Our Aim: “to undertake internationally recognised and integrated research in social and environmental sustainability to enhance the livelihoods and lifestyles of people in rural and regional areas .”
The Institute for Land, Water and Society is one of Charles Sturt University (CSU)'s four Centres of Research Excellence. While the majority of our researchers are environmental scientists, social researchers and economists, our members also include researchers working in and across the fields of eco-agriculture, communication, education, regional development, cultural heritage, tourism, modeling and the arts.
We are aligned with ten schools across CSU which reflects our multi-disciplinary nature. We have well-established partnerships with State and Federal Government Departments, agencies and other tertiary institutions as well as linkages with international organisations and overseas universities. With over 200 members, we are well-positioned to address the critical natural resource management, biodiversity and social issues faced by Australia and other nations.
Our principal focus is on integrated research which contributes to improved social and environmental sustainability in rural and regional areas. While much of our research focus is on inland Australia, and in particular, the Murray Darling Basin, our researchers also work on international projects in developing countries where they are helping to improve people’s livelihoods and environmental outcomes. In recent years our research focus was redeveloped to concentrate on Strategic Research Areas where we have the research expertise, breadth of knowledge and interest to tackle the challenges facing rural and regional communities. We undertake research across a range of topics including biodiversity, climate change, energy use, natural resource management, sustainable water use, regional development, rural social issues, Indigenous business and cultural heritage. We also provide support for researchers, access to our research capacity, and help disseminate members’ research findings.
The Institute is led by Professor Max Finlayson, a wetland ecologist recognised internationally for his expertise in wetland management.Our membership is made up of full members, early-developing members, cross-centre members, post-graduate students, post-doctoral graduates and adjunct research fellows. Most of our members are associated with CSU but we also have members from outside the University whose specific areas of expertise and research interests enhance our diverse research capacity. Our key researchers are recognised nationally and internationally for their individual and group expertise particularly in areas such as wetland management, fragmented landscapes, ecosystem services, climate change, environmental economics, land use changes, conservation management and social policy. Our team is making important contributions to policy making and the management decisions needed to ensure a sustainable future.