Biosecurity concerns the exclusion, eradication and effective management of threats to the economy, environment and human health which are posed by pests and diseases. New Zealand's economy and trade rely on a strong primary production base, and our freedom from major pests and diseases is critical to producing efficiently and trading freely. Ongoing global climate change and its effects on ecosystems make understanding biosecurity issues crucial. As our climate alters, organisms previously unable to survive in our environment may become a potential threat to our ecosystem.
Year 13 biology is recommended. Some background in mathematics, particularly statistics, and chemistry is valuable. All students should have adequate English skills.
Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science with an endorsement in Biosecurity will study BIOS 201 Issues in New Zealand Biosecurity at 200-level (as well as other required courses listed in the Biosecurity endorsement schedule). This course establishes a scientific, legal and practical definition of biosecurity and pursues the ramifications of breaches to the systems in place to protect New Zealand from such affronts to our security.
Bachelor of Arts students can take BIOS 201 as part of their degree, plus the Biological Sciences course BIOL 273 New Zealand Biodiversity and Biosecurity.
Students with ability can attain postgraduate qualifications in which topics in biosecurity are discussed. There are also opportunities in research-based degrees (eg, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD) to undertake projects investigating issues in biosecurity.
As an emerging issue of both national and international importance, biosecurity provides many career opportunities in government agencies, spear-headed by the regulatory authority the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ), Crown Research Institutes and in ministries concerned with conservation, the environment, agriculture and forestry. District and regional councils also may employ biologists to manage invading organisms.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers