2017 Projects

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

Sustainable food on the mid-north coast

Project Description

As a part of food week and to highlight the importance of ensuring that food is sourced as locally and sustainably as possible the Port Macquarie campus environmental committee’s project is a conference entitled, ‘Sustainable food on the mid-north coast’. The target audience is everyone who produces, uses and adds value to local produce.

Eight guest speakers will be invited to provide their views on the concepts of field to plate, followed by a market of stall holders and producers from the local community to provide food and information around sustainable food production.

Project Contact

Nigel Urwin

Funding

$7500

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

Project Lifeboat: a conservation plan for declining turtles

Project Description

We aim to turn the CSU Albury-Wodonga campus into a centrepiece of turtle conservation. In Australia, about half of the 25 freshwater turtle species are listed by at least one state. In the Murray River, turtle populations are in the process of demographic collapse (Chessman 2011; Van Dyke in review). Nest destruction by foxes is the primary threat and has eliminated recruitment in many populations of Emydura macquarii and Chelodina longicollis for at least 30 years (Thompson, 1983; Spencer et al 2016). Turtles are also threatened by losses of wetland habitat (Ocock et al 2017). We aim to revolutionise the wetlands in Albury-Wodonga to become a pioneering world-class facility for the conservation of threatened species. Project Lifeboat will create major opportunities for public outreach and education on conservation. In sum, our project will serve as a model for using semi-urbanized wetlands as lifeboats for declining turtles.

Project Contact

Dr James Van Dyke

Funding

$8000

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

Unlocking the potential of Wiradjuri medicinal plants

Project Description

This project aims to document first-hand customary knowledge of Wiradjuri medicinal plants in a password-protected database. Such knowledge will include the preparation of medicinal plant extracts and the ailments that they treat. In addition, their antimicrobial and antioxidant properties will be explored. Expected outcomes of this project include exchange of skills and knowledge, for cultural and educational benefits, and community capability strengthening.

This project will aid preservation and management of customary bush medicine knowledge, aligning with the World Health Organisation’s priority area of maintenance of Indigenous ethnobiological knowledge and the Australian Federal Government’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2030. It will provide Wiradjuri community capability strengthening, and through recognition of the value of their knowledge, empower Wiradjuri people.

Project Contact

Dr Paul Prenzler

Funding

$6000

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

CSU Bathurst Community and Residential Edible Gardens

Project Description

The aim of this project is to create community and residential edible gardens for access by the entire CSU community. The project will create one large central complex of community gardens beds in a disused space near Rafters bar.

Project Contact

Isabel Fox

Funding

$3000

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

Wiradjuri Elder Uncle Jimmy Ingram sharing his understanding of the Murrumbidgee River in a book and on video

Project Description

This project will document Uncle Jimmy Ingram’s concerns for the health of the Murrumbidgee River from his perspective as a Senior Wiradjuri Elder who has spent his life nurtured by the Murrumbidgee dedicated to fulfilling his role as a custodian. The project will be spoken by Uncle Jimmy, sharing his stories and memories. Bernard Sullivan, CSU researcher and award winning film-maker (Yindyamarra Yambuwan) will partner Uncle Jimmy in this project. The direct output will take two forms, a visual book in Uncle Jimmy’s words with Bernard’s illustrations and photos, and a video documentary. The project will raise awareness of environmental issues related to the river and will be an important educational resource in CSU and schools throughout the region.

Project Contact

Dr Bernard Sullivan

Funding

$5000

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

Native Tree establishment in Hawthornden Creek riparian zone

Project Description

Hawthorndon Creek has been identified as one of the most environmentally important parts of CSU Bathurst campus including remnant native trees which a confined largely to this area. The project will increase the native trees in this area to enhance the biodiversity of the area by increasing native tree number and establish a wildlife corridor along Hawthorndon Creek between Mount Panorama and Boundary Road Reserve bushland and the Macquarie River.

