Dr Michael Mitchell has a growing body of social research experience related to natural resources management. He is currently collaborating with Prof Max Finlayson, Assoc Prof Catherine Allan, and Dr Richard Culas and Adjunct Prof Jay Punthakey on a four-year Australian government funded project that aims to ultimately improve the lives of millions of people by tackling groundwater over-extraction in Pakistan. He has also been collaborating with Murray Local Land Services on a number of projects, including a novel way to undertake capacity needs assessment among community-based NRM groups.
Michael previously held two post-doctoral research fellow positions. The most recent (2012-2015) was part of the National Environmental Research Program's Landscape and Policy Hub. It involved applying social science theories and methods to improve regional-scale biodiversity assessment and planning in two case study sites – the Australian Alps (covering ACT, NSW & Vic) and Tasmanian Midlands. The other (2009-2012) was with the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training exploring social dimensions of groundwater management. The position also involved a project working with rural agencies seeking to enable resource-dependent communities determine transformational strategies in the face of major changes to their resource base. Michael's doctoral dissertation (2005-2008) focused on sustainability reporting and the use of the 'triple bottom line' concept drawing on a case study with Murrumbidgee Irrigation.
Michael is interested in participatory action research and qualitative social research to support inter-disciplinary research related to rural NRM issues; in learning theories at organisational and social scales; in reporting as a strategy to enhance sustainability; and in applying social-ecological systems analysis to improve NRM outcomes.
BSc (Honours), University of Sydney, 1989
Thai I, II & III, Australian National University, 1991
Masters Phil, University of Sydney, 1994
TESOL Certificate, University of New South Wales, 2001
PhD, Charles Sturt University, 2008
Peer Reviewed Papers
Clement, S., Moore, S. A., Lockwood, M., & Mitchell, M. (2016) Fit-for-purpose institutions? An evaluation of biodiversity conservation in the agricultural landscape of the Tasmanian Midlands, Australia. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1523908X.2016.1162708
Mitchell, M., Lockwood, M., Moore, S. A., Clement, S., Gilfedder, L., & Anderson, G. (2016) Using scenario planning to assess governance reforms for enhancing biodiversity outcomes. Land Use Policy, 50, 559–572.. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.10.020
Mitchell, M., Lockwood, M., Moore, S. A., & Clement, S. (2016) Building systems-based scenario narratives for novel biodiversity futures in an agricultural landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning, 145, 45-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.09.003
Mitchell, M., Lockwood, M., Moore, S. A., Clement, S., Gilfedder, L., & Anderson, G. (2016) Using scenario planning to assess governance reforms for enhancing biodiversity outcomes. Land Use Policy, 50, 559–572. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.10.020
Mitchell, M., Lockwood, M., Moore, S. A., & Clement, S. (2015) Scenario analysis for biodiversity conservation: a social–ecological system approach in the Australian Alps. Journal of Environmental Management, 150, 69-80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.11.013
Sinclair, K., Curtis, A., Mendham, E., & Mitchell, M. (2015) Assessing the efficacy of transition theory to identify industry transformation: a case study examining deregulation of Australia's dairy industry. Australian Geographer, 46(1), 113–129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00049182.2014.986790
Sinclair, K., Curtis, A., Mendham, E., & Mitchell, M. (2014) Can resilience thinking provide useful insights for those examining efforts to transform contemporary agriculture? Agriculture and Human Values. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10460-014-9488-4
Lockwood, M., Mitchell, M., Moore S. A. and Clement, S. (2014) Biodiversity governance and social-ecological system dynamics: transformation in the Australian Alps. Ecology and Society 19(2), 13. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol19/iss2/art13/
Mitchell, M., Griffith, R., Ryan, P., Walkerden, G., Walker, B., Brown, V., et al. (2014) Applying resilience thinking to natural resource management through a "planning-by-doing" framework. Society and Natural Resources, 27(3), 299-314. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2013.861556
Mitchell, M. (2013) From organisational to social learning: A tale of two organisations in the Murray-Darling Basin, Rural Society 22:3, pp 230-241 http://dx.doi.org/10.5172/rsj.2013.3766.
Mitchell, M., Curtis, A., & Davidson, P. (2012) Can triple bottom line reporting become a cycle for "double loop" learning and radical change? Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 25(6), 1048-1068. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513571211250242
Mitchell, M., Curtis, A., Sharp, E., Mendham, E., (2012) Directions for social research to underpin improved groundwater management. Journal of Hydrology 448-449, 223-231. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.04.056.
Vella, S., Fuller, G., Mitchell, M., Allan, C., Burmeister, O. (2018) Automated process to create snapshot reports based on the 2016 Murray Community-Based Groups Capacity Survey: User Guide ILWS Report 116
Mitchell, M., Moore. S.A., Lefroy, E.C., Clement, S., Lockwood, M., Anderson, G., Gaynor, S.M., Gilfedder, L,. Rowe, R., Norman, B, (2005) An evaluation of strategies used by the Landscapes and Policy Hub to achieve interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. ILWS Report 84 PDF
Improving groundwater management to enhance agriculture and farming livelihoods in Pakistan. (2016-2020) Finlayson, M., Punthakey, J., Allan, C., Mitchell, M. ACIAR & CSU ($100,000), Total value of the project $2,15M Project details
Improving salinity and agricultural water management in the Indus Basin of Pakistan. Finlayson, M., Allan, C., Culas, R., Mitchell,M., Punthakey, J. (2017) ACIAR, $50,000
Billabong Yanco Social Research. Allan, C., Mitchell, M. & Minato, W. (2016) Murray LLS, $30,000 Project details
Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey, Allan, C. & Mitchell, M. (2015) Murray Local Land Services, $14,900 Project details
Community groups capacity check. Allan, C. & Mitchell, M. (2015) Murray Local Land Services $29,900 Project details
Evaluating the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary activities of the NERP Landscapes and Policy Hub. Mitchell, M & Finlayson. M. (2015) University of Tasmania. CSU sub-contract. $21,464
National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training: Program 5: Integrating socio-economics, policy and decision support systems (social research component). Curtis, A., Mitchell, M., Mendham, E & Sharp, E. (2009-2014). ARC/ National Water Commission. This project initially received $650,000 plus $65,000 from NSW Government plus $100K from NCGRT Project details
Transformation for Resilient Landscapes and Communities project. Mitchell, M, & Griffith, R (2011-2016) Rural Industries Research Development Corporation and partner organisations