In search of the innovative urban poor in the Global South

PhD Candidate Razia Sultana reflects on her fieldwork and conference trips made possible by being awarded UOW’s Global Challenges Travel Scholarship.

It is really hard to conduct research with a small HDR fund when your fieldwork is overseas!  The Global Challenges Travel Scholarship opened up a window of opportunity for me to back up my PhD field travel costs and present my research findings within an international arena. I am really fortunate to have that kind of opportunity!

Put broadly, my higher degree research addresses one of the pressing global challenges of today-that is, climate change. My field site is in Bangladesh which is one the most vulnerable countries to global climate change and faces various natural catastrophes almost every year. In particular, the issue of climate change has been complex for Dhaka– the capital city- due to frequent rural-urban migration, rapid increase of informal settlement and lack of knowledge about different mechanisms of coping and adaptive capacity of socio-economically disadvantaged. Continue reading

Introducing Climates of Listening

By Anja Kanngieser 

This is the first blog post in a series dedicated to documenting fieldwork I am undertaking across Fiji and Micronesia in 2018. The blog posts will deal with a range of themes, outlining the project, the importance of anti-racist climate justice work and the ethics of undertaking such work as a white settler academic, using oral testimony, field-recordings and data sonifications for climate witnessing, listening to non-human environments as political geographical practice, how climate justice groups elevate and centre Indigenous experience and knowledge, and how to bring together arts and sciences to more broadly communicate experiences of climate change.

Global Climate March Suva, 2015. Image credit tomvierus.com

Across the Pacific, climate justice organisations have been campaigning for increased awareness and intervention into global environmental change, which sees catastrophic events, such as high intensity cyclones, drought, flooding and ocean inundation already occurring to impact the lives of small-island developing nations. While an international audience might be familiar with the high profile public platforms for this campaigning, such as the yearly United Nations Climate Change conferences, most of the work being done by organisations is on the ground, often invisible, working to build community relations and regional networks, to forge connections and to collaborate on strategies for negotiation between government decrees and community desires.

I have recently moved to Suva, Fiji to amplify the work of community–led environmental groups at the frontlines of climate change. Over the next year I will be travelling across Fiji and Micronesia on invitation to spend time with those engaged in climate justice, particularly women and LGBTQIA people who are most affected by environmental inequality, framing the challenges that they see increasingly intensifying in their region as directly correspondent to larger political and ethical positions, which value capital, resource extraction and infrastructure over human and non-human lives.

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Sun, whales and self-care: Reporting back on 2017 HDR Retreat

Last week AUSCCER postgrads and staff left the confines of our offices, took our shoes off and spent two days in the sunshine, wind and waves at North Wollongong beach and Surf life Saving Club. Amongst the joys of sandy feet, whale sightings and delicious cake, the purpose of our outing was a HDR Retreat.  The HDR Retreat provides an opportunity for students and staff to reconnect (or get to know each other a bit better), share our research interests,  learn some new skills and importantly, take some time to practice some self-care.

Early mornings. Source: @nessscavvv

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Meet Scott McKinnon

The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) is a teaching and research group focusing on cultural and social aspects of environmental issues. AUSCCER’s expertise and research is wide-ranging. Over the next few months we’ll be introducing some of our academics and PhD Candidates to give greater insight into AUSCCER’s work.

Dr Scott McKinnon is a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow who joined AUSCCER in March 2017. In this blog post Scott shares his research interests, current projects and some sage advice for PhD students.

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Meet Razia Sultana

The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) is a teaching and research group focusing on cultural and social aspects of environmental issues. AUSCCER’s expertise and research is wide-ranging. Over the next few months we’ll be introducing some of our academics and PhD Candidates to give greater insight into AUSCCER’s work.

Meet Razia Sultana

Raiza Sultana is a second year PhD Candidate with AUSSCER. Her research is titled ‘Urban Green Infrastructure in the Global South: Adapting Slums to Climate Change in Dhaka, Bangladesh’ and is being supervised by Dr Thomas Birtchnell and Associate Professor Nick Gill. In this blog post Razia answers some questions about her research and her PhD experience so far.  Continue reading

Meet Andrew Glover

The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) is a teaching and research group focusing on cultural and social aspects of environmental issues. AUSCCER’s expertise and research is wide-ranging. Over the next few months we’ll be introducing some of our academics and PhD candidates to give greater insight into AUSCCER’s work.

Dr Andrew Glover is a visiting Research Fellow from RMIT University, Melbourne. In this blog post he answers some questions about his research.

What are your research interests?

Broadly, I’m interested in social practices as they relate to sustainability. That means I’m interested in how and why we move, both physically and digitally, because these inevitably have implications for the resources we use and the environmental impact we have. I’m also interested in the sociology of consumption and waste. Continue reading

Meet Freya Croft

The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) is a teaching and research group focusing on cultural and social aspects of environmental issues. AUSCCER’s expertise and research is wide-ranging. Over the next few months we’ll be introducing some of our academics and PhD candidates to give greater insight into AUSCCER’s work.

Freya is in the first year of her PhD, initially starting her studies in history, but transferred to human geography and AUSCCER at the start of 2017. She is supervised by Associate Professor Michael Adams and Dr Jenny Atchison. In this post Freya answers some questions about her research.

Freya, about to dive the Exmouth Navy Pier at Ningaloo Reef, WA.

 

What is the focus of your research?

Photo by Alex Kydd from Ningaloo Wildlife Encounters. Tiger Shark and snorkelers in the water at Coral Bay, Ningaloo Reef, WA.

Put broadly, the topic of my research is storytelling and ocean conservation.  I’m interested in the ways in which storytelling can act as a catalyst for change and inspire stewardship of the marine environment.

I am really interested in the ways in which emotions shape the encounters humans have in marine environments and how these can be used to encourage people to alter their behaviour to be more conservation minded.  Continue reading

PhD Scholarship Opportunity – Smart City Living Labs

AUSCCER and the School of Geography and Sustainable Communities have an exciting PhD Scholarship opportunity for someone interested in research on urban experimentation and the Smart City, supervised by Professor Pauline McGuirk.

Urban Experimentation and the Smart City Continue reading

RGS-IBG 2017 Annual International Conference London – who, what, where and when

The Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers 2017 Annual International Conference is being held in London from Tuesday 29th August to Friday 1st September. This year the conference theme is ‘Decolonising geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world‘.

Listed below are the AUSCCER crew who will be attending, chairing sessions, authoring and presenting papers.

You can follow the conference proceedings on twitter with the hashtag #RGSIBG2017 or via their personal twitter handles.

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Meet Md. Abdul Malak

The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) is a teaching and research group focusing on cultural and social aspects of environmental issues. AUSCCER’s expertise and research is wide-ranging. Over the next few months we’ll be introducing some of our academics and PhD candidates to give greater insight into AUSCCER’s work.

Meet Abdul, one of our newest PhD Candidates.

Abdul moved from Bangladesh to Wollongong to begin his PhD at the end of July 2017.

Whilst only just starting out Abdul describes his research project as focusing on “vulnerability, resilience and livelihood of wetland communities of north western Bangladesh.” He is supervised by Professor Noel Castree and Dr Jenny Atchison.

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