'The degree is everything it promises to be and more...'
Bachelor of Science in Geography
Studying towards a Master of Science in Disaster Risk and Resilience
‘I would like to get myself into a position where I am able to make a significant difference where it is most needed,’ Alice says of her research in tsunami risk. ‘If I am to be able to become part of the community of highly skilled people that manage hazards and disasters in New Zealand and help to increase the resilience of our communities, I would be heading in the right direction in terms of my career goals.’
Alice had first discovered her growing interest in the natural world during her first year studying Geography at UC, in large part due to the number of field trips throughout the programme around the South Island.
Wanting to see her studies work towards helping others and building a stronger community, Alice found the Master of Disaster Risk and Resilience programme (MDRR) the perfect evolution of her Geography degree.
‘The degree is everything it promises to be and more! From learning about the study of risk theory to improving my GIS skills, to the field trips and practical application of lecture material, there was so much to gain from this programme. I saw what we learnt be directly applied to managing the risk we are currently exposed to in New Zealand.
‘Many people with diverse backgrounds and interests find their niche within the programme,’ she says.
Her own interests in coastal hazards saw Alice research tsunami risk and evacuation procedures for the coastal towns in Wairarapa, her home region on the North Island of New Zealand.
Now doing a Master of Science, Alice has received a Transport Outcomes Scholarship from the Ministry of Transport to support her current thesis work.
‘With the help of the lecturing team much of the course content was able to be tailored to fit my interests. My day-to-day activities vary from being behind the desk writing up my report to getting out to local beaches to conduct my research; every day is different!’
Back on campus, Alice was an avid member of the UC Netball club and UC TuneSoc (music) club during her undergraduate years as a keen netball and music player, and later became Club Captain and President of both clubs.
‘I’ve enjoyed my whole experience at UC thus far, from being taught by world-class lecturers to the club culture and community vibe. Aside from my two main clubs, I love going along to other club events and making the most of everything they offer. It’s been amazing to dip my toes in different areas of the club scene to meet and spend time with some really talented and passionate people.’
Looking onto her career in disaster risk reduction gives Alice a strong sense of hope for the future of hazard management, and she encourages other students to get involved.
‘New Zealand is an incredibly active and fascinating country for natural hazards and disasters so there is always something new to research and more people needed to help to reduce disaster risk,’ she says.