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Update from 2021 scholarship recipient Cassandra Newman

Figure 1 Historic Shorelines at Fortrose captured by satellite imageryFigure 1 Historic Shorelines at Fortrose captured by satellite imagery

A nationwide lockdown has been an efficient way to glue me to my research over the past couple of months. I managed to capture my August UAV imagery and get back to Auckland just before the country went into lockdown. Three surveys of UAV imagery have been collected with a final due November. Because of lockdown restrictions, this survey may have to be delayed until December but if I am unable to leave Auckland until next year, the final survey trip down to Southland will be cancelled. This is not ideal as the surveys I collected in May were unusable because of doming in my imagery so I will only have my February and August surveys. With two surveys, any analysis I do between them will be ‘linear’ whereas the coastal system is not linear so shouldn’t be measured as such.

I am undertaking analysis of the sites and beginning to interpret the results I have so far. This report just highlights Figure 2: Coastal dynamics at Fortrose derived from patterns seen throughout historic shorelines.Figure 2: Coastal dynamics at Fortrose derived from patterns seen throughout historic shorelines.my outputs from the Fortrose site and shows an interesting observation found with my values table of Porpoise Bay.

Fortrose has been a very interesting site to investigate. This site is along the east side of the Fortrose estuary, at the mouth of the Mataura River in Southland (Fig. 1). The estuary is tidal, but the dynamics of this shoreline rely greatly on the flow of the Mataura River just before it reaches the sea. Old CAD files from the late 1800s show whole property boundaries around where transects 18 – 24 are, have been lost to erosion. In recent years, concrete, bricks, and driftwood have been pushed into the shoreline to prevent further erosion. The results of this can be seen in figure 1 where the lines representing the years 2005, 2013 and 2021 are close together. Is there a more efficient way to prevent the natural course of erosion along this shoreline than adding artificial material into the banks? If not, how do we manage Figure 3: Snapshot of Porpoise Bay magnitude values with key showing distinct cycles of erosion and accretion between each surveyFigure 3: Snapshot of Porpoise Bay magnitude values with key showing distinct cycles of erosion and accretion between each surveythe retreat of the shoreline? I look forward to investigating this site further.

A big part of GIS for me is making geographical information easy to interpret and understand no matter your background. A degree in design would have been helpful but none the less I have spent some time formatting my data output so the information they are conveying is transparent. Figure 2 shows my coastal dynamics map where I created a matrix to categorise each transect between the four dynamics: eroding, accreting, stable and unstable.

The most interesting observation I found was when analysing the Porpoise Bay magnitude and rate of change values. There is a distinction erosion / accretion cycle occurring about every 10 years. Figure 3 shows a snapshot of the magnitude values between each historic shoreline at Porpoise Bay and Figure 4 shows the average annual rate of change. The cells highlighted in browns are erosion and in green and blue are accretion. Because of the complex system Figures 3 & 4 are Figure 4: Snapshot of Porpoise Bay average annual rate of change showing distinct cycles of erosion and accretion between each surveyFigure 4: Snapshot of Porpoise Bay average annual rate of change showing distinct cycles of erosion and accretion between each surveyshowing over the years, deciphering patterns, or making predictions of this site has proven difficult.

I am over halfway through with my thesis and am enjoying this research immensely. I have learnt a lot so far, especially with different methods for collecting drone imagery and how to problem solve when things do not go the way you plan them to. The drone surveys have also captured some stunning aerial images of the shore. These images below are from the Porpoise Bay August survey. These images (plus a couple hundred more) are processed to create the 3D models of the sites.

Survey about environmental volunteering in the Manawatū

As part of her PhD in Environmental Management at Massey University, Charlotte Sextus is is inviting readers from the Manawatū to participate in a survey exploring environmental volunteering.

Community-based environmental groups make a significant contribution to biodiversity conservation in New Zealand. This survey aims to help us understand why people volunteer for environmental groups. These findings will be useful for groups seeking to recruit more volunteers to help protect our local environment.

The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. Participation is completely voluntary, and all responses will remain completely anonymous.To participate please use the link below:

https://massey.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_87fjPQkllVZ8T8q

If you would prefer a printed version of the survey please just email her at Enable JavaScript to view protected content. or you can pick one up from the ENM office on 145 Cube st, Palmerston North.

Driving on Muriwai Beach feedback now available

Auckland Council received a total of 2180 formal survey submissions about driving on Muriwai Beach.

Key feedback themes

When asked which of the three options to manage the future of vehicles on the beach they prefer – seasonal closures, controlled access, or permanent closure:

  • 37 per cent prefer seasonal closures, restricting vehicle access to the beach at core times.
  • 32 per cent prefer controlled access
  • 21 per cent prefer permanent closure of all public vehicle access points.

For the full story and a link to the feedback document go here.

Myrtle rust webinar on Wed 20 October 11am

Lophomyrtus bullata leaf with brown telia, sexual spore stage of A. psidii. Photo: Michael Bartlett, Scion.Lophomyrtus bullata leaf with brown telia, sexual spore stage of A. psidii. Photo: Michael Bartlett, Scion.Austropuccinia psidii (myrtle rust) is likely bipolar and may outcross on universal hosts - Presented by Alistair Mctaggart, Plant Pathologist, The University of Queensland

Austropuccinia psidii reproduces sexually and asexually. A knowledge gap about its reproductive biology is whether populations of this pathogen that were formerly structured (separated) by host range can reproduce on shared hosts. Join us for this webinar by plant pathologist and mycologist Alistair McTaggart, who has been delving into this research area. Recent work by Alistair and colleagues determined whether mating genes in three genomes of A. psidii (from Australia, Brazil and South Africa) were under selection, as a proxy for whether different strains can reproduce sexually on a shared host. They examined contigs that contained three homologs of the STE3.2 gene, which were near-identical in the three genomes, and the homeodomain locus, which contained two alleles of two homeodomain genes in each genome. The lack of variation in STE3.2 genes may indicate A. psidii uses bipolar mating, and there are implications for biosecurity if different strains are sexually compatible based on variation in the homeodomain locus.

To attend this webinar, or to receive a recording to watch after the live session, register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Godwit webinar next Tuesday 19 October 8pm

Topic: Gob-Smacking Godwits

Description:

Adrian Riegen will follow the story of the 2021 godwit tracking project.
The marathon migrations of these extraordinary birds continue to amaze and surprise us.
If you have been following our regular updates, join us to discover the inside story and have your questions answered.

Tuesday 19th October 2021 - 8:00PM

To register go here