Sights set on bringing about real-world change
Adi Banuve Senimili Nailatikau Levy is studying toward a Master of Engineering Geology with her research topic exploring engineering geological aspects of Apia, Samoa.
Samoa: Sale’aula (Savai’i) Sinamoga (Upolu)
Fiji: Naitasiri Province (Suva)
“I had never heard of Earth Science as an area of study coming from Samoa and the interest to continue in this field began when I took the Earth Sci stage one introductory course in 2017.
“I was drawn in by my curiosity to learn what holds this earth together and how different rocks and minerals hold its own story. I decided then that Earth Sci as a major with Environmental Science was my path. Both disciplines suit my interests and complement each other.
“At the same time, I have a personal interest with regards to the rising effects of climate on small island states including my first home, Samoa!
“I have grown up seeing the impact of climate change such as heavy flooding, cyclones, and large landslides cutting off essential transport routes, significantly impacting many families' livelihoods.
“For this reason, I wanted to study something that will have real-world applications within my homeland in a positive way and contribute holistic, sustainable solutions to mitigate hazards.
“I did not choose to study anywhere in particular when I first arrived from Samoa and the opportunity to study in the University of Auckland kind of fell into my lap with a brochure. UoA would have been my logical first choice to be close to my family with an added bonus to study in one of the best educational institutions in Aotearoa.
I wanted to study something that will have real-world applications within my homeland in a positive way and contribute holistic, sustainable solutions to mitigate hazards.
“I am following the Engineering geology path as I really enjoy drawing, structural mapping working with different software and most especially going on field trips!
“I like that I choose what I want to base my thesis on and build on from what I have learned in Earth Science and Environmental science in the last 3 years. I also enjoy it because my research is based in Samoa, my homeland and it at least makes me feel closer to home.
“Additionally, I have a very supportive and understanding supervisor who believes in my potential which motivates me to further pursue this field with a passion one can only gain from doing what they love!
“I hope to use my research, skills and knowledge as an efficient tool in informing communities and liaising with organisations to sustainably mitigating such life-threatening disasters as well as contributing to sustainable development within the Pacific and worldwide.
“The Tuakana programme has helped me grow my confidence in the positions I have held within the programme supporting other Maori and Pasifika students within the School of Environment.
“It is a very rewarding experience mentoring and tutoring students of Pacific descent and helping them realize their potential and empowering them to pursue education within a safe space such as Tuākana.
“I started my University journey with the motto “The world is your oyster”. I am reminded of a time I had oysters at Matheson Bay; it was a task trying to crack it open with a rock but when the hard outer shell gives in to your constant pounding and slamming, the taste of the inner flesh makes it all worth it!
“Similarly, in university it was a task trying to navigate a different culture, a different system but with perseverance, determination and a whole village behind me, the rewards of hard work are worth it!”