Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

School of Environmental Science Alumni Update | 2014

School of Environmental Science Alumni Update

Student to attend UN-environmental forum

Student to attend UN-environmental forum

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) student represented young Australians at the United Nations (UN) Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, from Friday 20 to Monday 30 June, as part of the national Global Voices project.

Mr Matthew Lincoln, 26, who is studying for an environmental science degree at CSU in Albury-Wodonga, is particularly interested in the protection of native forests to conserve biodiversity and help mitigate climate change. While in Kenya, he visited several UN institutions where he attended the inaugural UN Environment Assembly, which was addressed by UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-Moon.

Key issues for the assembly included the formulation of sustainable development goals, the illegal trade in wildlife, financing a 'green economy', and the importance of the rule of environmental rule. Mr Lincoln also attended a civil society forum, with a range of global stakeholders, and visited non-government organisations.

During the trip, he learnt more about global environmental and sustainability issues and how international policy is conducted on the world stage. Mr Lincoln's trip was supported by CSU Global.

International recognition for CSU wetlands expert

International recognition for CSU wetlands expert

A new international appointment for Charles Sturt University (CSU) Professor Max Finlayson has highlighted the high standing of CSU in international environmental research and policy development.

Through collaboration between the Ramsar Secretariat, UNESCO's Institute for Water Education (IHE) and CSU, Professor Finlayson, the Director of the University's Institute for Land, Water and Society, was recently appointed as Ramsar Chair for Wise Use of Wetlands.

In the new role, he will develop initiatives to further understanding how wetlands function and develop the link between wetlands and the communities that depend on them.

He will collaborate with national and international organisations and experts to contribute to UNESCO-IHE's work and the Ramsar Convention's mission of promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands, while also maintaining his ongoing research program at CSU.

"The Ramsar Chair will help us conduct robust research into better understanding of the ecology and management of wetlands. This develops further the history of collaboration between the Ramsar Secretariat, the Institute for Water Education and Charles Sturt University," said Mr Ken Irvine, Professor of Aquatic Ecosystems at UNESCO-IHE.

Congratulations to our Queen's honour recipient

Congratulations to our Queen's honour recipient

Congratulations to pioneering wetlands scientist and administrator Professor David Mitchell, AM, who received national recognition last weekend in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for 2014.

CSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Vann, congratulated Professor Mitchell on receiving his Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to conservation and the environment, particularly wetland and water research.

In 1986 Professor Mitchell was appointed the inaugural director of the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC), then based in Griffith. He subsequently led research efforts by the CSIRO into the Basin's degrading rivers and surrounding wetlands, and held this position until 1993.

Since retiring as a research scientist and administrator, Professor Mitchell has been an adjunct research professor with the University's School of Environmental Sciences and Institute for Land, Water and Society.

Apart from maintaining various research projects and interests in viable wetlands on private landholdings, Professor Mitchell also advised the University on the establishment of artificial wetlands on its Thurgoona site to treat the waste water that flowed from its buildings. This resulted in many regional, national and international awards to the University for the innovative artificial wetlands and sustainable water management systems that were built on the campus.

"Professor Mitchell has been a shining light for the practical applied research for which Charles Sturt University is becoming well known," Professor Vann said. Born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa, Professor Mitchell, 79, initially trained as a science teacher before turning his mind to botany, discovering the voracious aquatic weed salvia molesta in southern Africa. He came to Australia on the trail of the weed which was invading Australian inland waterways in the 1970s, before turning his mind to developing artificial wetlands, and fostering many young researchers that were part of the MDFRC.

Education is a precious gift

CSU prides itself on preparing its students for the world beyond university. One way we help students on that journey is through the Charles Sturt University Foundation Trust. The Fund aids and promotes excellence in the education, research and service activities of Charles Sturt University by seeking, receiving and administering private sponsorship for the benefit of the University.

This support helps Charles Sturt University place a priority on areas of regional and professional importance as well as provide valuable assistance in the way of scholarships to students. With your help, we can continue to ensure all students with the desire to study at university have the same opportunity to achieve their goals.

Contact us today to find out how you can make a real difference.

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