InTouch : Taking Science to the Community

Dr Nicholas Edgar, the head of an independent trust that facilitates land management and biodiversity initiatives in rural communities, has won the inaugural Cawthron Science Leader Award.
Valued at almost $25,000, the award provides an all-expenses-paid place on the 18-month Hillary Leadership Programme, run by Excelerator: New Zealand Leadership Institute which is part of the Auckland Business School.
Edgar, who was appointed CEO of the New Zealand Landcare Trust last August, is excited at the prospect of being the first to take advantage of the unique scholarship.
“Having career in science, it’s easy to test your expertise, to know where you sit, because science is such rigorous process of peer review you know how good your research is and whether you are at the cutting edge or not.
“Moving into management and leadership is totally different arena with its own set of challenges,” Edgar says.
He was born and bred in the Waikato, worked in lake research and applied catchment management and restoration projects in New Zealand and Australia, before returning home to Hamilton and his current role.
While it was no surprise the 42-year-old, who was “always interested in insects as young boy”, qualified as freshwater ecologist, his move into senior management was more of an evolution than any long-held ambition.
“One of the big questions for me was: would the move mean losing my roots; could I retain my credibility as scientist, finding the time to be up to date with the latest research and continue to publish, while also leading an organisation?”
What the Cawthron Science Leader Award highlights to him is: “It is not only possible, but something the industry also considers desirable.”
Seven applicants were shortlisted for the inaugural Cawthron Award from variety of backgrounds including environmental agencies, laboratories, regional councils and CRIs.

Visited 10 times, 1 visit(s) today
Close Search Window