Building Blended Knowledge for Conservation Reference Condition
Medical, Biological and other Sciences
- This internship is able to cover project costs for domestic students only.
- If your skillset is aligned with this internship and you are located remotely, please enquire with the Internship Contact to discuss possible arrangements.
ABOUT THE INDUSTRY PARTNER
Bush Heritage are an independent not-for-profit that buys and manages land, and also partners with Aboriginal people, to conserve our magnificent landscapes and our irreplaceable native species forever.
Bush Heritage owns approximately 1.2 million hectares and works with partners to protect and help manage over 11.3 million hectares across Australia.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
- Opportunity to work with First Australians and manage a Right-way science project
- Opportunity to work with conservation experts and practitioners to gather knowledge
- Training in expert elicitation with a diverse range of people
- Assimilation of knowledge in a peer-reviewed publication
- High impact research, will be applied in Bush Heritage immediately
RESEARCH TO BE CONDUCTED
Each of our properties has conservation targets (ecosystems, species, suites of species or ecosystem processes) that we wish to protect. These targets are monitored on a regular basis to ensure that our management activities are driving ecosystem health towards defined goals. We require a benchmark or ‘reference condition’ that describes a cultural or conservation target’s pristine state. Reaching the reference condition is our ultimate goal: to return the bush to 100% good health. We also recognise that in many ecosystems this reference condition will never be achieved – particularly where component species have been lost for ever. However, the definition of this reference is needed as the benchmark against which we can measure current and future states. Reference condition definitions will enable us to understand the progress that we are making in restoring the target’s health as far as is possible, with consistency across the country.
Current definitions of reference condition for specific conservation targets exist in some State based agencies and use defined set of criteria which have been developed in the absence of First Australian knowledge and input.
This research will address the gap and incorporate all knowledge that Traditional Owners are prepared to share with us. This expanded knowledge will be used to improve our own understanding of the conservation values, importance of interactions between species, landscapes and people. The focus will be one landscape in Victoria, on Dja Dja Warrung country with properties that are managed by either Bush Heritage or Dja Dja Warrung or where both influence conservation and cultural outcomes.
The intern will work independently to undertake the following:
- Interviews with Dja Dja Warrung knowledge holders to blend knowledge with current criteria, acknowledge and cite all sources of knowledge;
- Support Dja Dja Warrung goals for documenting knowledge and management of lands looking back and forward;
- Interview experts such as Bruce Pascoe to gain an understanding of documenting First Australians knowledge, and incorporating into traditional literature searches;
- (if time provides) Establish knowledge through review of current and historic literature and interviews with Noongar knowledge holders for conservation and cultural criteria for Bush Heritage Reserves on Noongar country in South West WA.
SKILLS WISH LIST
If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:
- Strong project management and research skills
- Desire to work with Traditional Owners in a respectful way
- Be able to work effectively both within a team and independently
- Understand intellectual property rights and acknowledge the intellectual property of all knowledge holders
- Agreed research goals with Traditional Owners (signed agreements in place)
- Well described and agreed Reference Condition for at least one Bush Heritage landscape
- Draft of Peer reviewed paper
The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.
It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours and maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.
The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.
CONNECT WITH APR.INTERN