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Published: 2015-04-30 00:00:00

A Masters of Education student evaluating an environmental education programme in Taupo and an aspiring Masters student have been awarded two prestigious scholarships at Waikato Regional Council today.

The Dr Stella Frances Scholarship for $5000 (funded 50/50 by the council and the Department of Conservation) was awarded to Taupo-based Thea De Petris.

The council’s $1000 Prize in Water Science went to Morrinsville’s Andrew Douie, now living in Hamilton.

Both are University of Waikato students.

Forty-one-year-old Thea – who has worked as a teacher and environmental consultant - will use her scholarship for her Masters thesis work which is “An Evaluative Study of the ‘Kids Greening Taupo’ Pilot Project”.

This will involve looking at a school environmental education programme pioneered in the South Island and which is now undertaken in Taupo with five schools participating.

Andrew Douie, meanwhile, is part way through a Bachelor of Science degree, which he aims to complete this year, and hopes to go on to at least do a Masters degree. He would eventually like to work in research or at a museum.

Andrew, 21, has done extensive volunteer work including involvement with research using an electric fishing boat and on a pest fish population survey.