The Kauri Fund was established in 2004 for the following charitable purposes:
- To promote ecological science by improving communications among ecologists and other specialists;
- To foster ecological research and applications of ecological knowledge; and
- To improve ecological education at all levels.
The Board of Trustees for the Kauri Fund comprises the Council of the New Zealand Ecological Society, being its elected office holders, and two Trustees separately elected from the membership of the New Zealand Ecological Society.
The elected Trustees are: Dave Kelly and Carol West
The Kauri Seed Programme
The first initiative of the Kauri Fund was to establish in 2010 the Kauri Seed Programme Scholarships to mentor and encourage undergraduate ecologists in the early stages of their ecological careers. This will be achieved by giving grants to up to 8 undergraduate ecologists to enable them to attend the New Zealand Ecological Society’s conference. The kauri seed programme is not currently being offered, as the fund is currently being used to fund postgraduate students to attend the conference.
NZES Hot Topics
In 2018, the NZES council and the Kauri Fund Trustees instigated a new initiative for the Kauri Fund: the development the New Zealand Ecological Society Hot Topics programme. This initiative follows the success of the Hot Topics programme run by the Ecological Society of Australia, and aims to improve communication of science from the conservation and ecological community within Aotearoa New Zealand to the people of NZ. The NZES Hot Topic reports will likewise provide a robust source of ecological and conservation science to counter misinformation and evidence complacency.
Student Travel Grants
Travel grants can be used towards the costs of conference and field trip fees, travel to and from the conference venue, accommodation, and meals during the course of the conference. Travel grants are open to postgraduate students who are members of the NZES, are currently enrolled at a tertiary educational institute, and who have applied to present at either the student day or main conference or be involved in the organisation or running of the conference. The number of student travel grants awarded each year is at the discretion of the council. Currently, the Kauri Fund is being used to contribute to the Student Travel Grants to allow more postgraduate students to benefit from this grant.