM) students were ranked among the results of the competition.

Paula Lopez received the top prize and a cash prize of $ 250 with her speech titled “Conservation Values ​​and Tourism in Milford Sound Piopiotahi: A Visitor and Stakeholder Perspective”. Ms. Lopez is delighted to have won. Originally from Chile, she arrived in New Zealand in 2016 on a working holiday visa; studying for a graduate degree in environmental management at SIT saw her fulfill one of her life aspirations.

“This victory means a lot to me – the effort, the tears, the fatigue and the smiles of a year of hard work. I am proud of myself because it was my first time studying higher education in English. and I was able to fulfill my dream of studying environmental management in New Zealand, ”she said.

The finalist was ME student Kyla Sherbanowski with her talk “What is effective environmental education? A social study on the values ​​of environmental education within Invercargill ”. The judges commented that the two students gave informative and engaging lectures, and they appreciated the enthusiasm with which they described their projects, the clear stories about the research being done and why, and the use of humor to further strengthen public engagement. Both interviews far exceeded the standards expected of an undergraduate presentation, they said.

The best research poster was produced by Kelli Gerritsen, who presented “Coastal Waste Analysis in Southland, New Zealand”. She received high marks from both judges for “visual design, content and impact, conveying rationale and novelty”.

Second place went to engineering student Jaime Arpasi for his research on smart traffic lights, and two students were highly commended: EM student Jasmine Kubala, conducted research on “An Autumn fish survey: To Discover fish presence or absent in farm drains feeding the Waituna Lagoon “, and undergraduate student in massage therapy, Junko Kobayashi with” Consideration of current and alternative laundry care (BYO laundry) in small massage companies “.

Environmental Management Program Director Dr Christine Liang said it was great to see the number of EM students whose work was recognized in the competition.

“I am delighted that so many of our students have been recognized for their research. All of the students in the EM program have done a great job this year with research projects that have engaged stakeholders, boards and the community to improve Southland’s environment, ”she said.

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