Auckland's Beauty Industry


Project code:  SCI131

This project aims to understand the landscape of the beauty industry in Auckland.  Specifically the student will investigate the cosmetic industry through archival research and content analysis.  The objectives of this research are to understand the scale of beauty interventions within Auckland and to uncover the geographical landscapes in which they take place.  This research seeks to explore broader concepts within feminist geography on the body, embodiment, and emotional geographies within the context of larger socio-economic conditions.  The student will begin the project by reviewing appropriate background literature followed by archival data collection and field site reconnaissance within Auckland. 

Competencies include:

  • Proficiency at utilizing the Library website to locate and download appropriate literature
  • Internet archival research
  • Scouting sites and recording field notes
  • Excel and Word

Supervisor

Dr. Annie Bartos

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New Times for Migration: dairy workers in the Waikato


Project code:  SCI132

We invite applications for a student to join us to undertake, transcribe and analyse biographical interviews with people holding work visas and employed in the dairy sector in the Waikato region. The research forms part of a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship on Nation and Migration: population mobilities, desires and state practices in 21st century New Zealand. This summer scholarship will provide excellent opportunities to develop qualitative research skills and to gain an understanding of contemproary migration processes in New Zealand. 

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Refining the navigation capabilities of an autonomous bathymetry coastal survey vessel


Project code:  SCI133

Help us develop a state-of-the-art autonomous coastal/marine survey vessel, using a variety of survey technologies, GPS and microprocessors, on a unique jet-propelled vessel. Some experience in basic microprocessor programming is desirable.

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Remittances and disaster risk management: perspectives from Filipino migrants in New Zealand


Project code:  SCI134

Description:

Recent studies have shown that remittances are an essential, although often informal, component of disaster risk management (DRM). Most of these studies have focused on how receivers use remittances to overcome the impact of disaster. Very little is known about the motivations for and effects of sending remittances following disasters for the migrants. These are the object of this project.

Supervisor

JC Gaillard

The proposed activities will focus on Filipino migrants in Auckland and Wellington. Filipinos currently constitute the fastest growing migrant community in New Zealand (138% growth between 2006 and 2013) and send significant remittances to their home communities. The Philippines is heavily dependent on remittances, in fact the third receiver country in the world with USD25 billion or 8.4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013. It is also severely and frequently affected by disasters. The direct impact of the sole Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 was estimated at USD10 billion or 3.4% of the GDP, leading to a spike in remittances received by the country during the following months according to the central bank.

The project will address three specific objectives:

1/ Evaluate the influence of disasters in migrants' decision to send remittances;

2/ Explore the processes and channels through which migrants send remittances in the aftermath of disasters;

3/ Assess the impact of sending post-disaster remittances on migrants’ lives and livelihoods.

The project will involve a review of the existing academic and grey literatures on Filipino migrants in New Zealand (and elsewhere in the world). It will also draw upon focus groups (using participatory methods) together with interviews to gather qualitative and quantitative data with remittances senders (migrant workers and permanent residents). In addition, interviews will be conducted with stakeholders (e.g. government agencies, NGOs, scientists, agencies transferring remittances) of DRM as well as migration and development in New Zealand. The project will benefit from the logistical support of the Philippine Embassy in Wellington and migrant organisations in Auckland and Wellington.

Expected outcomes include a policy brief to be published by the journal Disaster Prevention and Management and an academic article for a journal such as the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science.

Skills required:

  • Completion of year two of an undergraduate degree
  • A minimum B+ average grade equivalent to a GPA of 6
  • Completion of GEOG325 and GEOG315 (with a disaster-related topic for the latter)
  • Filipino nationality

Anticipated Costs:

  • One trip to Wellington to conduct interviews and focus groups with Filipino migrants: NZD300.00
  • Travel around Auckland to conduct interviews and focus groups with Filipino migrants: NZD100.00

Funding sources:

  • School of Environment summer scholarship
  • Logistical support will be provided by the Philippine Embassy in Wellington and migrant organisations in Auckland and Wellington
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3D landscape reconstruction from airphoto imagery


Project code:  SCI135

Land Information New Zealand is scanning its historic database of aerial imagery in high-resolution formats, allowing extraction of 3D topographic information with next-generation digital photogrammetric methods. This project will involve application of new structure-from-motion (SfM) techniques to the problem, as well as change-detection algorithms for developing new understandings if landscape change. Some GIS background is desirable for this work. 

Supervisor

Jon Tunnicliffe

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Changing river geometry of East Coast Rivers


Project code:  SCI136

This project is based on an exceptional dataset of historic river cross-section measurements along the East Coast of the North Island, this project is aimed at understanding regional variability in river form, and historic adjustments to changing climatic and landuse conditions. Some field work may be required.

Supervisor

Jon Tunnicliffe

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Rapid Evolution and Environmental Impacts of Invasive Mosquitofish


Project code:  SCI137

Mosquitofish are a global invader that is now widespread on the North Island of New Zealand.  We are conducting research addressing how rapid evolution of this fish influences the ecological role that it plays.  Over the summer we will be running a large scale outdoor mesocosm experiment and conducting field surveys to address this question.  We are looking for an enthusiastic student with good field, organisational and analytical skills to assist in the research.

Supervisor

Kevin Simon

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Auckland’s Special Housing Areas


Project code:  SCI138

Special housing areas (SHAs) were established in Auckland as a means to fast-track housing supply through the planning process and to address issues regarding housing affordability. This study examines the spatial, physical and social character of the SHAs that are being developed around Auckland. In particular, the study is concerned to identify the key developers, emerging housing typologies (house types and size) and trends in house prices. 

Key Competencies

  1. Academic interest in housing and urban issues.
  2. Methodically approach to constructing a ‘key document’ database.
  3. Good report writing skills.

Supervisor

Laurence Murphy

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The Social Rented Housing Reforms in New Zealand


Project code:  SCI139

Evidence based policy (EBP) practices have been employed by governments around the world as a means for justifying new housing policies. Since 2010, the social rented housing sector in New Zealand has been subjected to major policy changes that are altering the nature and character of the sector. This study involves the collection, cataloguing and analysis of key policy documents that have informed housing policy development. The study examines the underlying arguments and evidence employed by policy makers in constructing and implementing the current social housing reforms.

Key Competencies

  1. Academic interest in housing and social policy issues.
  2. Methodically approach to constructing a policy document database.
  3. Good report writing skills.

Supervisor

Laurence Murphy

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Canopy characteristics and water fluxes in a kauri dieback affected forest


Project code:  SCI140

Kauri dieback is wide spread throughout the Auckland region. The symptoms of kauri dieback include yellowing of leaves and leaf loss. Changes in the leaf /canopy cover have the potential to alter forest water fluxes including throughfall and stemflow. The aim of this project is 1. to quantify the throughfall and stemflow and 2. to characterize the forest canopy with hemispherical photographs in a kauri dieback affected forest.  The student will help with all field measurements, collect and analyze soil and water samples for nutrient and carbon analysis, analyze the data and write a report.

Required skills:

Basic understanding of ecosystem processes (e.g. completed ENVSCI 201 or equivalent), ability to work independently as well as within a group, experience in fieldwork, enjoyment of outdoor work, interest in laboratory work and data analysis, NZ driver license.

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Elucidating and using social networks to empower transformative ecosystem based management directed action in multi-use marine places


Project code:  SCI141

We seek applications from students to join us in mapping networking amongst key stakeholders in the Nelson/Golden Bay area with respect to marine resource management. The research will involve a survey (on line and face-to-face) to establish local networking data and social networking analysis to identify trusted contacts and their engagement. The student will be part of the Participatory Processes and Navigating Socio-Ecological Knowledge project sin the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge. The research will give experience in combining quantitative and qualitative research methods and the researcher will be part of a team. 

