Highlight from the Hub

Whale journey advances UC relationship with US ambassador

An opportunity for the US Ambassador and his wife to join a recent research trip on humpback whale migration has helped advance UC’s relationship with the US Embassy in New Zealand.

Ambassador Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy joined UC staff and students on the recent research trip on 29 August-4 September,

Dr Travis Horton (UC Geology) organised the trip for nine UC students participating in the Frontiers Abroad Program to conduct research on humpback whale migration as part of a long-standing collaboration with Nan Hauser of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation.

Through his service on the Fulbright Commission Board, Travis invited Ambassador Gilbert and Nancy to join the UC contingent and view the whales up close on the water.

Associate Professor Osteen, Director of the UC Community Engagement Hub, accompanied Dr Horton and the students to meet with Ambassador Gilbert as part of just receiving a $15,000 grant from the US Embassy to take a delegation of UC staff and students to Vanuatu in February 2016 for social enterprise development projects.

Student applications are now being sought for that trip.

Both the Rarotonga and Vanuatu trips are flagship, academically-based experiences that provide students and staff with opportunities to engage with all attributes of  the new UC Graduate Profile.

The US Embassy’s support for these initiatives as well as the 2014 Community Engagement Summit and a community engagement technology grant is greatly appreciated.