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Articles categorized as ‘Australian Environmental Science Programs’

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Scholarships for Master of Integrated Water Management are available

Master of Integrated Water Management Scholarships

Are you interested in joining a global community of leaders that is changing the way we tackle complex water management challenges?

The International WaterCentre (IWC) provides education and training, applied research and knowledge services to implement a whole-of-water cycle approach and develop capacity in integrated water resource management.

Scholarships for Master of Integrated Water Management are available

Brisbane’s City Cat ferries rely on proper water management

The International WaterCentre (IWC) is offering a full scholarships for high-calibre candidates accepted into the Master of Integrated Water Management (MIWM) commencing in Semester 1, 2018.

Up to two full tuition and full living costs scholarships (Type A – each valued at AUD 92,645* including tuition fees and living costs);
and one full tuition scholarship (valued at AUD $52,500*). *Scholarships values are subject to change and are relevant for the 2017 intake.

  • July 31, 2017: Applications close
  • August 23, 2017: Shortlisted applicants will be notified (via email)
  • November 1, 2017: Scholarships Selection Panel will make a final decision on successful recipients (by this date)
  • February 2018: the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management will commence at the University of Queensland

Eligibility requirements

To apply for a scholarship, you must

  • have completed an undergraduate degree in a related field of study from an internationally recognised institution; and
  • have at least two years of professional experience (paid work or volunteering experience) relevant to the program.

Although professional experience is not essential for admission in the MIWM program, candidates with relevant professional experience have a higher chance of securing a scholarship.

Selection criteria

The Scholarship Selection Panel will use the following selection criteria to assess and rank applications:

  1. Leadership qualities: including collaboration and teamwork, flexibility, initiative, communication skills, integrity and vision through professional, educational, community and other achievements.
  2. Professional and volunteering record: relevant employment and volunteering experience, achievements, membership of professional bodies and professional references.
  3. Academic record: an excellent academic record and a likelihood of success in further study.
  4. Commitment to promoting and driving the implementation of collaborative, whole-of-water-cycle, integrated and interdisciplinary approaches to water management.
  5. Potential outcomes: the likelihood of positive impacts on the individual and the water sector from participating in the MIWM program.

About the Master of Integrated Water Management

The Master of Integrated Water Management at the University of Queensland is one of the few courses in the world that takes a truly transdisciplinary, integrated approach to water management in both developed and developing country contexts. The degree is co-badged and co-delivered by leading industry practitioners and lecturers from International WaterCentre’s  founding member universities: University of Queensland, Monash University, Griffith University, and the University of Western Australia.

The Master of Integrated Water Management (MIWM) creates water leaders by drawing on international teaching and research from many fields to provide a transdisciplinary, whole-of-water-cycle approach. Students get the skills to consider the impacts of decisions systemically across environment, politics, law, science, culture, engineering, economics, health and society.

Program: Master of Integrated Water Management
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intake: February
Application deadline: November 29, 2017

Apply to the University of Queensland!

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Do you have questions about the Master of Integrated Water Management at the University of Queensland? Please contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, June 12th, 2017

University of Queensland sweeps $22.6m in research funding

The University of Queensland has topped the nation by securing funding for more research projects than any other Australian university in the prestigious Australian Research Council grants announced in Canberra on June 5, with 17 projects set to share a total of $22.6 million.

University of Queensland sweeps $22.6m in research funding

UQ has been awarded funding for more research projects than any other university in Australia

UQ’s exceptional honour roll includes two new ARC Australian Laureate Fellowships, 14 ARC Future Fellowships and funding for an ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovation in Biomedical Imaging Technology.

The 17 grants have been awarded to UQ research projects spanning biotechnology, electrochemical energy, ecological impacts of cattle production, antibiotic resistance, cultural history, quantum systems, and atomic physics.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said it was an outstanding result for UQ and again demonstrated the strength of the university’s research.

“UQ has been awarded funding for more research projects than any other university in Australia, and we ranked number two for total funding, with $22.6 million in grants,” Professor Høj said.

