Where do our students go (#2): Interview with Jasper Kunapo



JasperJoshphar ‘Jasper’ Kunapo graduated in 2007 with a Ph.D. from Monash’s School of Geography and Environmental Studies.  Upon finishing his studies, he set up a consultancy in geographic information systems (GIS), called Grace Detailed-GIS Services.  One of the things that he does is help coastal communities model the risk of flooding.  You can see two such models online, one for Anderson Inlet, the other for Lochsport.  They show quite visually what different levels of water will impact in these coastal Victorian communities.  We caught up with Jasper recently and asked him some questions:


- Why did you come to Monash?

In 2004, I was in Singapore working for National University of Singapore as Research Fellow in the Civil Engineering department for the implementation of web-based bore hole information system. To build my career, I wanted to pursue PhD in a reputed university like Monash. I made contact with (late) Assoc Prof James Anderson Peterson, and he helped me with the application for IPRS and Monash scholarships. With the help of these two scholarships I could come to Australia to do my PhD.  I started in June 2004 and submitted in 2 years 11 months (in 2007)


- How did your Monash education help you for your current career?

My PhD thesis was titled “Modelling hydrological impacts of residential development is related to water sensitive urban design (WSUD)”. I worked closely with City of Casey and Melbourne Water to understand the issues that underpin deployment of high resolution datasets for hydrological modelling. This led me to explore high resolution data to derive spatial datasets those can play critical role in decision making.  

I established my own consultancy, Grace Detailed-GIS Services in 2007 with the knowledge that I gained during my PhD to bring high resolution spatial content for multi-criteria analysis to build decision support systems.

My PhD and subsequent consulting work have developed my strong record in method development and implementation of large scale projects that involve spatial information technology both for application to spatial statistical modelling and to powerful communication of spatial data. My expertise in the optimal use of high resolution spatial datasets such as LiDAR and multi-spectral aerial photos has primarily been applied in my work with water authorities, and state and local government authorities. 


The impact of this work has been recognized by a number of industry and academic awards.

•             Finalist in the Victorian Spatial Excellence Award, 2007” for the Monash University and Melbourne Water Project – “High resolution hydrological modelling for Water Sensitive Urban Design”.

•             Received Victorian Coastal award for excellence 2009.

•             Finalist in the Victorian Spatial Excellence Award, 2010 for Melbourne Water Project – “Understorey mapping project”.


Since 2012 I have also worked as a Spatial Scientist (Research Fellow) at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Resource Management and Geography.