Using citizen science to quantify the ecological benefits of environmental flows
Environmental flows aim to provide water to achieve specific outcomes such as enhanced biodiversity or to provide insurance against drying due to climate change. How those flows are delivered, how the benefits that arise from those flows are measured and the potential role for citizen science in that assessment are current areas of research worldwide. This project will quantify the ecological benefits of environmental flows from a recently decommissioned reservoir in the Painkalac River, Victoria, Australia. This will be through developing and testing a scientifically-robust regime for quantifying environmental flow benefits that includes citizen science in partnership with ecological specialists. The project is a partnership between the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures at Deakin University and Barwon Water who own and manage the reservoir. Outcomes from the project will be implemented by Barwon Water and a local community reference group, as well as inform environmental flows on other rivers where similar reservoirs are decommissioned, providing a blueprint for community involvement in river management.
The student will be supported by a Postgraduate Industry Research Scholarship, jointly provided by Deakin University and Barwon Water, as well as operational funding for the three years of the project. The student will be based at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds, in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, and will be a member of the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures, a supportive research environment with a strong focus on innovative solutions to support regional industry and environments. We are looking for a student with an aquatic ecology and/or hydrology background and an interest in community engagement or similar.
Please send a CV and cover letter to Rebecca Lester (firstname.lastname@example.org).