“UQ has won the lion’s share of ARC Future Fellowships funding, securing $12.1 million which accounts for 15.7 per cent of the total $77 million in grants.

“These results underscore UQ as the destination of choice, given that we have been awarded more ARC Future Fellowships across the life of the scheme than any other university, and it comes less than a week after our researchers were awarded $4.3 million for 12 ARC Linkage Projects.

“This is a real testament to the quality of researchers we have at the university,” he said.

“I’m delighted to note that six of UQ’s 14 new Future Fellows are women.

“There is also an excellent spread of Future Fellowships across UQ’s broad areas of research, with five going to researchers in humanities and other non-science disciplines.”

ARC Australian Laureate Fellowships have been awarded to Professor George Zhao, who is working to develop sustainable electrochemical energy storage technology, wastewater resource recovery expert Professor Zhiguo Yuan.

Professor Zhao, of UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering, will get $2.8 million over five years for research to develop next-generation energy storage applications based upon sodium-ion capacitors.

Professor Yuan, director of UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre, will get $2.9 million over five years for research into bioconversion of methane into higher-value liquid chemicals.

“Professor Yuan’s work on biotechnology solutions through the cost-effective production of liquid chemicals from biogas could propel Australia to the forefront of sustainable resources research,” Professor Høj said.

The University of Queensland will have a new ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovation in Biomedical Imaging Technology, backed by $4.7 million in ARC funding and an additional $1 million provided by industry partners.

The centre will train 20 industry-ready innovation scientists to tackle skills gaps in radiochemistry and diagnostic imaging in Australia’s medical technologies and pharmaceuticals sector.

The centre will draw together leading researchers and industry partners to develop novel diagnostics, therapeutics and theranostics for cost-effective diagnostic imaging and improved health outcomes.

Professor Høj said UQ’s powerful performance across the ARC funding projects was further evidence of the university’s commitment to supporting leading researchers and enabling them to create positive change.

Discover more about studying at the University of Queensland!

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Monash University medical student joins Antarctica expedition to inspire environmental change

A desire to drive sustainable energy use, and love of solving challenging problems has won a Monash University student a prestigious Boston Consulting Group (BCG) scholarship. One of only two scholarships awarded annually in Australia and New Zealand, Daniel D’Hotman will now embark on a trip to Antarctica early next year.

Daniel’s $15,000 scholarship means he joins the last 60 miles (96.6 km) of the 600-mile (966 km) South Pole Energy Challenge (SPEC). Conducted on foot, it’s the first polar expedition to rely completely on renewable energy, and is renowned explorer Robert Swan’s last South Pole voyage.

Monash University medical student joins Antarctica expedition to inspire environmental change

A Monash Medical School student will be embarking on an Antarctic expedition

A fourth-year Monash University Medical School student, Daniel said the South Pole expedition was an amazing opportunity to inspire change in the way we use energy.

“I believe the risk of catastrophic climate change poses a major existential threat to current and future generations—no matter what field you’re in—and I wanted to be part of something that would have a global impact,” Daniel said.

Using this expedition as a platform for engagement, the group wants to challenge and inspire people to make measurable changes to how they use energy in their businesses, communities, and lifestyles. Daniel also plans to work with sponsors, such as Shell and Patagonia, to launch a social impact fund that will drive change in the way we use energy.

“On a personal level,” he said, “I revel in a challenge, and the prospect of walking in the most hostile environment on earth is very exciting.”

This once-in-a-lifetime adventure is only one part of the prize. Daniel will also have the opportunity to work with BCG after graduation.

It’s a prestigious honour, and one that came about after a rigorous selection process involving three rounds of interviews, where BCG sought out high-performing students with strong leadership qualities and a love of “solving challenging problems.”

As a medical student at Monash, Daniel is passionate about mobilising groups of individuals to promote collaboration and engineer societal change. Earlier this year, he led the launch of the philanthropic movement Effective Altruism in Australia, and the charity has raised more than $800,000 for public health interventions in its first year.

