Feature story

Based at Bream Bay, Whangarei, Crispin Middleton is also an acclaimed underwater photographer and the recipient of numerous photography awards. His work regularly appears in New Zealand Geographic, dive magazines, scientific journals and conservation/ government documents.
It may be rubbish to everyone else, but to Amanda Valois each little scrap of plastic on a river bank or in a waterway tells a valuable story.
If you think science and art have nothing in common, think again. At environmental science institute NIWA, it’s all about one inspiring the other.

Read other Summer Series 2018 stories

As a young child growing up on an Irish farm, one of Eimear Egan’s chores was to regularly clean out the well from where her family drew its drinking water. In the well lived a large eel that, no matter how many times it was shifted, just kept coming back.
A leopard seal, who has made the balmy waters around Auckland home, is prompting a NIWA scientist to campaign for her to be made a New Zealand citizen.
Christchurch’s Red Zone is to be the focal point of a scientific experiment involving street lights and insects over summer. 
A NIWA-led team of marine ecologists are using seal-mounted cameras to get a first-hand view into the behaviour and movements of Weddell seals under the Antarctic ice.
NIWA scientists have made an important breakthrough in the battle to save New Zealand’s freshwater mussels.
Inhabitants of the Marshall Islands may not be able to avoid drought, but thanks to a new tool co-developed by NIWA they can now plan ahead to better manage water resources when the big dry looms.
Research conducted after the 2016, 7.8 magnitude Kaikōura earthquake has provided scientists with an extremely rare opportunity to understand the processes that shape submarine canyons.
This year, NIWA completed a project that aims to help build community resilience against flooding in the Bumbu River and contribute to improving Papua New Guinea’s disaster preparedness in the face of increasing climate-related disasters.
Coastal communities around New Zealand are getting a say on how to respond to sea-level rise, and NIWA is helping them.
As temperatures drop over winter months, many Kiwis turn to their fireplaces to heat their homes. However, most of us are not fully aware of the immense impact that wood burning can have on people and the environment.
What happens when the contribution from seasonal snow and ice melt changes in a warmer world?
New Zealand is a land of erosion. We’re losing about 192 million tonnes of soil a year, according to the latest report Our Land 2018, from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ.
As part of a Pacific-wide study, NIWA is measuring the survival rate of sharks returned to the sea by commercial tuna fishers.
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.

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