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Posts Tagged ‘climate’

Koalas in the Otways: Research volunteers

Posted in Movements, Seeking by EarthwatchAustralia on December 21st, 2011

A new research project Conserving Koala Country has been established by Earthwatch Australia to look into the deteriorating habitat and tree condition in the Otway Ranges, Victoria.

Dr Desley Whisson a Wildlife and Conservation Biologist from Deakin University says, “so far we’ve been tracking the movement of 15 koalas (8 females/7 males) at Cape Otway and observed a high density of koalas in the area of up to 16 koalas per hectare”.  In many parts of Australia Koala’s are in decline and at risk of extinction due to disease, land clearing and drought, however the high density of Koalas is posing a potential issue in The Otways.  During the recent research trip during mating season the research team made up of Earthwatch volunteers recorded vocalisation of the koalas using a songmeter; a device set to record bellows for 5 minutes every hour. Volunteers recorded the number of bellows and whether it’s a male or female.

“We found a high number of koalas with young so it looks like a successful breeding year. The koalas are occupying very small home ranges where trees are still in good condition. They obviously don’t need to move far to find food or mates. A 3 legged female adult koala was also found, something very unusual to see and particularly for her to have survived to adulthood, ” says Dr Whisson. Volunteers also ventured out at night with a spotlight to search for possums that could also be causing defoliation of trees. They saw lots of koalas but only found possums in one blue gum site. Richard Gilmore Earthwatch Executive Director says “It’s great to be able to be able to support research aimed at protecting the habitat of the iconic koala, and at the same time involve the general public in such a hands-on and interesting way.”

The next team of Earthwatch volunteers will be heading out to do further research on the 18 April.

For more information or to sign up for an Earthwatch expedition call 03 9682 6828, email or visit

Conflicts Between Climate, Energy and Water Policies: Lessons from Texas

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 1st, 2011

2 June , 2011
5:30 pmto7:00 pm
FREE PUBLIC LECTURE Melbourne Energy Institute
Conflicts between climate, energy and water policies: lessons from Texas

Speaker: Associate Professor Michael Webber

Prof. Webber will introduce the climate, energy and water nexus with particular reference to the situation in Texas, a jurisdiction of similar dimensions to Australia and with similar climate, energy and water challenges. He will outline the limits to new fossil, nuclear and renewable energy generation due to water scarcity, and the energy demand implications of supplementing water supplies. He will outline examples of potential knowledge, technological and regulatory solutions to the climate, energy and water nexus from Texas and the United States more broadly, and give his thoughts on priority policy measures.

Thursday 2nd June 5.30—7.00 pm

Graduate House, The University of Melbourne 220 Leicester Street, Carlton, Vic 3053

Click through to register your attendance

Shaping Tomorrow’s World: Website Launch

Posted in Opinion, Research, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on May 17th, 2011

From climate change to peak oil and food insecurity, our societies are confronted with many serious challenges that, if left unresolved, will threaten the well-being of present and future generations, and the natural world. This website is dedicated to discussion of those challenges and potential solutions based on scientific evidence and scholarly analysis. Our goal is to provide a platform for re-examining some of the assumptions we make about our technological, social and economic systems.

The posts on this site are generally written by domain experts, specialists and scholars with an interest in these problems and we hope they will generate informed and constructive debate. We will archive seminal papers and posts for future reference.

We are now open for conversation. Our initial posts provide a preview of what’s to come. At the moment, most of the categories of topics remain to be filled, and we need to take up more policy issues. This will all happen over time—we have lots more content coming over the next few weeks and months. Just sign up to our RSS feed and you’ll stay informed.

The recent extreme weather: A scientific perspective

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on February 25th, 2011

1 March , 2011
6:00 pmto7:30 pm

Image: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via flickr CC

From monster cyclones in Queensland to floods in Victoria, bushfires in Perth, heat waves in Russia, snow storms in Europe… in the last year the world in general, and Australia in particular, seem to have experienced a large number of extreme weather events. Were these events due to normal climate fluctuations or to climate change? – And does this question even make sense? Please join us to hear from prominent climate scientists about how unusual these events were and what the science knows – and doesn’t know – about what caused them.

How extreme is the recent extreme weather?
Dr Karl Braganza, Manager of Climate Monitoring at the National Climate Centre of the Bureau of Meteorology
La Niña, cyclones, mozzies, and myxo
Professor Neville Nicholls, ARC Professorial Fellow in the School of Geography and Environmental Science at Monash University, and President of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Extreme weather and climate change
Professor David Karoly, ARC Federation Fellow and Professor of Meteorology in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne

Tuesday, 1 March 2011, 6:00–7:30 pm
Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria (Entry 3, 179 La Trobe Street, Melbourne)

All welcome and no bookings required.
For further information, contact: msi-seminars “at”

Presented by the Monash Sustainability Institute, the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, and the Melbourne Centre of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.