Project Contact

Clifford Jackson

Funding

$2750

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

Walking Towards Sustainability—Stage One All Weather Walking Paths and Exercise Stations

Project Description

This project is Stage One of a long‐term proposal to engage the student community in sustainable recreation on campus. Stage One entails erecting a bridge and raising low lying areas of existing pathways to make the pathway all weather accessible and adding a series exercise pads for student and community use with equipment made and sourced from campus timbers.

Project Contact

Dr Maggie Watson

Funding

$10,000

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

Educating campus users and visitors about the sustainable design features of the Port Macquarie campus

Project Description

The aim of the project is to increase campus users’ and visitors’ awareness and understanding of the campus’ sustainable design features. The campus has an environmentally sensitive design that requires campus users to play an active role in its management. We aim to increase frequency of environmentally responsible behaviours of people who use the campus. At present getting users to play an active role is limited to ad hoc tours and induction processes. A more systematic approach is required if campus users are to: 1). be better oriented and appreciate the sustainable design; and 2) behave in ways consistent with the design. This project will place interpretive signage in key areas around the campus to create a unity of vision between campus design and users and their behaviour. In doing so, we aim to increase users’ awareness and understanding of sustainability and promote responsible environmental behaviour both on and off the campus.

Project Contact

Rosemary Black

Funding

$6000

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

Flora and Fauna - Education

Project Description

This project will install information boards near the campus front entrance to identify the Indigenous Flora and Fauna that use the campus as habitat. Description and detail will include Indigenous names and uses and focus will be on endangered and at risk species. The board will feature colour pictures, detail of each species along with a map that identifies where the most interesting and rare species can be found.

These signs will promote biodiversity and encourage campus users to become more aware of the abundant native flora and fauna on the campus.

Project Contact

Terry O’Meara

Funding

$7500

Title (Funding Stream: Projects)

In-ground Worm farms for sustainable accelerated composting

Project Description

This pilot project will assess the suitability and sustainability of in-ground worm farm composting bins. The project will involve locating five customised bins in key Wagga campus locations: Residences, NaLSH, School of Ag & Wine Science, Sutherland lab Tech staff office gardens.

These bins will be monitored by volunteers who will be trained in their optimum performance.

Instructions will also be posted on the side of the bins plus QR codes which will direct users and interested people to additional information about the bins.

Project Contact

Therese Moon

Funding

$1860

Title (Funding Stream: Research)

Is the undergraduate curricula of Australian Universities becoming more focused on sustainability

Abstract

Universities have a responsibility to incorporate sustainability education into their curricula. This study has two key aims, first is to determine if the undergraduate curricula of Australian universities has increasingly focused on sustainability and second to identify the key drivers that have enabled/inhibited this change.

The first question will be answered by focusing on 12 professionally focused courses common to most Australian universities across a range of disciplines. The research will use web based content analysis of university handbooks from all 40 Australian universities over 3 five year periods (ie 2007, 2012, 2017) to gain a snapshot of the changes.

The second question will be answered using semi-structured interviews of the relevant staff at the universities identified in stage one of this research. The findings will help identify key factors in teaching, human capital, leadership etc that lead to curriculum change.

Such research is critical if CSU is to create a curriculum where students develop Yindyamarra.

Chief Investigator

Jonathon Howard

Funding

$8900

Title (Funding Stream: Research)

Sustaining soils and earth-dwelling fauna in cropping and farming landscapes of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB)

Abstract

Best methods for sustaining biodiversity within the important production region of the MDB is a prime concern for farmers and natural resource managers. The focus has been on managing native vegetation and providing sufficient environmental water. Soils are an important and overlooked habitat. Macrofauna such as amphibians which burrow and spend many years deep underground provide essential services for soil health, including edaphic and nutrient cycling processes which influence aeration, water dynamics and conditions for root growth. This project aims to find correlations between agricultural production practices, and sustaining soil habitats for macrofauna, particularly the diverse range of burrowing amphibians which occur on private lands throughout the MDB. Testing of soil health characteristics will occur at sites in the Corowa and Holbrook Landcare districts known to contain populations of suitable macrofauna, and interviews with farmers will determine how farming practices sustain both soil health and amphibian populations.

