Tiaki a Aotearoa
Nicolas Rivers is a New Zealand-based 16-year-old student with a passion for marine biology and advocating the importance of preserving our oceans. He is founding multiple projects, such as Tiaki a Aotearoa.
Growing up, Nicolas moved around different parts of the world, from Switzerland to China and now to New Zealand. Along the way, he gained a deep appreciation for nature, particularly the ocean, since coming to New Zealand. Diving with sea turtles and witnessing marine life first-hand gave him a fascination with the ocean. Once he was able to interact with the sea again in Thailand and Hawaii physically, inspired Nicolas to found Tiaki a Aotearoa which is Māori for “preserve Aotearoa”, a New Zealand-based blog aimed to educate Kiwis on the importance and diversity of Aotearoa's marine ecosystems. Nicolas aims to promote the preservation of marine ecosystems while respecting Māori culture
Nicolas is very involved in the basketball scene at his school, as he both plays, and coaches a school team, including coaching his team to an undefeated season. Nicolas pursues advocacy in more than just marine biology, as he also founded Stories Across Borders, a website dedicated to publishing the stories of immigrants in New Zealand from different areas of the world. Nicolas is a prefect at his school and assists in managing the science fair club. He also plays electric guitar in his free time and is a big NBA and music fan. Nicolas is also training to become a certified diver. In the future, Nicolas aims to move from advocacy for marine ecosystems to physical coral reef conservation efforts.
Looking ahead to a sustainable future, Nicolas aims to attend a program which can help him pursue his goals of marine conservation and further his knowledge of marine biology. Nicolas wants to attend world class universities to aid in building a network to provide opportunities in the fields of marine conservation and research alongside the opportunity to build partnerships with conservation organizations and institutions. After graduating, Nicolas aims to pursue coral conservation and begin working to gain experience in the field. After post-graduation, Nicolas aspires to begin his own conservation projects.