While Daniel enjoys clinical medicine and clearly has a passion for the environment, he hopes to pursue a future in public policy to ensure the future equity and sustainability of Australia’s health system.

“My Monash placements in rural Victoria offered insight into the stark contrast in health outcomes between these areas and inner-city Melbourne,” he said. “This prompted my interest in health equity; a person’s health should not be dictated by their postcode.”

After his second year of Monash University Medical School, Daniel completed his Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) at the University of Oxford, working with philosophers including Monash Professor Julian Savulescu. This experience introduced him to the world of bioethics and policy.

“Oxford really opened my eyes to power of public policy, and inspired me to pursue a career in the field,” he said.

Daniel believes that rising costs of healthcare and an ageing population may threaten the viability of Australia’s health system this century. However, he said that technology could offer powerful solutions.

“Australia is uniquely positioned to take advantage of advances in artificial intelligence, big data, and biotechnology to guarantee the quality of our health system into the future. I’m excited to expand my knowledge of these areas through working at BCG.”

Study Medicine at Monash University

The Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine at Monash University has been designed in close consultation with doctors, health care professionals and leaders in the health and research sectors to give students the scientific background and clinical expertise to ensure that graduates are prepared for their future as a doctor.

Program: Bachelor of Medical Science Doctor of Medicine (graduate entry)
Location: Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria (approx. 2 hours southeast of Melbourne)
Semester intake: February 2018
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: July 21, 2017

Apply to the Monash University medical program!

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Would you like more information about studying at Monash University Medical School? Contact Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com or 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

JCU marine biology student explains how to get volunteer experience while studying in Australia

Remember JCU marine biology student Kessia? Well, she’s back with more great advice. This time, Kessia chats about gaining valuable volunteer experience while you are studying in Australia!

When I first started uni, all the lecturers encouraged us to get volunteering experience. Lots of emphasis was put on it and we were told how this was the way to get a job in the future. Volunteering allows you to put into practice what you have learned in your lectures to the real-world situations.

JCU marine biology student: How to get volunteer experience while studying

Volunteering with the Australian Marine Conservation Society on Magnetic Island (Photo: JCU)

I’ve put together a few tips on how to get volunteering, more specifically in the science field.

  1. Talk to your lecturers

This is the best way to get your first volunteering experience. If you are interested in a particular field, then talk to the lecturer and ask if they can point you in the right direction in terms of volunteering. You never know, they might have some opportunity for you. In first year, it is sometimes intimidating to go up and talk to the lecturer in a class of 100 students. But do not let the class size stop you. Most lecturers will appreciate your interest in their field of study and will be happy to give you advice.

  1. Join the volunteer list at JCU

There is a database for students willing to volunteer for PhD candidates who might need a hand. Once you join the email list, you will receive emails from students who are looking for a couple of hands to help collect data on the field or help with laboratory work and so on. Some of my friends have been able to go on trips such as collecting seagrass for dugong surveys, or collecting water samples from Ross River.  I have had the opportunity to deploy underwater cameras around Hinchinbrook Island. It was definitely a rewarding experience, one that I will do again if I get the chance.

  1. Join the Facebook group

Each college at JCU has a Facebook group. For example, for marine biologists and other environmental courses, the JCU College of Biological, Marine & Environmental Sciences (BioMES) has a Facebook page where students sometimes post about volunteering or job opportunities. You can find come precious information on this group about lots of things. I highly recommend joining the group related to your faculty.

  1. TropWater

The group offers internships to students for a semester in different fields, including aquaculture, mangrove habitats, wetlands, etc. TropWater applications are due a semester before. It offers hands-on experience and you get to work with people who are experts in their field.

  1. Research facilities

James Cook University has a several research facilities on campus including MACRO which works with macroalgae; MARFU, the aquarium complex; MBD, the microalgae site; or EGRU, Geology Research Centre among others. If you talk to the right people, you can get volunteering opportunities at those research centres which are right on campus. From feeding fish, to laboratory work, to cleaning tanks, there is a lot you can learn at those facilities. Even more so, you can volunteer at the Orpheus Island research centre and while helping with cleaning duties, you can spend the rest of your day snorkeling in the amazing protected marine park. You would be required to be on the island for a week or so but it is worth it. Don’t forget to get yourself an Orpheus shirt so you can brag about it to your friends.

