Environmental management is essential adaptive practice due to the mutual reliance between people and the environment for health, functioning, and survival.

Our projects analyse the impacts of climate change on environmental management across different types of systems, scales, and social and environmental contexts.

Climate change impacts on Natural Resource Management work: Opportunities for Resilient and Adaptive Practice

Everyone relies on the natural environment for their existence, and the natural environment relies on people and their work in natural resource management (NRM). Such work is under increasing pressure from climate change, which stresses and disrupts NRM work influencing its effectiveness.

This project is funded by La Trobe University and undertaken in collaboration with North East Catchment Management Authority and Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority in Victoria, Australia. The aim of the project is to develop a framework of climate change impacts on NRM work including how work is exposed to climate change, and how these exposures interact with vulnerabilities and sensitivities of work. This understanding will inform the identification of strengths and vulnerabilities of NRM work, and opportunities to shape resilient and adaptive NRM.

Climate Impacts, Climate Science

The work of meteorologists and oceanographers is crucial in our understanding of climate change, in managing our day-to-day lives, for our current situation as well as the future we are all facing. But, if we are all facing risk and uncertainty due to climate change so too are meteorologists and oceanographers, and as their work becomes more challenging and stressful so too will all of ours.

This project is investigating how climate change is affecting meteorology and oceanography, including the day-to-day work, the direct physical impacts to sites and equipment and how jobs and careers are being reformed by the very processes their work is focused on.

Housing energy efficiency

The housing sector has a significant role to play in a transition to a low carbon, equitable, and climate adapted future. From May 2024, all new homes built in Victoria will be required to meet new 7-star energy efficiency standards. As windows are responsible for up to 40% of heat loss, and up to 87% of heat gain in Australian homes, installing high-performance windows is a key strategy to improve energy efficiency. However, Australia’s uptake of high-performance windows is significantly lower than leading international jurisdictions.

RMIT University and the Climate Change Adaptation Lab analysed factors responsible for this lag and identified opportunities for change including regulations targeted towards window performance, providing accessible and independent information to the building industry, supporting quality assurance in design and installation, and incentive schemes for households taking social equity into account.

This research was commissioned by Sustainability Victoria and the report is available online.

Floods and Me: Opportunities for a hydro-pedagogical approach

Climate change and land use are exacerbating flooding including the frequency, severity, and patterns of flood in a range of landscapes. The increasing severity of flood impacts has complex and specific implications in the lives of children and young people, which are highly contextualised by intersectional factors.

As part of the Floods and Me: Education in a changing climate project, led by Southern Cross University, we review literature bringing together children, flood, and education, with three key aims:

  1. To consider how western disciplinary structures and fields of research position children, youth, and floods the pragmatic responses that flow from such positioning.
  2. To draw out intersectional experiences of children and youth across the Global South and North.
  3. To propose and assemble a relational materialist framework for the study of floods, childhood, and education which connects intersectional accounts of child and youth experience with planetary flows and intensities of water across local and global scales.