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Student Profiles

Keith Gregor

Doctor of Philosophy in Environment Studies

Background Summary:

I am currently working in the Marine Studies Department at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in a varied and challenging teaching and course co-ordination role. I teach across all three years of the bachelor degree and specifically co-ordinate the second year of the Diploma in Marine Studies. From a teaching perspective, I am a very strong proponent of supporting academic learning with practical hands-on education in the outdoors. Over the years I have found that most of our students learn best by doing.

I welcomed the chance to undertake a doctoral thesis at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi as it presented the opportunity for me to combine the results of science and education outcomes at Tūhua (Mayor Island). This is a unique and special, local, pest-free, offshore island with a marine reserve, where I have been involved with monitoring since 1993. The thesis tells the story of the recovery of the Tūhua marine reserve and adds perceptions of some of the students who have collected the underlying data and the opinions of key conservation managers.

The thesis also outlines the evolution of a longstanding and successful partnership between the traditional iwi owners, the Department of Conservation and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, and discusses how this collaborative model is able to provide a template for other similar conservation and education linked initiatives.