  1. Other organisations

There are various other organisations you can volunteer with, including the Australian Marine Conservation Society, an amazing organisation that sensitizes the public on how human-induced impacts on the reef such as coal mining.

  • Australian Marine Conservation Society on Magnetic Island
  • Conservation Volunteers Australia
  • NQ Dry Tropics – helps with beach clean-ups
  • Reek Check Australia – they offer training programs on how to collect data on the reef
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science – A government organisation that runs several research experiments on the Great Barrier Reef. You would need a supervisor/lecturer willing to sponsor your volunteering there.
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • Reef HQ

From my own experience, I have found volunteering very rewarding and have learnt a lot in different fields. Talking to people in the field and seeing what it means to apply all I learnt in classes is eye-opening. Do not be discouraged if you find it hard to get any volunteering in the first few years. The more you talk to lecturers or other students, the easier you will find volunteering opportunities. Ask questions! Even if it is not related to your field of interest, having skills and experience in different fields can be beneficial for when you are applying for a job later. The more volunteering you do, the more experience and knowledge you will acquire. This is the hands-on stuff you will need for a job! So, go out there and take the opportunities given to you.

Read Kessia’s other blog, 5 reasons to study marine biology at James Cook University

Marine biology at JCU

Think you might be interested in marine biology? JCU’s location in the tropics allows students and research staff ready access to a wide variety of tropical marine systems including coral reefs, tropical estuaries, mangrove habitats and seagrass beds. Links between research and teaching programs ensure that students are at the cutting edge of marine research.

Program: Master of Science (Marine Biology and Ecology)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intakes: July or February
Application deadline: June 29 and January 30 each year
Entry requirements: Completion of a recognised, appropriate undergraduate degree attaining a minimum of 65% or equivalent prior learning including appropriate professional experience.

Apply to the Master of Science at James Cook University!

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Are you interested in studying marine biology at James Cook University? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com for more information!

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

University of Queensland leads Australia in ranking of top-10-rated subjects

The University of Queensland leads Australia and places 42nd globally in a new subject ranking that encompasses more than 26,000 higher education institutions.

The established Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) inaugural subject rankings highlight outstanding universities in science and social science, based on the numbers of research articles published in top-tier journals.

University of Queensland leads Australia in ranking of top-10-rated subjects

Find out how you can study biodiversity conservation at UQ!

UQ has 13 subjects in the global top 10—more than any other Australian university—and features in rank one for Biodiversity Conservation, rank two for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism and rank three for Marine and Freshwater Biology.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said he was thrilled that the university ranked so highly.

“This achievement showcases the hard work that our researchers and academics put in to science and social science across UQ,” he said.

“A number-one ranking in Biodiversity Conservation is an incredible achievement and underscores the impressive research firepower we bring to protecting the world’s species.

“It’s why outstanding philanthropists such as the Turner Foundation partner with us to deliver multi-million conservation projects—they know they are collaborating with the best in the world.”

With a global ranking of 42, UQ is one of only two Australian universities in the world top 50.

“To be ranked so highly by a centre that bases its results purely on research output reinforces other measures such as the Nature Ranking,” Professor Høj said. “It highlights the breadth of multidisciplinary research and knowledge we can deploy to tackle the major challenges of the 21st Century, and to create change to build a better world.”

The University of Queensland ranked worldwide as follows:

World Rank Subject
1 Biodiversity Conservation
2 Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism
3 Marine & Freshwater Biology
4 Water Resources
6 Ecology
6 Engineering, Environmental
6 Environmental Sciences
7 Sport Sciences
8 Environmental Studies
9 Anatomy & Morphology
9 Ergonomics
9 Rehabilitation
10 Tropical Medicine

The Center for World University Rankings publishes the largest academic ranking of global universities, drawing on data from Clarivate Analytics (previously the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters).