Supervisors

Richard Le Heron

Karen Fisher

Paula Blackett (NIWA)

Kate Davies (NIWA)

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Networked-GIS for real-time environmental modelling


Project code:  SCI142

Department

School of Environment, Faculty of Science

Supervisor

Sam Trowsdale

Software Engineer/ Computer Scientist/ GIS wiz wanted to help establish a new way to model rainfall-runoff. You will help develop a proof of concept responsive web-app visualisation calling on networked GIS to simulate rainfall-runoff. You will have programming, networking or GIS experience and will work alongside a small team in the School of Environment and e-research to apply these skills. Students from Environmental Science, Computer Science or Engineering should apply.

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Hunga-Haapai, Hunga-Tonga the worlds youngest (and possibly most temporary) volcano


Project code:  SCI143

Using a combination of aerial (drone) images, photographs and satellite imagery, this project will be to characterise the growth and destruction of a volcanic cone, built during eruptions in December 2014 to January 2015. GIS methods will be used to calculate rates of erosion, with extensive field photographs used to document the types and rates of erosive processes on surface and shore.

Supervisor

Shane Cronin

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Three Kings – our largest suburban volcano


Project code:  SCI144

This project will examine some of the chemical and physical properties of our most explosive volcanic centre, located in central Auckland. Geochemical and petrological studies, using XRF and microscope techniques will be employed to understand the chemical changes during this eruption (from samples collected in a complete 50 m-thick section of the tuff ring). Further, density and porosity studies will be used to understand the role of magma-water interaction in the pyroclast fragmentation and eruption intensity.

Supervisor

Shane Cronin

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Understanding the eruption mechanisms of Qdir Volcano, Saudi Arabia


Project code:  SCI145

Using a combination of pyroclast dispersal, density and grain-size measures, one of the largest and most recent eruptions of the Harrat Khayber volcanic field (250 km N of Medina) will be investigated. This basaltic event occurred in historic times and there are legends describing its impacts. The field data has been collected and the project will involve applying a range of geo-spatial methods to understanding the dispersal of the tephra. This will be coupled with studies to understand the vesicularity and eruption mechanism through pyroclast textures.

Supervisor

Shane Cronin

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Advocacy and resistance in drug policy: A study of debates over Supervised Injection Facilities in Melbourne


Project code:  SCI146

While global in scope, the problem of harmful drug use is addressed in vastly different ways depending on geographical, political, and social context. In many places around the world, approaches that criminalise people who use drugs are being wound back in favour of approaches that seek to reduce individual and social harm. Supervised Injection Facilities are one type of harm reduction approach. Such facilities are the object of passionate advocacy and equally passionate resistance. This research project examines the history and current state of harm reduction drug policy debates in Melbourne, particularly those around Supervised Injection Facilities. The project—led by researchers based at the University of Auckland and Simon Fraser University, Canada—aims to understand how harm reduction debates unfold in particular places, who is involved, why they are involved, and how they are involved. The Summer Scholar will be responsible for: analysing media coverage to discern key themes, events, and issues; transcribing interviews conducted with key informants; and, producing a ‘policy brief’ on proposals for Supervised Injection Facilities in Melbourne.

Specific competencies:

  1. Interest in social policy and/or public health
  2. Interest in further developing qualitative analysis and report writing skills.

Supervisor

Tom Baker
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The emergence and implications of privately financed social services: An exploratory study of homelessness services


Project code:  SCI147

New methods of welfare financing are putting investors at the centre of social service provision. People experiencing homelessness, in particular, are thought to be well suited to privately financed social services and many countries have implemented such projects in recent years. These new developments mean that decisions about whether or not social services are provided increasingly hinge on the possibility for profit. The recent and rapid international growth of privately financed social services raises questions about public control, service quality, and who benefits most from welfare but, to date, these issues remain poorly understood. Addressing these knowledge gaps, this project examines the emergence and implications of privately financed welfare services through an exploratory study of services for homeless populations. The Summer Scholar will be responsible for: collecting and analysing policy documents and media coverage; transcribing interviews conducted with key informants; and, producing a ‘policy brief’ on a topic negotiated with the supervisor.

Specific competencies:

  1. Interest in social policy
  2. Interest in further developing qualitative analysis and report writing skills.

Supervisor

Tom Baker
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