27 Jan 2011

New Zealand geology student gets Fulbright scholarship to study tsunamis in Hawaii

4:24 pm on 27 January 2011

A geology student from New Zealand's University of Canterbury has begun research in Hawai'i on tsunamis experienced by Samoa.

Shaun Williams was granted a Fulbright/New Zealand Ministry of Research, Science and Technology Graduate Award to study at the University of Hawai'i's Ocean and Resources Engineering Department.

He says being born and bred in Samoa and seeing the effects of the 2009 tsunami motivated him to develop an historical timeline of tsunamis that may have hit Samoa.

"This information will be advocating strongly at least that this information be incorporated into national hazard management plans, community hazard management plans when it comes to tsunamis. This will go towards increasing public awareness of tsunamis, gives people understanding of the nature and frequency of these events and how to go about planning for these sort of things."

Shaun Williams says he will spend one year in Hawaii studying towards a PhD he began at the University of Canterbury.