Summer 2014

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Summer 2014


Summer 2014 edition

This edition of the newsletter includes the following sections:

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Featured staff member Prof Roy SidleRoy-Sidle-120x160.jpg

The SRC has strengthened its senior research leadership and capacity through the appointment of Prof Roy Sidle as Professor of Geography in September 2014.

His research focuses on biogeophysical aspects of sustainability, including natural hazards, catchment hydrology and management, and interactions between socioeconomic pressures and responses and ecosystem processes. Specifically, he has been working on issues of environmental effects of land cover change, erosion processes exacerbated by mountain road building, coastal and mountain hazards — both water and sediment-related, cumulative effects of land use on water supply and sediment, and fundamental research on water movement in mountain catchments.

On October 3, 2014, Professor Roy Sidle was honoured by the Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources (JSHWR) with their 2014 JSHWR International Award for his significant contribution to progress in the field of hydrology and water resources and for his valuable devotion to collaboration with Japanese and Asian researchers. JSHWR is the leading interdisciplinary professional society dealing with water-related issues in Asia. The award ceremony was held as part of the JSHWR annual meeting in Miyazaki, Japan. The President of the society, Professor Makoto Tani of Kyoto University, presented the award certificate to Professor Sidle together with an honorarium. Professor Sidle has been collaborating with Japanese and Asian hydrologists and geoscientists since 1991 in the fields of catchment hydrology, landslides, and sustainability science.


Director of the International Projects Group (IPG)

Prof Bill Carter accepted an offer as Director of the International Projects Group (IPG) at USC. Bill will continue to remain a valued part of the SRC (40%).

Bill will also remainon the SRC Executive Committee but will no longer be the Associate Director of the SRC. Bill's new role is a very positive move for USC and will enable closer collaboration between the IPG and the SRC.

‘Nunamin Illihakvia: Learning from the land’ project

Dr Tristan Pearce in partnership with the Ulukhaktok Community Corporation (UCC) secured funding from Health Canada ($135,000) for the ‘Nunamin Illihakvia: Learning from the Land’ project. Nunamin Illihakvia brought together young Inuit with experienced hunters and sewers to hone their knowledge and skills for traveling on the sea ice and hunting seals in the winter, how to prepare seal skins for sewing, and how to sew traditional seal skin items. The community aims to revive participation in winter seal hunting and traditional sewing skills, and in doing so enhance food security and health during a period of rapid societal and climatic change. Dr Pearce has a new manuscript based on the project titled, "Inuit Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Adaptation to Climate Change in the Canadian Arctic" "in press" in the journal Arctic.

Pictured above, Kitook Akhiatak, Kelly Nigiyok, Roland Notaina and Donald Inuktalik hunting seals on the sea ice near Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada. The Nunamin Illihakvia program paired young Inuit with Elders to hone skills for traveling on the sea ice and hunting seals in the winter.

  • Project video available on Youtube.
  • Magazine article available at IK Adapt.

Prestigious declaration adopted at International Conference on community development through tourism

Accepted and endorsed at the International Conference on Community Development through Tourism (16-17 September 2014), the Phnom Penh Declaration recognises the principles and guidelines for community development through tourism, and the work of community based tourism and its stakeholders to sustain communities and their unique attributes, conserve and protect the natural environment and cultural resources, foster knowledge exchange, and promote local socio-economic development, capacity building, empowerment and poverty reduction.

The Minister of Tourism of Cambodia, Dr Thong Kohn extended a warm welcome to Prof Greg Hill (USC Vice Chancellor and President), Prof Bill Carter and Dr Gayle Mayes, who presented at the conference at the Minister’s invitation.

Over 300 participants from tourism authorities, community tourism experts and practitioners from 28 nations were brought together to discuss various aspects of community based tourism development. The aim of the conference was to present case studies, examine the mechanisms that have led to successful inclusion of stakeholders, implementation, and analysis of the lessons learned in development community based tourism enterprises. Prof Greg Hill said “Community based tourism has the potential to empower communities and the individuals who live in them. The conference has brought together local, regional and international expertise to share best practice and plan for a more productive and equitable future for those most in need".

International Conference on Tourism (ICOT)

HDR student Ximena Arango-Estevez participated in the International Conference on Tourism (ICOT 2014) ‘Tradition Meets Modernity: Time for a Rethink of Policies, Planning and Development Initiatives’ held in Dalian, China 25-28 June 2014.

Ximena presented the work ‘Residents Perceptions of Socio-economic and Environmental Impacts of Dolphin Provisioning Tourism in Tin Can Bay, South East Queensland, Australia’ by authors Arango-Estévez, X and RW(Bill) Carter.

Aboriginal interests in land-use and development

Rachele Wilson is working on an honours project under the supervision of Dr Tristan Pearce and Dr Scott Lieske. Rachele's research aims to examine how Aboriginal interests in land-use planning and development are represented in policy and decision-making processes in Queensland through case studies on the Sunshine Coast. This research is the basis for a funding proposal submitted by Drs Pearce and Lieske and A/Prof Jennifer Carter to the Ian Potter Foundation in partnership with the Bunya Bunya Aboriginal Corporation (BBAC), a not-for-profit community land management group on the Sunshine Coast. The proposed research would use public participatory global information systems (GIS) to document and integrate Traditional Owner interests in land-use management planning on the Sunshine Coast.

