Three local students have been rewarded for their research into the environmental impacts of Rena.
Fenna Beets from Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, and Alice Podziewska and Neeltje de Groot from the University of Waikato were recognised for their efforts at the University of Waikato's Coastal Economic Symposium held in Tauranga last month.
Miss Beets, a marine studies student, took first place with her research into the impacts of the Rena dispersant and oil on kingfish larvae.
Waikato University masters student Miss de Groot was second with her ongoing research into the mixing of Rena oil into sandy beaches and to what depth it has penetrated, and fellow Waikato University student Miss Podziewska placed third for her research into the efficacy of the different cleaning methods that were used on oil-affected rocky shores.
The students had three minutes to give a snapshot of their research, which is part of the Rena Environmental Monitoring Programme. Their findings will form part of the next round of monitoring results, expected in April.
Programme leader Professor Chris Battershill from the University of Waikato said a wide range of research projects were being conducted by students over the summer period, many of them part of the Rena monitoring programme, and the symposium gave students an excellent opportunity to explain their work.
"Learning how to synthesise and present their methodologies into three minutes in front of a mixed audience, and being judged on that is very good practice for their future academic goals."
The symposium also featured presentations from local and international scientists and economists, and iwi representatives.
Around 120 people attended the January 25 symposium, which this year had a focus on agribusiness and economic sustainability.
The symposium is an annual fixture on the University of Waikato's summer calendar in Tauranga.