Last week, I handed in a proposal for the Engagement component of the Deep South National Science Challenge DS-NSC.
My idea was to look at extreme weather events in New Zealand from the 1850s-1970s and how this influenced the settlements and communities. Since I have been on the North Island earlier this year, I was thinking of this sort of project: for example: in Whakahoro were settlements from 1918 – 1942. The climate there is challenging and the terrain is not the usual sort of farmland but 40 farmers tried it. With their impact in working on the land (e.g. deforesting) and the weather events (mainly strong rain events) it caused landslides. Consequently the roads were hard to maintain and so the government decided in 1942 to close this area for business and the 3 remaining farms were abandoned.
Now some farmers today try different approaches to work on the land.
It is an interesting topic and after I have done the research I will create displays on public places (which will be then decided if I should get the funding). Marney Brosnan will be the designer for the exhibition panels.
I hope that I will get some funding for this project – the proposals are now under review.