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Published: 2013-02-14 00:00:00

A top Waikato University student with a keen interest in natural hazards has won Waikato Regional Council’s water sciences prize.

Josiah Ensing with Waikato Regional Council chairman Peter Buckley
and resource use and environmental monitoring committee chair
Lois Livingston.

It’s the 23rd year the prize for $500 of book vouchers has been awarded to the top Bachelor of Science student enrolled in water sciences papers at the University of Waikato. 

Josiah Ensing, 24 from Karakariki Valley near Hamilton, last year completed his degree, majoring in the earth and ocean sciences. He is particularly interested in natural events like floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. 

“I’ve been fascinated by natural hazards for the past 5-10 years, and there have been many big events around the world which happened while I was studying and enriched my learning,” he said. 

This year he will be returning to university to complete a graduate diploma in geophysics, this time in Auckland where his wife is at medical school. 

“I plan to pursue a career related to natural hazards and hope that work will be of service to communities, perhaps even helping to save lives and properties.”   

Providing service to the community is not new to Mr Ensing, who headed to South Korea to work for two years as a missionary, before returning to New Zealand to study. 

The award was presented yesterday by resource use and environmental monitoring committee chair Lois Livingston. 

“The Waikato is vulnerable to all the natural hazards – volcanic eruption, flooding, tsunami and earthquake. Josiah’s interest could really benefit the community and it’s great to see he has embraced study around these risks,” Cr Livingston said.