Pictured above, Dr James Ford (visiting from McGill University, Canada), Rachele Wilson (SRC Honours student and Dr Scott Lieske (CRN Research Fellow) on a cultural landscape tour with Auntie Beverly Hand.

SRC Annual Retreat

The SRC Annual Retreat, held from 27–28 November was attended by 45 staff and students. Emphasis this year was on themes, specifically: global environmental change; natural resource management (including protective area management); governance; science policy link; risk, vulnerability, resilience and adaptation. This promoted some insightful discussion and promising research collaboration among staff and students to the point that many of the opportunities discussed, may result in further engagement in 2014.

HDR students were given the opportunity to present their research in a café style setting where staff had the opportunity to randomly ask questions about their research, displayed as individual posters. The students, in turn, were given an opportunity to ask their supervisors and the SRC Advisory Board questions. This Annual Retreat proved to be inspiring for students and staff alike.

Congratulations to our SRC students

Dr Cimarron Corpé

Thesis Title: Becoming Place in a Changing Climate: The Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Supervisors: Associate Professor Jen Carter (Principal) and Associate Professpr Julie Matthews
School: School of Social Sciences
Date Degree Awarded: 25 September 2014


Dr Cate MorrissCate-Morriss-120x160.jpg

Thesis Title: The Problem of Gender Mainstreaming in the Development of the Pacific Plan
Supervisors: Associate Professor Julie Matthews (Principal) and Dr John Jazekovic
School: School of Social Sciences
Date Degree Awarded: 8 August 2014


Dr Clark Scott TaylorScott-Taylor.jpg

Thesis Title: Geographies of the Liminal Dolphin: toward an understanding of the contested spaces of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy
Supervisors: Associate Professor Jen Carter (Principal) and Dr Lucinda Aberdeen
School: School of Social Sciences
Date Degree Awarded: 8 August 2014


Dr Christine SladeChristine Slade E

Thesis Title: Critiquing the Capacity of Local Government to Respond to Complex Sustainability Challenges: Two Food Security Case Studies
Supervisors: Associate Professor Jen Carter (Principal), Dr Claudia Baldwin and Associate Professor Trevor Budge
School: School of Social Sciences
Date Degree Awarded: 11 June 2014



Sabiha Zafrin and Latif Siddique
Latif Sabiha

Congratulations to Sabiha Zafrin and Latif Siddique, whose PhDs were approved by the USC Research Degrees Committee in late 2014.



Congratulations to Masters students, Nnenna Ike and Troy Street. In late 2014, the Chair of the Research Degrees Committee approved the faculty’s recommendation that Nnenna’s candidature be confirmed in the Doctor of Philosophy program. Troy Street has been ​awarded a history scholarship based on his Master's work. This scholarship will enable him to do his PhD at La Trobe University with Dr Clare Wright. His research project is: "Red Dirt Dreaming: Re-Imagining the History of Mining in Australia" and will be investigated using a mixture of archival and oral histories.

New publicationIntegrated-Water-Resource-Planning-image.jpg

Associate Professor Claudia Baldwin’s book 'Integrated Water Resources Management: Achieving Sustainable Outcomes' recently was published. An independent endorsement by Professor Chris J Spray MBE, Chair of Water Science and Policy, UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science, University of Dundee, follows:

 “Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has, for many years been rolled out as the panacea for the many challenges of water scarcity and security faced by individuals and by communities globally. Instead of adding another tome to the IWRM pile, the authors tackle the issue of planning, building on their wealth of real experience of conflict and hard decision-making, much from Australia, but with contributions globally. And this focus on planning, on actions and outputs, and on knowing the outcomes desired is the key take home message and value of the book. Developed step-by-step, working through the planning cycle with communities and supported by examples, this provides real insight, instruction and guidance to effective delivery of IWRP.”  

Examples of recent publications

Open access reports:

Carter, R., Kelly, K., Tindale, N., Beazley, H., Worachananant, S., Worachananant, P., & Siriwong, S. (2014). Coral Reef, Water Quality Status and Community Understanding of Threats in the Eastern Gulf of Thailand. APN Science Bulletin, 4, 76-78.

Fidelman, P., Powell, N., Van Tuyen, T., Nong, K., Bunnak, P., Laurent, T. (2014). Supporting governance institutions for adaptive capacity to environmental change. APN Science Bulletin. Vol. 4, 121-123.

Book chapters:

Kithiia, J., Lyth, A. (2014). Building resilience in East African cities: the spirit of ‘Harambee’: the Nexus between sustainability and climate change response. Values in Sustainable Development. Jack Appleton (ed): Book chapter 27, 273-285.

Lemmen, D., Johnston, M., Ste-Marie, C. and Pearce, T. (2014). Chapter 3: Natural Resources; in Canada in a Changing Climate: Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation, (ed.) F.J. Warren and D.S. Lemmen; Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON, p. 65-98.

