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Social Sciences Seminar: Climate change and institutional learning


Instituting adaptation frameworks that can assist professionals in coastal communities to respond to climate change, yet that are also tailored to specific sectoral needs, is crucial. Professionals working at the coalface of the climate change challenge need to build new skills and create innovative solutions in social and political contexts. Using case studies, this seminar reflects on the experience of developing climate change curricula at multiple levels and the obstacles to implementation of the links between curriculum and practice.  This includes reflections on the necessity of interlinking political, social and economic aspects together to create real opportunities for institutional learning. The seminar examines the utility of such educational initiatives to build community resilience, forge networks between multiple sectors and contribute to achieving social/institutional, political and economic outcomes for adaptation to climate change.

Speaker: Dr Melissa Nursey-Bray
National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability, Australian Maritime College, Tasmania

Melissa Nursey-Bray is a social scientist interested in the incorporation of community (or communities of interest) in decision making. She worked for many years with Indigenous peoples in northern Australia, which included work training Indigenous rangers and development of management plans, such as the Hope Vale Turtle and Dugong Management Plan and the Girringun Co-management agreement along the Great Barrier Reef. Since living in Tasmania, Melissa has been active in building research in climate change adaptation for fisheries and local government. For example, she developed a risk assessment tool for adapation to climate change for local government. She is currently working on the development of climate change adaptation training and curricula for maritime professionals. She also believes in teaching for and about environmental sustainability, and teaches courses in Indigenous resource management, marine conservation, environmental ethics, climate change, environmental management systems, integrated coastal zone management and global change. She recently won a national teaching award for making an outstanding contribution to student learning in the area of critical thinking and environmental sustainability. Melissa is a historian by training, but now works generally in the disciplines of geography and Indigenous studies. She has published two books and many chapters and articles on climate change and Indigenous resource management.