Worthy recipient of Luke Pen Scholarship
Released 03 May 2007
A Kondinin student studying the barriers to farmers adopting plant-based salinity management in the Wheat belt of Western Australia has been awarded a prestigious $2500 scholarship to further her work.
Department of Water Acting Director General, Paul Frewer announced that Samantha Repacholi from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Western Australia is the 2007 recipient of the Luke Pen Scholarship.
"Ms Repacholi is a very worthy winner indeed." "Her work is investigating why farmers choose to either adopt or reject plant-based options to manage salinity," Mr Frewer said.
Samantha will use postal surveys and face-to-face interviews of farmers in the Central, Eastern and Great Southern Wheat belt to discover decision priorities and constraints regarding uptake of plant-based salinity management.
"I want to take his opportunity to congratulate Samantha Repacholi and wish her every success in her ongoing work."
"This is work that the entire Western Australian community will benefit from," Mr Frewer said. The Luke Pen Scholarship was established by the Department of Environment in 2002 to honour the life and work of the late Doctor Luke Pen. The scholarship is now awarded by the Department of Water as the lead agency in the Water Resources portfolio.
It is open to honours students, offering up to $10,000 a year for research projects, with up to $5000 per recipient. The scholarship is currently in its fourth year.
Mr Frewer said Dr Pen was renowned for his dedication to helping community groups understand river function and for inspiring people to have vision and passion for the daunting task of addressing river health.
"It was Dr Pen's vision that this fund would encourage young people in developing deeper understanding of our waterway systems," Mr Frewer said.
"The scholarship focuses research into four key areas of waterways management;
- Wheat belt valleys and their waterways.
- Plants that increase water use to help manage changes in hydrology.
- Salt tolerant plants for use in saline landscapes.
- Increasing understanding of the hydrology of South West Western Australia.
"The purpose of the scholarship is to support Honours projects in areas identified by Dr Pen as being in critical need of research that will also raise awareness and increase understanding of waterway management." Mr Frewer said.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441