Art encourages people to look after environment | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Art encourages people to look after environment

Having environmental art in the community encourages people to look after their environmental surroundings, University of the Sunshine Coast researcher Megan Marks has declared.

This was a major finding of Ms Marks’ PhD thesis that she summarised last week for USC’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, held as part of the University’s 2015 Research Week.

Ms Marks won the competition, ahead of eight other Higher Degree by Research students, with her talk ‘Environmental art – not just weaving baskets’.

The Noosa Council project officer investigated whether or not environmental art could change the behaviour of people and if it encouraged a sense of place that created a greater desire to look after the environment.

"For the 3MT competition I talked about how the thesis actually converted me and my way of thinking," she said.

"I wasn’t a greenie when I started the project, and I was dubious about the impact of environmental art on an audience."

"But I actually discovered that it made people proud to live in an environmental community which caused them to act more sustainably – so now I’m a greenie and I’m converted!"

Ms Marks will now compete at the Trans-Tasman 3MT competition in Brisbane later this year, and intends to use her cash prize of $1,000 from USC to do further research in Norway.

Runner-up Tetyana Rocks presented ‘Nutrition and Dietetics students and eating attitudes and behaviours: the good, the bad and the exceptional’, a summary of her investigation in to the mostly impressive lifestyles of students undertaking tertiary training in Dietetics.

It’s the second time Ms Rocks has competed in the 3MT challenge.

"It’s such a wonderful opportunity to shine a torch on the most interesting parts of your research," she said.

— Megan Woodward

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