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Are you interested in studying environmental sciences programs at the University of Queensland? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Monday, May 1st, 2017

James Cook University is No.1 in world for marine biology

James Cook University’s standing as a world leader in environmental sciences has been re-affirmed with JCU ranked No.1 in the world for marine biology, and No. 2 in the world for biodiversity conservation research.

Sydney Dental School

JCU is ranked No.1 in the world for marine biology (Photo: Mark Ziembecki)

The Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) has released its inaugural subjects ranking, which compares more than 26,000 degree-granting institutions around the world.

CWUR ranked JCU as follows:

  • Marine & Freshwater Biology (World Rank: 1)
  • Biodiversity Conservation (World Rank: 2)
  • Overall, this ranks James Cook University #166 among global institutions with the most Top-10 placements.

Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Cocklin said the ranking reflects JCU’s extremely strong research performance.

“To be ranked so highly in these subject areas is a great credit to our talented researchers. These results are consistent with our high standing in other global rankings for environmental and ecological sciences.

“JCU continues to deliver ground-breaking research, and we perform very strongly when compared to the world’s largest, most successful universities.”

The CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017 highlights the world’s elite universities in the sciences and the social sciences, based on the number and influence of research articles in top-tier journals.

Data is obtained from Clarivate Analytics (previously the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters).

JCU College of Marine and Environmental Sciences

As part of the Division of Tropical Environments and Societies, the College of Marine and Environmental Sciences promotes, fosters, supports and administers quality teaching and research at JCU in the areas of marine biology, environment, geography and sustainability, aquaculture and fisheries, and terrestrial ecosystems.

Marine science is the interdisciplinary study of the marine environment bringing together elements of marine biology, oceanography, marine geoscience and environmental management. Marine scientists explore the make-up and dynamics of the world’s oceans and use their skills to investigate and manage human impacts on the marine environment; understand and utilise ocean resources; and manage and protect our marine reserves.

JCU’s location in the tropics allows students and research staff ready access to a wide variety of tropical marine systems including coral reefs, tropical estuaries, mangrove habitats and seagrass beds. Links between research and teaching programs ensure that students are at the cutting edge of marine research.

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Are you interested in marine biology? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com for more information about environmental sciences degrees available at James Cook University!

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

UQ environmental sciences is number 1 in Australia in latest global rankings

Just in time for Earth Week….

The University of Queensland has cemented its place as the top university in Australia for environmental sciences and agriculture in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.

Executive Dean of Science Professor Melissa Brown said UQ ranked at number one in Australia in these subjects and globally, UQ was ranked in the world’s top 20 universities in environmental sciences (12th) and agriculture and forestry (19th).

UQ environmental sciences is #1 in Australia according to latest global rankings

Study environmental sciences at UQ!

“This is the third year in a row that UQ has ranked in the top 20 globally in environmental sciences and agriculture in the QS subject rankings,” she said.

“These outstanding results are not achieved without listening to our markets, planning, hard work and expertise, and reflects the quality of our offerings. We congratulate everyone involved.

”UQ was also ranked at number two nationally in biological sciences and number three in veterinary science—a great result for the UQ Faculty of Science.”

Head of the new UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Professor Jonathan Aitchison, said the the development of this new school mirrored UQ’s recognition of the global significance and institutional standing of this important area.

“The new school will provide innovative and exciting opportunities for involvement in research-led studies,” he said.

“Through interconnected teams, the School is delivering practical solutions to the complex issues affecting our physical environment.

“Our programs include Environmental Science and the related area of Environmental Management.”

Head of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Professor Neal Menzies, said the School was attracting a growing number of students from the domestic market, a reflection of the very strong job market and increasing starting salaries in the agricultural sector.

“Internationally we are also attracting more students, and I attribute this partly to the strong UQ rankings, but also to the focus of UQ agriculture on the tropics. We can easily be seen as the world’s leading tropical agriculture university,” he said.

“Our standing as a high-quality science university that can rapidly translate research to improvements in the field is increasingly recognised.

