27 October 2015
Scientists will embrace the latest technology to monitor environmental changes in northern Australia as part of a one of 10 new research projects by the Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub.
The Hub, led by Professor Michael Douglas, was funded with $23.88 million from the Australian Government’s $142.5 million National Environmental Science Programme.
Professor Douglas was joined by then Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Mr Bob Baldwin and Federal Member for Solomon Ms Natasha Griggs at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus in September to mark the start of Hub research.
Professor Douglas said researchers from the hub would trial a range of new approaches to environmental monitoring.
“Monitoring the environment in the north is not an easy task,” Professor Douglas said. “The areas to monitor are vast and remote and there’s only a small number of people available to do the job, and the wet season floods and crocodile-infested waters make it even more challenging.
“Our researchers will turn to high-tech solutions, such as drones, that will be flown over forests and coastlines to photograph and map changes in sensitive vegetation, while remote controlled mini-boats will monitor aspects of water quality.”
Other projects include research on waste and marine debris in remote communities, the role of feral cats in small mammal decline, and incorporating Top End Indigenous fire knowledge into fire management.
The Hub brings together research expertise from Charles Darwin University, the University of Western Australia, James Cook University, Griffith University, CSIRO, the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance and Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australian government agencies.
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