Omata School deputy principal Pat Murphy is back in the classroom this week after spending the past six months scouring the slopes of Mt Taranaki as part of a science fellowship.
Mr Murphy, who has been teaching for 35 years, said the Primary Science Teacher Fellowship he did with the Department of Conservation was amazing.
“You are walking around from Holly Hut to the display centre on a beautiful fine day – that is just a great experience that I’m being paid to enjoy,” he said.
“Of course there is also the downside, when there is snow on the mountain and weather conditions aren’t pleasant, and only the truly committed people are out doing their job.”
The fellowship, funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, is managed by the Royal Society of New Zealand. It is designed to allow teachers to work alongside professionals doing science-driven work and take back their experiences to the classroom.
Mr Murphy worked alongside the Department of Conservation’s Taranaki biodiversity assets supervisor, Emily King.