“For the developed world this is reflected in increased research funding from the large corporates such as Monsanto and Bayer, while for the developing world it is reflected in increased research funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and from the Australian Government through ACIAR.”

In the past year, UQ has been confirmed as the top institute in Australia in the Nature Index 2016 Australia and New Zealand; placed 43rd globally and third in Australia in the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities; and jumped 22 places in the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities, to rank 55th globally and second in Australia.

Find out more about environmental sciences degrees offered by the University of Queensland! Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Scholarships for international Master of Integrated Water Management candidates

Australia, the land of droughts and flooding rains is an ideal location to study water resource management issues.

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. It is a country whose water resources are highly susceptible to changes in temperature and the hydrological regime.

Scholarships for international Master of Integrated Water Management candidates

Students enrolled at UQ participate in a one-day field trip to Brisbane River.

The Australian water industry is globally respected for its knowledge and technical capability in a diverse range of water management practices, and Australian research efforts are increasingly recognising the importance of integrating different disciplines for more effective water policy.

Scholarships for Master of Integrated Water Management candidates

The International WaterCentre (IWC) provides education and training, applied research and knowledge services to implement a whole-of-water cycle approach and develop capacity in integrated water resource management.

The International WaterCentre (IWC) is offering a full scholarship (valued at AU$52,500 for 18 months of study) for high calibre candidates accepted into the Master of Integrated Water Management (MIWM) commencing in Semester 1, 2018.

  • May 1, 2017: Applications open
  • July 31, 2017: Applications close
  • August 23, 2017: Shortlisted applicants will be notified (via email)
  • November 1, 2017: Scholarships Selection Panel will make a final decision on successful recipients (by this date)
  • February 2018: the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management will commence at the University of Queensland

Eligibility requirements

To apply for a scholarship, you must

  • have completed an undergraduate degree in a related field of study from an internationally recognised institution; and
  • have at least two years of professional experience (paid work or volunteering experience) relevant to the program.

Although professional experience is not essential for admission in the MIWM program, candidates with relevant professional experience have a higher chance of securing a scholarship.

Selection criteria

The Scholarship Selection Panel will use the following selection criteria to assess and rank applications:

  1. Leadership qualities: including collaboration and team work, flexibility, initiative, communication skills, integrity and vision through professional, educational, community and other achievements.
  2. Professional and volunteering record: relevant employment and volunteering experience, achievements, membership of professional bodies and professional references.
  3. Academic record: an excellent academic record and a likelihood of success in further study.
  4. Commitment to promoting and driving the implementation of collaborative, whole-of-water-cycle, integrated and interdisciplinary approaches to water management.
  5. Potential outcomes: the likelihood of positive impacts on the individual and the water sector from participating in the MIWM program.

About the Master of Integrated Water Management

The Master of Integrated Water Management at the University of Queensland is one of the few courses in the world that takes a truly transdisciplinary, integrated approach to water management in both developed and developing country contexts. The degree is co-badged and co-delivered by leading industry practitioners and lecturers from International WaterCentre’s  founding member universities: University of Queensland, Monash University, Griffith University, and the University of Western Australia.

The Master of Integrated Water Management (MIWM) creates water leaders by drawing on international teaching and research from many fields to provide a transdisciplinary, whole-of-water-cycle approach. Students get the skills to consider the impacts of decisions systemically across environment, politics, law, science, culture, engineering, economics, health and society.

Program: Master of Integrated Water Management
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intake: February
Application deadline: November 29, 2017

Apply to the University of Queensland!

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Do you have questions about the Master of Integrated Water Management at the University of Queensland? Please contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

5 reasons to study marine biology at James Cook University

Here’s a James Cook University Student Blog about studying marine biology, and why JCU is such a fantastic choice!

Before I came to university, I had a hard time deciding which university to choose. Making a list and weighing all the advantages and disadvantages helped me to make my decision and I surely do not regret it now. Coming to JCU was the best decision I made. Here is a small list of why I think JCU is the best place in the world to study marine biology.

