Can you introduce yourself, give us a brief description about who you are, and where you are based in the world.
I’m a Professor of Sustainability in the Sustainability Research Centre, School of Law and Society at University of the Sunshine Coast, near Maroochydore, Queensland Australia. I taught in the Urban and Regional Planning (later Urban Design and Town Planning) program from 2006 to 2021, at which time I stepped back from teaching to focus on research.
I grew up in Canada, married an Australian, and have lived in Australia since 1982. Hence, I greatly appreciate the year-round warmth, and having something in flower every day of the year.
I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to many countries for leisure and work and enjoy learning new languages – my latest is Auslan, the Australian sign language for the hearing impaired.
In a few sentences, please describe the focus of your work.
I have combined my background in social science and environmental management, aiming to influence how humans can maintain and improve the quality of our rural and urban environment. My most recent research focuses on mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change, from reducing heat through green infrastructure, managing fire in a hotter climate, to understanding how youth think and feel about climate change.
A general theme of my interdisciplinary work can be summed up in the practice of embedding sustainability in policy and planning, monitoring, and on-ground implementation. On first arriving in Australia, I worked for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville in planning, research, and monitoring. This was followed by work for Queensland government in Brisbane on a range of NRM (Natural Resource Management) issues: coastal and water policy and planning, catchment and vegetation management, planning legislation, and ecotourism as well as a stint in Office of Cabinet, which opened my eyes to the politics of decision-making. More recently my teaching and personal life experience inspired my work in age and ability friendly communities