A leading social researcher has been appointed to a new professorial chair established at Charles Sturt University (CSU) to study the social and economic impacts of water and its regulation in the Murray Darling Basin.
The new Professor of Integrated Environmental Management at CSU, Allan Curtis, was previously the Social Sciences Program Leader in the Australian Government’s Bureau of Rural Sciences – working at the interface between science and policy in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
While with the Bureau, Professor Curtis showed how social research could inform government policies. Examples of this work include assessments of the socio-economic impacts of drought, halting land clearing in Queensland and reducing commercial fishing on the Great Barrier Reef.
Professor Curtis is internationally recognised for his research examining the contribution of Landcare; integrating social, economic and biophysical data for more effective catchment management; and his work evaluating national natural resource management programs.
He will move from Canberra to work within the CSU Faculty of Science and Agriculture based at the Albury-Wodonga Campus. The appointment is a welcome return to CSU for Professor Curtis, who in 2002 was a key researcher and the Associate Director of the University’s Johnstone Centre.
“Professor Curtis will be a key player in how we look at land and water research. This country’s future rests on how we use water and ensure its quality. Ultimately this impacts down the line on the social and economic fabric of our communities, so the work of Professor Curtis is an important part of the big picture,” said CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Goulter.
In January this year, Professor of Water Policy Kath Bowmer commenced work at CSU in a position jointly funded by CSIRO Land and Water. A second professorial chair jointly funded by CSIRO Land and Water is due to be announced shortly.