Introduction from the Science Leader - August 2014

Introduction from the Science Leader - August 2014

As this newsletter goes to press, the Steering Committee of the NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub has just held its penultimate meeting and all of the projects not yet completed will move into their final wind-up activities over the next three months.

At the level of both Hub and project, the most important activity to be conducted in the wind-up period is the transfer of knowledge from researchers to appropriate research users. This trade of information is the hallmark of the collaborative research model and is the payoff that research users gain from their commitment to the multi-year enterprise, starting with the co-definition of the problems worthy of investment. Now those chickens are coming home to roost.

All of the projects are expected to return value but each will deliver in a unique manner co-designed with different research users. For some projects, delivery will be filling a critical knowledge gap that provides baseline or insight, or reduces uncertainty, or leads to management practice change, or influences the formation of policy. In other cases, the legacy of the research will be the transfer of a useful product such as a knowledge base or decision support system, or simply the transfer of skills that empower regional communities to include environment outcomes in their thinking about alternative futures.

The five projects reported in this newsletter provide clear examples of most of these different types of outcomes. In addition, the first news item concerns the NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub conference, which will take place in Cairns in just a little over two months from now (5-7 November 2014). This will be our final gathering of researchers and research users sharing interests in the state of ecosystems from the Torres Strait, to the Great Barrier Reef, and the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

The Hub conference will feature the outcomes of research from all three of these systems and provide up-to-date information on the current status and trends of these three major environmental assets. The Hub conference is free to attend and open to all persons with an interest in the major bioregions of North Queensland. We hope to see you in Cairns for this event in exchange for our promise to deliver to you a rich learning landscape.




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