School of Geography & Environmental Science

  • Qantas workers will be joining a growing job queue qantas_1by Sally Weller The exact nature and location of the job cuts announced yesterday at Qantas are still sketchy, but Alan Joyce’sannouncement indicates 5000 equivalent full-time jobs will be cut in the next three years, with four thousand jobs scheduled to end in 2015. The cuts will include 1500 non-operational jobs in management and customer service, a similar ...
  • Government doesn’t need climate bodies: it needs commitment c01bbdcae96f4364868a1daf48fc711a_nby Neville Nicholls In closing the Climate Commission, and introducing legislation to abolish the Climate Change Authority, the government has said it can instead rely on information from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. Is that claim reasonable? The Climate Commission The Climate Commission was established to provide information about climate change to the public. The most obvious impact of ...
  • Grant successes for GES scholars grassGES academics have recently successfully landed a number of research grants, from both the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).  These include funding to explore sustainable urban redevelopment, environmental change in northern Australia’s savannas, and the social aspects of advanced metals recycling.  In detail:   Dr Libby Porter and Dr Xuan Zhu were ...
  • Is everything becoming a ‘Science’? Next up: geographical science, poverty reduction science… Komiyama-and-Takeuchi-2006s-figure-1-sustainability-science-230x300By Christian Kull Is everything becoming a ‘Science’ these days? Land change science, sustainability science, conservation science, invasion science… what is behind all these new labels? This phenomenon seems to have somewhat contradictory drivers: one is an appeal to interdisciplinarity and crossing the natural-social divide; the other is a rhetorical or strategic retreat to the authority ...
  • PhD scholarship available: social practices around disposal of portable household electronics Mobile phone pilePhD scholarship:  Wealth from Waste CSIRO research cluster; Geography, Environment and Sustainability Program, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Melbourne AUD$25392 per year The PhD project is positioned within the Wealth from Waste CSIRO research cluster project, an interdisciplinary multi-university research program that explores the feasibility of advanced metals recycling in Australia. The Monash led component of Wealth from Waste focuses on characterising and mapping the ...
  • On the Hunt for credible information [citation needed] 3bb9a3cc5c7fdef508b0f8371f078b2c_nby Ailie Gallant A valid argument about a scientific issue requires support using robust, objective, peer-reviewed scientific evidence. This notion is drilled into university students from the beginning of their tertiary education. As a lecturer, the first thing I tell my students when they are undertaking research for an assignment is to never, under any circumstances, use ...
  • Did aridity change the history of European civilisation? IMG_4815-300x258New evidence from Bulgaria shows that the climate in the lowland areas first settled by agriculturalists around 8000 years ago were probably too dry to support agriculture prior to that time.   This research opens a new chapter in the archaeological and environmental history of the Balkans, suggesting that climatic conditions may have delayed agriculture from ...
  • Australian recognition for archaeological research in Bulgaria Shawn Ross busy digging in the fieldBy Simon Connor The Tundzha Regional Archaeological Project (TRAP) has been chosen as one of only 4 Research Highlights in Archaeology by the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering – two years in a row!  TRAP is a multidisciplinary landscape archaeology project that aims to document the development of archaeological cultures and environmental context in the ...
  • Carbon cycle tracked as Victoria’s forests breathe art-Ian-20McHugh-620x349By Tom Arup Nestled among the dry eucalypt forests behind Nagambie, north of Melbourne, the 36-metre metal ”flux tower” looks out of place. Far above the sparse grey box and lemon gums it sends out an infrared beam that, 20 times a second, measures the transfer of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the landscape. The project is ...
  • Competing interdisciplinarities: report from Cérisy IMG_0889-300x225By Professor Christian Kull Every once in a while, it is worth reflecting on concepts that have become so central to discourse that they are repeated ad nauseum but without any novelty. So it goes with ‘interdisciplinarity’, a pet term of any university or research administrator. It is widely desired or required, without much thinking about what it means. ...
  • GES scientists in public forum on IPCC report Screen-Shot-2013-10-11-at-11.23.48-AM On 3 October, around 700 people attended a public forum on the latest in climate change science from the more recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (the Fifth Assessment Report) released on 27 September. The event was organised by the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) and was supported by the Centre of ...
  • Indigenous perspectives on weeds in the Kimberley David and Tom discuss an old weedy and prickly friend: ‘moorrooloombong’ or Acacia farnesiana A team from a current ARC-funded GES project on local knowledge and uses of environmental weeds recently assembled in Kununurra, far northwest Australia, to gain an indigenous perspective on weeds and their uses.  The project compares local people’s views of “weeds” across four case studies in four countries around the Indian Ocean – India, South Africa, ...
  • What is the IPCC anyway, and how does it work? 80c63a5ecbe2196eda6aaa5ee616e990_nby Neville Nicholls The latest climate change assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, is due to arrive this weekend. This will be the fifth comprehensive assessment report (AR5) prepared by the IPCC since it was established in 1988. But what is this IPCC, whoseprocess is so labour intensive, time consuming and exhaustive that ...
