Flow-MER Fridays – Spring 2023

Recordings Available below

Re-watch any of the weekly Flow-MER Fridays from our Spring series, where the Flow-MER team share insights from the Program.

The line-up this Spring included:

  • 10th Nov: Kamilaroi (Indigenous) Knowledge and Methodologies to Inform Water Management — Associate Professor Bradley Moggridge and Professor Ross Thompson
  • 17th Nov: Integrating technology into wetland vegetation monitoring  — Dr. Will Higgisson
  • 24th Nov: Beating a path to ecosystem-scale evaluation — Dr. Shane Brooks

More info and recording for each session below:

Figure 1 Royal spoonbill (left) and Australian white ibis (right) foraging in a temporary warrambool that adjoins the Gwydir Warrambools. Photo credit Tamara Kermode.

Gwydir wetlands on Kamilaroi Country. Photo credit: Tamara Kermode

Session 1: 10 November 2023

Kamilaroi (Indigenous) Knowledge and Methodologies to Inform Water Management

Bradley Moggridge 1&2 and Ross Thompson 2

(1 Kamilaroi Nation, 2 University of Canberra, Centre for Applied Water Science)

Indigenous knowledge and methodologies are a missing component in water management in Australia. On this dry, flat and ancient continent, Traditional Knowledge has been passed on from generation to generation for millennia (over 65,000yrs), with a profound reliance of knowledge and connection to surface and groundwater. The role of traditional knowledge in finding and protecting cultural water places and landscapes has been critical to ensure the survival of Indigenous peoples in a dry landscape like AustraliaIndigenous knowledge and methodologies can provide new (but old) evidence that is culturally appropriate, which generates a culturally safe space, with Indigenous researchers and communities leading. The aim is to shift the research paradigm away from Indigenous peoples being the researched, under non-Indigenous research methodologies, to becoming the researchers. This allows the Indigenous scientist to derive the terms, questions and priorities of what is being researched, how the community is engaged, and how the research is delivered.

Associate Professor Bradley Moggridge

Professor Ross Thompson

Bradley is from the Kamilaroi Nation (N-W NSW) and grew up in western Sydney and now lives in Canberra. He has qualifications in hydrogeology and environmental science, and is currently completing his PhD at UC. Brad has an ambition of leading in his area of expertise and also promoting Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and finding commonalities between Traditional Science and Western Science so this can influence policy and the way we manage the Australian landscape.

Ross is a freshwater ecologist, interested in the study of aquatic biodiversity, ecosystem function and food web ecology. Ross is the director of the Centre for Applied Water Science, University of Canberra.

Drone surveys at Hattah Lakes, Mildura. Photo credit: University of Canberra

Drone surveys at Hattah Lakes, Mildura. Photo credit: University of Canberra

Session 2: 17 November 2023

Integrating technology into wetland vegetation monitoring

A multi-disciplinary team from the Centre for Applied Water Science at the University of Canberra have been developing methods to estimate wetland plants and their response to environmental water using drone imagery and machine learning. Dr Will Higgisson will present on a method developed to estimate the percent cover of common reed (Phragmites australis) and a measure of condition and cover of tangled lignum (Duma florulenta). This webinar will provide the background to this work, the processes we took, and the potential application of these methods.

Dr. Will Higgisson

Will is a plant ecologist, with a background in the conservation and management of aquatic and wetland environments. Will is interested in understanding how floodplain and riparian plants respond to changes in river flow patterns related to water resource development, climate change and environmental water.

Intersection of ecosystem and environmental water mapping along the Murray River upstream of Robinvale

Intersection of ecosystem and environmental water mapping along the Murray River upstream of Robinvale. Photo credit: Shane Brooks

Session 3: 24 November 2023

Beating a path to ecosystem-scale evaluation

Shane will re-introduce the Basin-scale Ecosystem Diversity evaluation of Commonwealth Environmental Water in the Basin.  He’ll reflect on the background and long-term results and identify significant challenges and opportunities that come from working at large landscape scales and some that are peculiar to management in the Basin.

Dr. Shane Brooks

Dr Shane Brooks is an aquatic ecologist with a passion for robust science, sustainable management and restoration.  He led the Ecosystem Diversity evaluation for the Long-Term Intervention Monitoring (LTIM) Project and continued this work in the current Flow-MER program. He enjoys technology and the challenge of wrangling large complex data sets to support and improve management of natural systems.


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