DOC volunteer project enables teacher to give back to students
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionPrimary school teacher Christine Longbottom was hosted by DOC’s Curio Bay Summer Warden programme so she can focus on her fellowship study on the survival of threatened bird populations.
Date: 21 June 2010
A DOC volunteer has taken volunteering to a new level after securing a Royal Society of New Zealand Primary Science Teacher Fellowship; highlighting the theme of this year’s Volunteer Awareness Week (VAW).
DOC volunteer Christine Longbottom
VAW 2010 (June 20 to 26) celebrates ‘Volunteering Across the Generations’ with the aim of highlighting volunteering opportunities for all generations including intergenerational volunteering.
Primary school teacher Christine Longbottom was hosted by DOC’s Curio Bay Summer Warden programme, providing her with the opportunity to focus on her fellowship study on the survival of threatened bird populations.
Ms Longbottom said the opportunity to spend a month at Curio Bay and work with wildlife, the community and visitors on a daily basis has been essential to her studies; the results of which will feed back to future generations.
“I’ve already been sending photographs and information back to the students at Twizel Area School to show them the work I’ve been doing and this will continue as my fellowship progresses,” Ms Longbottom said.
DOC ranger Mark Oster said Ms Longbottom’s experience demonstrates how DOC volunteer projects not only benefit the department and its work but also the individual volunteer and future generations.
“Ms Longbottom’s research will feed back into primary school education and could ultimately feed back to us (DOC) in the way we look at our management systems of flora and fauna, so it is a real thrill to see how far volunteers can take things,” Mr Oster said.
Ms Longbottom said the volunteer programme was a privilege to be a part of and she was grateful for the support from Mr Oster and the department. She is looking forward to joining a volunteer project on Rarotoka/Centre Island this week.
Information about the Curio Bay Volunteer Summer Warden programme
The Curio Bay Volunteer Summer Warden programme requires the warden to monitor visitor behaviour in Curio and Porpoise bays and to educate visitors on how to behave around sensitive species and the fossilised forest.
The area is one of Southland’s most attractive destinations because of its population of the endangered species, Hectors dolphins/Upokohue and yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho and the fossilised forest.
Mr Oster said the Curio Bay programme is suitable for people of all ages and volunteers need to have a passion for this environment and strong communication skills as they will work with the community and visitors including overseas tourists.
Ms Longbottom’s fellowship encompasses the affect of people in yellow-eyed penguin sites and the degree of knowledge people have about appropriate behaviour around this species.
DOC’s Conservation Volunteer Projects Southland and Otago Projects 2010-2011 booklet is due to be released at the start of July.
For more information on volunteer programmes contact Department of Conservation Volunteer Coordinator Catherine Sutherland (02) 211 2400 or email email@example.com
Additional information about DOC volunteers
- In 2008/2009 DOC volunteers contributed the equivalent of *26,256 workdays.
(*Following the same calculation method Ned Hardy Boys used in the recent publication in the Science for Conservation series “Valuing community group contributions to conservation”)
- As at May 2010 DOC works with 552 community partner groups. The value added to conservation by 200 groups (survey 2007) was $15.8 million*.
(* Ned Hardy Boys’ recent publication in the Science for Conservation series “Valuing community group contributions to conservation”)