My interests in conservation revegetation are to reduce funding dependency and to develop plantsmanship.
When projects are limited by money, they can adopt methods which avoid needing money. Reducing dependency on money avoids funding being a limiting factor and the benefits of other ecological restoration methods can be investigated.
I presented these concepts at Conservation Inc 2013 in response to dramatic reductions in funding. The coupling of increasing cooperation between groups and adopting a range of revegetation methods combats the potential decline in conservation activities due to shrinking funding and the increase in demand for funding as environmental concerns motivate more people to take action.
The third response is to develop commercial activities which cause improved environmental outcomes. For example the economically viable planting of Manuka as a forage for honey bees or to develop uses of Harakeke (native NZ flax).
Currently I am developing a social enterprise using Harakeke as a fibre source for paper and paper products.
Tree-ring research is the science of relating the growth patterns of trees to environmental, ecological and biological processes.
My research uses Kahikatea, an endemic NZ wetland tree, to develop an understanding of the species' ecological development and landscape processes in the Wairarapa Valley of New Zealand's North Island.
I presented my annually cross-dated tree-ring chronology from Kahikatea trees from NZ's Wairarapa Valley at the NZ Plant Conservation Conference in 2013 and the 9th International Conference on Dendrochronology in 2014.
Learning about how trees see the world provides perspective and an opportunity to reflect on what are social norms. If we value nature and learn about the needs of other species we can discover new opportunities for managing our water, natural and landscape capital.
Particularly now, and especially in NZ, we need perspective, and the historic and projected understanding about how to underpin our current needs while ensuring resource security in the face of dynamic environmental changes. Tree-ring research can help provide us with that.