Published on 20 April 2016
A 23-year-old Redcliffe resident examining the importance of mangroves to sustainable land management in coastal regions has graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
When Matthew Brown, of Newport, received his degree at a graduation ceremony at USC’s Sippy Downs campus this month, he had already started Honours research for his next science degree through USC’s Sustainability Research Centre.
Mr Brown, who attended Southern Cross Catholic College at Scarborough, said his career goal was to promote sustainable land management in coastal regions.
“My studies are highlighting the significance of mangrove forests for reducing community-felt impacts associated with climate change,” he said.
“I’m documenting the interactions and relationships that coastal communities have with mangroves and ecosystem services.
“I’m developing an understanding of local and traditional ecological knowledge, and quantifying changes in mangrove cover on the Sunshine Coast, including possible implications for coastal protection with sea level rise.”
Mr Brown said the theoretical and practical aspects of his Environmental Science degree helped him “hit the ground running” as he pursued further academic success.
“In particular, it’s given me the analytical skills required to assess changes in environmental systems and identify the driver of change,” he said.
He said he had benefited from USC’s positive, inviting atmosphere and teaching staff “who were always willing to go out of their way to help”.
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— Julie Schomberg