Breadcrumbs

Waikato student wins scholarship for carbon study

14 February 2012

Emma Chibnall

Stellar Research: University of Waikato student Emma Chibnall has been awarded the 2011 Dr Stella Frances Scholarship for her research on carbon draining.

University of Waikato MSc student Emma Chibnall has been awarded the 2011 Dr Stella Frances Scholarship for her research on carbon draining on a working dairy farm.

Chibnall's research topic is the 'Contribution of dissolved organic carbon leaching to an annual carbon budget of a grazed pastoral system',and is part of a wider research topic looking at the carbon emissions from a farm.

“I’m measuring the amount of carbon draining from the soil of a grazed dairy farm, which is going to be part of an overall carbon budget for a working dairy farm.”

Research to improve dairy farm management

Through her research Chibnall hopes to provide information on the movement and cycling of carbon through pastoral soils that may contribute to improved management of dairy farm systems, both environmentally and economically.

The Dr Stella Frances Scholarship was initiated in 2005 in memory of the well-known and highly respected environmentalist, regional councillor and conservator for the Department of Conservation (DOC) who died in August 2003.

It is awarded for masters-level research and study in the fields of natural and physical sciences, human perspectives on the environment, environment management practice or economics and technologies.

The $5000 scholarship is sponsored by Waikato Regional Council and DOC.

"I've really enjoyed hydrology and soil science and this year-long research project combines the two. So far in New Zealand the presence of carbon in the soil has only ever been measured in a lab - for my research, we'll be working in the field extracting soil water from a dairy farm near Matamata," says Chibnall.