October 2013 Issue 34
The Institute for Land, Water and Society is one of four Centres of Research Excellence within Charles Sturt University, Australia. Its principal focus is on integrated research which contributes to improved social and environmental sustainability in rural and regional areas
Institute researcher A/Prof David Watson is a principal investigator in a new ARC Discovery project Bio-Acoustic Observatory: Engaging Birdwatchers to Monitor Biodiversity by Collaboratively Collecting and Analysing Big Audio Data announced recently that will pioneer a new way of collecting ecological data. The three-year $477,000 project, managed by Queensland University of Technology, will investigate how to crowd-source the collection and analysis of environmental sounds (for example birds and frogs.) “Rather than coming up with a research question and then going out and collecting data to address that question, we’re pioneering the collection of ‘Big Audio Data’,” says A/Prof Watson. “Effectively we will be using a range of remotely deployed acoustic monitoring devices to ‘listen’ to the environment, collecting high quality data on birds, bats, frogs insects and other biological sounds.” The data will catalogued and sorted to facilitate its use by researchers interested in a wide range of environmental factors.
Seeking community views on Winton
Community members living around the Winton Wetlands are invited to present their views on the management and the future of the site, as part of research being carried out by ILWS. Ms Luisa Perez-Mujica, a PhD student with the University’s School of Environmental Sciences will carry out the first community consultation on Thursday 12 December, starting at 6pm in the Commercial Hotel, 4 Bridge Street in Benalla. Read more
Graincorp takeover might have been in our interest
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s decision to disallow a takeover bid by US company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) of GrainCorp Limited could be a missed opportunity for regional Australia, according to ILWS Professor of Economics John Hicks.Read more
Research flows in southern Basin rivers
CSU will share more than $1.4 million in federal government funding for the continued investigation of ecosystem responses to environmental watering in the Murrumbidgee and Edward-Wakool rivers in southern NSW. Funded by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, the two new projects will help governments and managers deliver environmental water in a way that maximises environmental benefits to the Murray-Darling Basin. Read more
ARC Discovery Grants Awarded
Two of our ILWS members are the recipients of recently announced ARC Discovery grants commencing in 2014 for a period of three years. CSU submitted a total of 12 ARC Discovery project proposals with Prof Gary Luck’s and Prof Manohar Pawar’s the only successful ones from the University.
Time to discuss recycled drinking water
Decision makers throughout Australia should include the option of direct potable re-use of water whenever future urban drinking water supply arrangements are being considered is the plea from a group of more than 20 of Australia’s leading water specialists from the science, engineering and water sectors who have addressed their concerns in an open letter to Ministers in Federal and State Governments with over 20 signatories including ILWS Advisory Board Chair Dr John Williams. Read more
Call for 'urgent overhaul' of fire management
With the immediate threat of the recent NSW bushfires abated, ILWS expert on community responses to bushfires, Professor Allan Curtis, comments on how the Australian community could better prepare for the increased risks to life and property from bushfires in South East Australia in an interview withABC's Bush Telegraph. Listen now Opinion piece