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Top water sciences student wins prize

Published: 28/03/2019

Waikato Regional Council has today recognised the University of Waikato’s top water sciences student.

The water sciences prize, established in 1990 by Sir Ross Jansen with the University of Waikato Earth Sciences Department, was presented to fourth year environmental engineering student, Emily Sopers.

Emily’s parents moved from the Netherlands to New Zealand in 1996 for the relaxed Kiwi lifestyle and the outdoors.

“I am so blessed with this decision. My youth was filled with the great outdoors – countless camping trips, sailing, surfing and hiking, and all this has given me a real passion for this country,” Ms Sopers said.

“In particular I have always loved water. The beach, waterfalls, water holes. I still cannot comprehend how lucky we are in New Zealand to be surrounded by so much natural beauty,” the 21-year-old Hamiltonian said.

It’s a passion Emily hopes to bring to her career when she wraps up study at the end of the year. “I am loving my studies, in particular learning about coastal and freshwater management, and I believe these special spots need to be protected and maintained for future generations to enjoy also.

“I am so excited for a rewarding and challenging career in environmental engineering, it’s a wide field with so many pathways, and I can see myself making a difference to communities and the planet.”

The water sciences prize for book vouchers worth $500 is awarded annually to the top student enrolled in water science papers within the School of Science (Faculty of Science and Engineering), in Level III courses.

Council chair Alan Livingston said: “It’s a privilege to present this prize to a student who has achieved outstanding academic results and who very clearly has a strong passion for improving the environment through sound land and water management.

“It’s an area that has a synergy with the work of our council and is close to the hearts of our communities. We wish Emily every success as she pursues her career beyond study.”