Chief Investigator

Dr Alexandra Knight

Funding

$10,000

Title (Funding Stream: Research)

Improving water use efficiency in irrigated pasture systems of southern NSW

Abstract

Irrigators in southern NSW have increasing uncertainty surrounding water supplies as a result of variable and unpredictable rainfall insitu and reduced catchment rainfall leading to lower inputs into storage dams. There are also increasing demands for environmental water. Historically, irrigated pastured have formed a significant component of irrigated systems and were underpinned by subterranean clover a shallow-rooted species resulting in a significant amount of applied irrigation being lost beyond the root zone. Sub-clover cultivators are also soft-seeded and lack of spring irrigation or breaks in the pasture phase necessitated re-sowing due to reduce seed set and/or low levels of seed reserves. There are, however, a range of new species and cultivators that overcome these deficiencies being both considerably deeper rooted (1-1.6m versus sub-clover 0.5-0.6m) and therefore able to access a greater soil volume; and hard seeded creating a seed bank that will carry-over a number of years.

Chief Investigator

Dr Alison Southwell

Funding

$10,000

Title (Funding Stream: Grass Roots)

SCCI Electric Scooter

Project Description

The School of Communication and Creative Industries Wagga Wagga is split across two locations with half of the facilities and staff based in building 76 (car park 51) and the other half based in Building 21 (carpark 5). Several staff members teach across the entire school, and are regularly required to be in both locations, often driving several times each day between the two carparks. This project will reduce the carbon footprint of SCCI staff and promote carbon reduction.

Project Contact

Dr Damian Candusso

Funding

$950

Title (Funding Stream: Grass Roots)

Murrumbidgee Village Garden

Project Description

Above Murrumbidgee Village, students have access to a vegetable patch/garden equipped with several sheds and a mud brick wood-fire pizza oven. Unfortunately, this whole area has been abandoned for several years, and not only are these beautiful facilities going to waste, but they are deteriorating without care.

Our plan is to restore the gardens, plant vegetables, make a small demountable greenhouse over each bed, restore or replace the current mural above the gardens, and make the pizza oven something for students to enjoy during winter, and perhaps place some outdoor furniture in the gardens for relaxing.

We intend for the garden to be a comfortable and stimulating environment which encourages a heightened sense of community on campus.

Project Contact

Jannice Banks & Corey Evans

Funding

$1000

Title (Funding Stream: Grass Roots)

Keep Coffee Cups at Port Macquarie

Project Description

This project aims to reduce waste as currently over 1 billion disposable coffee cups are used in Australia each year.

By providing willing CSU staff at the Port Macquarie Campus who elect to opt in by making a $5 donation to the CSU’s BeardsOn team, with a reusable “keep cup”. This project aims reduce the number of disposable coffee cups used at the Port Macquarie Campus, as an average of 15 staff using their keep cups once a day over a 40 week period will save 3000 cups going to landfill.

Project Contact

Matt Newton

Funding

$450

Title (Funding Stream: Grass Roots)

Keep Coffee Cups at Goulburn

Project Description

This project aims to reduce coffee cup waste as currently over 1 billion disposable coffee cups are used in Australia each year, and so the CSU staff at the Police Academy would be able to play a part to reduce this number.

By providing CSU staff who elect to opt in by making a gold coin donation to CSU’s BeardsOn team, with a reusable “keep cup” this project aims to reduce the number of disposable coffee cups used at the Police Academy café.  If half the staff buy a coffee a day and use their keep cup the project will save 150 disposable coffee cups a week - over 7000 a year.

Project Contact

Lilian Pain

Funding

$720

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