  • Honours in Environmental Sociology monash-arts-final-artworkHONOURS OPPORTUNITY IN ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY (led by Professor Rebekah Brown) Are you interested in exploring issues of water and sustainability in Melbourne? PROJECT DESCRIPTION Diagnosing transitions in Melbourne’s urban water system In the context of sustainability challenges, such as climate change, resource limitations, population growth and degraded aquatic ecosystems, there is growing international acceptance that traditional approaches to planning ...
  • Part-time positions available: social media promoters for GES and the Masters in Sustainability Screen-Shot-2013-09-04-at-5.01.47-PM-150x150We seek two social media promoters for part-time work in the School.  Chief responsibility is to establish and maintain Facebook pages for current students and past graduates (alumni) and associates of the School of Geography and Environmental Science and of the Masters in Sustainability.  Details in the attached position descriptions.  Deadline:  Sept. 19 Social media officer ...
  • GES joins the Conversation on climate and soils 080-Penguin-Aquarium-300x228The Faculty congratulates GES scientists Vanessa Wong and Ailie Gallant – together with former honours student Sophie Lewis – for a flurry of recent contributions to The Conversation, one of Australia’s leading independent news sources.  Gallant’s four-part series on confidence and certainty in climate science comes in advance of next month’s anticipated release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (the IPCC) fifth major ...
  • A more sustainable Australia: we need to talk about our soils If we're to build a sustainable future, we need to look to the dirt beneath our feet. Image: iStock by Vanessa Wong and Robert Edis Our soils are in trouble. Not only are they declining in health, but we’re losing the capacity to even know what state they’re in. Storing carbon may be one way to improve our soils, but it could also be a red herring. We shouldn’t underestimate the problem. The UN predicts that ...
  • In science, the only certainty is uncertainty Even with our increasingly sophisticated knowledge of the climate system, there are aspects where questions remain and uncertainties we need to consider.by Ailie Gallant and Sophie Lewis Scientists have built a theory of climate change from multiple lines of consistent, high-quality evidence. Just as we are confident that penguins can’t flyand that our skydiving scientist plummets under gravity, we are also confident in our understanding of human-induced climate change. But simple statements implicating the human causes of climate change contain many ...
  • Where do our students go: Interview with Emma Peppler Emma-PepplerEmma Peppler is a barrister specialized in local government, environment, and planning.  She graduated with an Arts-Law dual degree, including a major in Geography and Environmental Science, around 2005.  Emma was admitted to the Bar in 2010.  She has also worked as a solicitor and community legal education project manager at the Environment Defenders Office (a community ...
  • Where do our students go: Interview with Dru Marsh Dru-Marsh-1-300x225Dru Marsh, an environmental lawyer, graduated from the Geography and Environmental Science BSc Honours program in 2000.  His thesis was entitled “Landscape evolution in northeast Thailand:  Reconciling conflicting models of cover-layer evolution on the Khorat Plateau”.  He then got a Monash Law degree as well as a PhD at University College Dublin, and is now ...
  • Where do our students go: Interview with Raymun Ghumman raymun-ghumman-221x300Raymun Ghumman, a geography major, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in 2005.  She is now a medical doctor.  We recently caught up with her: What attracted you to major in Geography and Environmental Science? I did geography in school and was keen to continue studying it at university. After my first year I realised ...
  • Where do our students go: Interview with Sarah Brennan sarah-brennanSarah Brennan graduated with an undergraduate major in Geography and Environmental Science a few years back.  She has been working in urban planning and community development projects, both in Australia and South Africa, ever since.   We recently caught up with her:  What attracted you to major in geography and environmental science? When I began a Bachelor of ...
  • Global voices heard on Kenyan study tour Amelia Greaves with students from the Maji Mazuri Headstart AcademyA Monash student has experienced the study trip of a lifetime, touring Kenya to learn about sustainable development in Nairobi. Master of International Development and Environmental Analysis student Amelia Greaves was among six Australian students selected to take part in the Global Voices Nairobi Study Tour. Amelia, who has previously worked as an intern at AusAID, described ...
  • Pyric phases in Madagascar’s longer-than-presumed prehistory christian-kull-smAn exciting archaeological find by Bob Dewar and colleagues suggests the presence of hunter-gatherers on Madagascar around 4000 years ago, which essentially doubles the length of the history of Madagascar’s human settlement. Their discoveries, published in PNAS, suggests four thousand years of people living, burning, cultivating, shaping, transforming, and developing the island’s environment, instead of ...
  • Where our students go: interview with Pheakkdey Nguon Pheakkdey Nguon on fieldwork in Oddar Meanchey province, Cambodia Pheakkdey ’KD’ Nguon graduated from our MIDEA program (now part of the Masters of Sustainability) in 2009. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, Massachusetts, USA.  The main objective of his doctoral research is to better understand how governance systems organize and distribute knowledge about the UN’s REDD+ program (Reducing ...
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