5 reasons to study marine biology at James Cook University

JCU marine biology student Kessia Virah-Sawmy (Photo: JCU Connect)

1. So close to the iconic Great Barrier Reef

I come from an island found in the tropics and my country is surrounded by fringing reefs. I wanted to study somewhere where I could learn about corals and reef fishes and where best to do it than right on the Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef on the planet and a world heritage. The location of the GBR was the main reason why I chose JCU. With the reef right at their doorstep, researchers and students at JCU can work very closely on coral reefs.

Being in the tropics also means that Townsville has hot summers and nice (not-so-cold) winters. It is like summer all year round which is very similar to my tropical home. It was thus not a problem for me to adapt to this new environment.

2. Best facilities and lecturers

Studying marine biology at JCU means that you have access to a wide number of facilities from live specimens in practical classes to research facilities in both marine biology and aquaculture. JCU has a marine research station on Orpheus island which is located just off the coast of Ingham, about 2 hours North of Townsville. With accommodation and research facilities on the island, students can go on the island for specific classes to study the incredible marine life that surrounds the island.

James Cook University is highly recognised in terms of research done in the marine field including coral reef research, shark research or fisheries work. For the past years that I have been at JCU, I have had the great privilege of having lecturers who are experts in their field and who are eager and passionate to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. It is always great to hear about their experience and how they became who they are today. It gives us a sense of pride when we read a paper written by one of our lecturers or seeing them on the news. The JCU lecturers are world-known scientists who work with different research bodies such as the ARC (Australian Research Council) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies or the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

5 reasons to study marine biology at James Cook University

Diving is a given at JCU (Photo: JCU Connect)

3. Incredible field trips

As soon as I started first year, the lecturers were already getting us excited about field trips. Field trips are by far the most exciting part about studying marine biology. From going up Castle hill to look at rocks, to going down to the strand to count snails, or visiting fish farms, to snorkelling for hours around Orpheus island, I have been able to go on some incredible field trips so far.

Field trips makes the course even more interesting. You look forward to this one weekend where you get to spend 2 days on an island surrounded by the most beautiful coral reefs where you snorkel for hours and hours without getting tired of it. Or you get excited when you get to discover the breathtaking North Queensland while visiting fish farms. There are quite a few classes that have field trips to Orpheus island such as MB3160- Evolution and Ecology of Reef fishes, MB3190- Coral Reef Ecology, MB3210- Life History and Evolution of Reef Corals, MB3300- Coral Reef Ecosystems and EV3406- Coral Reef Geomorphology. I also enjoyed the AQ2002- Introduction to Tropical Aquaculture class where we got to visit different aquaculture farms in North Queensland.

4. Diving opportunities

The Great Barrier Reef offers amazing diving opportunities. From shallow reef diving off Cairns to the world-known shipwreck dive of Yongala, there is lots to see and discover. I had the chance to do get my Advanced PADI open water course on a liveaboard on the GBR. It was the best experience ever! We were able to dive with sharks, turtles and rays and see some amazing corals.

5 reasons to study marine biology at James Cook University

The iconic Great Barrier Reef (Photo: JCU Connect)

The JCU Dive Club also offers a number of trips throughout the semester ranging from day trips to 10-day trips on the reef. It is one of the most famous and active clubs on campus. They also offer courses such as Open divers, Advanced Divers, Rescue divers or CPR and First Aid courses.

5. Meeting people from all over the world

JCU is well known for marine studies and therefore attracts students from all over the world. I am not lying when I say that most of my classmates are international students. From Asia, to Europe, to the USA, to Africa, I have met people from all over the place. It is great to see how multicultural the campus is. As an international, this provides a welcoming environment where you learn to accept each other’s culture. I have developed close and strong friendships with different people and I can’t wait to travel the world and visit all of them.

I have also met some amazing Australian people who are always so eager to make us discover their culture which is mainly Barbies and a “cool” attitude. They are by far the most welcoming people I have ever met. A few months in the country and the Aussies will have already taught you how to speak Australian, which is basically just shortening every word.

