Tuesday, 18 August 2015 10:20

Helping science students find their way

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Giant Buttercup, Ranunculus acris. Giant Buttercup, Ranunculus acris.

A new mentoring programme that pairs plant science students with experienced researchers has been launched by the New Zealand Plant Protection Society (NZPPS).

The programme aims to teach students about the use of science in protecting New Zealand’s plant resources and give them a better understanding of the career options available in the sector.

“Ensuring the New Zealand environment is safe from the threat of invasive pests and diseases is vital, in protecting both our horticultural exports and for conservation of our native environment,” says Lisa Jamieson, NZPPs president.

“There are so many opportunities available to science students in this area, but understanding what those are, and how to approach them, can be difficult.”

The programme began in response to a survey of university students in plant protection, which indicated that a mentoring scheme was one of the most useful services that the NZPPS could provide its young members.

NZPPS says that under the scheme students with an interest in entomology, plant pathology, invasive weeds, and biosecurity will have the opportunity to meet influential members of the plant protection industry and increase their knowledge of the sector.

“This mentoring service will provide students with a way into the industry, linking them with mentors that can advise them and introduce them to useful contacts to help them continue on their career path, “ says Jamieson.

 The NZPPS website has more information on the scheme http://nzpps.org/index.php

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