Non open access:

Carter, R., Ross, H. (2014). Celebrating 20 years of peer reviewed articles on Australasian environmental management. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 21(2), 121-127.

Carter, R.W., Ross, H. (2014). Trends in environmental management through the lens of the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management. Vol. 21 (2), 200-218.

Cook, C. N., Wardell-Johnson, G., Carter, R., & Hockings, M. (2014). How accurate is the local ecological knowledge of protected area practitioners? Ecology and Society, 19(2), 1-14.

Cunsolo-Willox , A., Pearce, T., et al. (2014). Examining Relationships between Climate Change and Mental Health in the Circumpolar North: An Emerging Priority? Regional Environmental Change. Vol. 15(1), 169-182.

Curtis, A., Ross, H., Marshall, G.R., Baldwin, C., Cavaye, J., Freeman, C., Carr, A., Syme, G.J. (2014). The great experiment with devolved NRM governance: lessons from community engagement in Australia and New Zealand since the 1980s. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management. Vol. 21(2), 175-199.

Fidelman, P., Evans, L.S., Foale, S., Weible, C., Von Heland, F., Elgin, D. (2014). Coalition cohesion for regional marine governance: a stakeholder analysis of the Coral Triangle Initiative. Ocean & Coastal Management. Vol. 95, 117-128.

Gregory, J.M., Church, J.A., Clark, P.U., Payne, A.J., Merrifield, M.A., Nerem, R.S., Nunn, Patrick, Pfeffer, W.T., Stammer, D. (2014). Comment on “Expert assessment of sea-level rise by AD2100 and AD2300”, by Horton et al. Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 97, 193-194.,+by+Horton+et+al.(2014)&id=doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.05.024&title=Quaternary+geochronology&volume=97&date=2014&spage=193

Hine, D.W., Reser, J.P., Morrison, M., Phillips, W.J., Nunn, P., Cooksey, R. (2014). Audience segmentation and climate change communication: conceptual and methodological considerations. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change. Vol. 5(4), 441-459.

Jacobson, C.L., Hughey, K.F.D., Lynch, A.J.J., Nursey-Bray, M., O’Connell, M, Munro, P.G., Vella, K., Whiley, D., Dovers, S., Carter, R.W. (2014). Twenty years of pacifying responses to environmental management. Environmental Science and Management. Vol 21, No. 2, pp. 143-174.

Keys, N., Bussey, M.P., Thomsen, D.C., Lynam, T, Smith, T.F. (2014). Building adaptive capacity in South East Queensland, Australia. Regional Environmental Change. Vol. 14(2), 501-512.

Keys, N., Thomsen, D.C., Smith, T.F. (in press) Adaptive capacity and climate change: the role of community opinion leaders. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability.

Laves, G., Kenway, S., Begbie, D., Roiko, A., Carter, R.W., Waterman, P. (2014). The research-policy nexus in climate change adaptation: experience from the urban water sector in South East Queensland, Australia. Regional Environmental Change. Vol 14(2), 449-461.

McAllister, R.R.J., Smith, T., Lovelock, C.E., Low Choy, D., Ash, A.J., McDonald, J. (2014). Adapting to climate change in South East Queensland, Australia. Regional Environmental Change. Vol 14(2), 429-433.

McCubbin, S., Smit, B. and Pearce, T. Where does climate fit? Vulnerability to climate change in the context of multiple stressors in Funafuti, Tuvalu. Global Environmental Change. Vol 30, 43-55.

Singh-Peterson, L., & Lawrence, G. (2014). Insights into community vulnerability and resilience following natural disasters: perspectives with food retailers in Northern NSW, Australia. Local Environment, (ahead-of-print), 1-14.

Singh-Peterson, L., Salmon, P., Goode, N., & Gallina, J. (2014). Translation and evaluation of the Baseline Resilience Indicators for Communities on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 10, 116-126.

Steele, W., Sporne, I., Dale, P., Shearer, S., Singh-Peterson, L., Serrao-Neumann, S., & Eslami-Andargoli, L. (2014). Learning from cross-border arrangements to support climate change adaptation in Australia. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 57(5), 682-703.

Von Heland, F., Crona, B., Fidelman, P. (2014). Mediating science and action across multiple boundaries in the Coral Triangle. Global Environmental Change. Vol. 29, 53-64.

Zafrin, S., Rosier, J., Baldwin, C. (2014). Queensland’s coastal planning regime: the extent of participation in coastal governance. Planning Practice and Research. Vol 29(4), 331-349.

The work of the Sustainability Research Centre

Our niche area for the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) is societal adaptation — more specifically, understanding the social dimensions of environmental change.

We contribute knowledge to a range of sustainability issues such as coastal management, climate change, and water management (recognised as significant at local through to international scales). The SRC includes over 60 researchers (including 30 PhD students).

Further information

Gail Wilkins
Tel: +61 7 5459 4891

Jeannette Oliver
Tel: +61 7 5456 5975

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