School of Earth and Environment Seminar Series

Unpacking vulnerabilities of coastal communities


Prof. Tim Smith and Associate Prfo. Dana Thomsen


Time & Place

Tue, 29 Nov 2022 16:00:00 NZDT in ER263


Many coastal communities throughout the world are facing climate change and other impacts that threaten social, cultural, economic, and environmental values. This is particularly true in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, where the vast majority of the population resides in the coastal zone. This Australian Research Council funded project (2019-2023) aims to discover innovative coastal governance approaches that embrace vulnerability and change. Case studies were conducted in the fastest growing locations in each of the Australian States and drew on international examples of vulnerability and response. The findings highlight a disconnect between coastal decision makers and vulnerable communities in terms of perceptions of the level and type of vulnerability being experienced. The project findings advance the disciplines of human geography and public policy through improved understanding of the relationships between people, place, and change.


Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 960 2968 1998
Zoom passcode: 048192


Professor Tim Smith is a human geographer focused on coastal management and climate change adaptation based at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He holds an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship, is an Adjunct Professor with Brock University, Canada, and a Senior Research Associate with Uppsala University, Sweden. He is also co-Chair of Future Earth Coasts, co-Chair of Future Earth Australia, a member of the ARC College of Experts, a Fellow of the Institute of Australian Geographers, and Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Ocean & Coastal Management. He was formerly the Executive Dean of Arts, Business and Law, and before that the Director of the Sustainability Research Centre.

Associate Professor Dana Thomsen is a human geographer with a research agenda focussed on the transformation of socio-ecological relationships. She is particularly interested in creative forms of communication that invoke emotional connections, sustainability discourses and active responses. She has over 20 years of experience in university and government positions, most recently at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), including being a founding and executive member of the Sustainability Research Centre at USC (2007-2020) and leading the sustainability programs for over a decade. She is an Adjunct Professor at Brock University, Canada, and teaches reflexive and imaginative research strategies in the Master of Sustainable Development and Global Health program at Uppsala University, Sweden.