What are the implications of climate change for Tasmania? Should we be doing more? And what?
- Dr John Hunter
- Professor David Bowman
- Dr Nick Towle
- Dr Mel Fitzpatrick
- David Hamilton
Join experts from Climate Tasmania, the University of Tasmania, and the community to discuss if we are doing ok? What are the implications of climate change for Tasmania? Should we be doing more? And what?
Dr John Hunter is an oceanographer working in an emeritus position at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. His current interests are the sea-level rise induced by climate change, and the response of Antarctic ice shelf cavities to global warming. His interest in sea-level rise was initially stimulated in the mid-1990s and he continues to research in this area. He was the original developer of the Canute sea-level rise decision-support tool. In recent years he developed a method of deriving sea-level planning allowances based on projections of sea-level rise and present storm-tides; the techniques has been used in Tasmania, Victoria and more widely around Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He has a keen interest in seeing that the science of climate change is accurately communicated, not distorted by the so-called "climate sceptics" and is appropriately incorporated into public policy.
Professor David Bowman holds a research chair in Pyrogeography and Fire Science in the School of Natural Sciences and is the Director of the transdisciplinary Fire Centre at the University of Tasmania. He is developing the transdisciplinary field of pyrogeography that provides a synthetic understanding of landscape burning that unites human, physical and biological dimensions of fire from the geological past into the future and spanning local to global geographic scales.
Dr Nick Towle is a Tasmanian medical graduate, who began his medical career in emergency medicine before transitioning to medical education and public health advocacy. He is currently a senior lecturer with the Rural Clinical School (Burnie, Tasmania) teaching 4th and final year medical students in acute care and global health perspectives. His education roles extend to teaching within interdisciplinary sustainability units at the University and teaching Permaculture design in community settings. Nick applies a systems thinking approach to help audiences better understand the health effects of climate change and identify where mitigation actions may also lead to better population health outcomes. He has contributed to a range of climate and health advocacy initiatives for over a decade, ranging from a formal advisory role to the Tasmanian state government, through to community engagement initiatives.
Dr Mel Fitzpatrick is a climate scientist and educator. Much of her work over the last two decades has concentrated on effective communication of climate science to both policymakers and the general public. A specialist in polar and alpine research, Mel has worked for the Australian Antarctic Program, the US Antarctic Program, and in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. Mel also worked for six years as a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a U.S. non-profit that plays a key role in ensuring sound science informs policy. In addition, she has spent many seasons as a survival field trainer in Antarctica, Greenland, Canada and Peru. She leads groups of young people on wilderness expeditions and cultural exchange programs. Since her return to Tasmania she has also worked as a teacher and in local government.
David Hamilton has a background in physics and worked as an occupational hygienist for many years with experience in government, consulting, and the oil and gas industry. He held a number of senior positions in the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists. Following his retirement and move to Tasmania, David worked as an energy consultant for several years, where he advised on energy efficiency, renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. David has been Chairman of Dorset Renewable Industries Pty Ltd since late in 2013, and is also Chairman of the recently launched Dorset Renewable Co-operative Limited. He is committed to improving community resilience through appropriate, sustainable development. He thinks that small to medium sized businesses that meet local needs from local resources are more likely to provide sustainably beneficial economic activity than will large, remotely headquartered businesses. David believes that the energy transition will provide great opportunities for communities to take more control of their futures.
The session may also include several discussants from the local community. With the exception of Professor Bowman and the discussants, the speakers are members of Climate Tasmania. Climate Tasmania is a group of Tasmanian experts committed to providing independent and authoritative advice to Tasmanian business, government and community leaders on climate change and appropriate policy responses. https://www.climatetasmania.org
This session and is part of the Global Climate Change Week (19-25 October) http://globalclimatechangeweek.com
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