There are so many more reasons to why I chose JCU but those are my top 5. JCU is recognised worldwide as one of the best in marine research, more specifically in Coral Reef research and Tropical Aquaculture. Many of my friends back home were sceptic as to why I would come all the way to far North Queensland to study Marine Biology. Well now I can tell them that it is the best decision I have made and I would not have chosen a different university.

Story by Kessia Virah-Sawmy via JCU Connect

Master of Science in Marine Biology and Ecology

JCU is the leading education and research institution for Marine Biology in the Tropics. JCU’s unique location enables students from Australia and overseas to study in a diverse physical environment unparalleled by any university in the world.

The postgraduate degree program in Marine Biology and Ecology is internationally recognised. We focus on developing career professionals who can address the grand challenges for marine and coastal ecosystems, particularly in the tropical Asia-Pacific region. You will be researching and tackling issues such as

  • Climate change, ecosystem resilience and adaptation
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Environmental and ecological sustainability
  • Biodiversity and conservation challenges for marine organisms and ecosystems
  • Sustainable marine resource management
  • Global and regional food security
  • Sustainable livelihoods for coastal and island based societies.

Program: Master of Science (Marine Biology and Ecology)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intakes: February and July
Application deadline: January 30 and June 29 each year
Entry requirements: Completion of a recognised, appropriate undergraduate degree attaining a minimum of 65% or equivalent prior learning including appropriate professional experience.

Apply to the Master of Science at James Cook University!

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Are you interested in studying marine biology at James Cook University? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com for more information!

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Introducing the new UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Resources and energy, climate change, urbanisation, population growth, conservation and sustainability will be areas of focus for a new University of Queensland school.

Introducing the new UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Professor Aitchison is head of the new UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Photo: UQ)

The UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences came into being on Jan. 1 and now combines UQ’s School of Earth Sciences and the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management.

Professor Jonathan Aitchison, who will head the new school, said it would be an interdisciplinary powerhouse of academic expertise, developing practical solutions to big issues.

“The school will give greater breadth and depth to the study of earth and environmental sciences, greatly benefitting students, strengthening research capacity, and will provide greater disciplinary coherence and opportunity,” said Professor Aitchison, the Head of UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

“It makes sense to bring earth and environmental sciences together in the university.

“The new school is a recognition of the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of geological and geographical sciences, environmental management, coastal processes, urban planning and safety science.”

Professor Aitchison said UQ had a strong international reputation for excellence in earth and environmental sciences.

It ranks number 1 in Australia in life sciences in the Times Higher Education Ranking and number 12 globally, number 32 internationally in geography, and is in the world’s top 100 Earth and Marine Sciences institutions in the 2016 QS rankings by subject.

“The combined staff of the new school are recognised as experts in their fields,” Professor Aitchison said.

“They conduct pure and applied research with strong links to our industry, government and university partners who have provided excellent support over many years.

“In addition, our people have a strong reputation for quality teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students in all discipline areas across the new school.”

Professor Aitchison said integrated teams of earth scientists, physical and social scientists, environmental management specialists, health and safety experts, and urban planners would work together to generate new knowledge and opportunities for further discovery.

Current collaborative research projects and consulting pieces would continue as usual and new projects would begin as funding and support becomes available.

“By providing a new academic structure for these related disciplines we will provide opportunities to improve end-to-end delivery of services and research outcomes,” he said.

“This benefits industries, government, university partners, and communities, and continues availability of state-of-the-art facilities for industry and research project work.”

Professor Aitchison is a geologist and an expert in plate tectonics, palaeontology and geo-microbiology.

University of Queensland Environmental Science Degrees

Master of Agribusiness
Master of Agricultural Science
Master of Conservation Biology
Master of Conservation Science
Master of Environmental Management
Master of Geographic Information Science
Master of Integrated Water Management
Master of Mineral Resources
Master of Responsible Resource Development (Environment)
Master of Rural Development
Master of Sustainable Energy

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Find out more about your study options at the new UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.