Department of the Environment

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Publications archive

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Chris

Chris

Home State

NSW

University

University of Sydney

Degrees

B.Sc.-Hons (Environmental)
Ph.D. (Geoscience)

Background

I've had an interest in outdoor activities like bushwalking, cross-country skiing and climbing since I was very young, and this fostered an appreciation of the natural environment. After school, this led me to undertake an environmental science degree in which I was exposed to a mix of the scientific and socio-political aspects of the major environmental issues. I majored in coastal and marine geoscience, and ended up doing an Honours project studying marine pollution in Sydney Harbour.

Following my undergraduate degree, I spent a year travelling and working before deciding to return to uni for my Ph.D. My research topic was again pollution, this time studying how organic chemicals like pesticides and hydrocarbons bind to different sorts of sediments and how this affects the toxicity of those chemicals. The freedom of doing postgraduate study gave me the time and resources to develop an interest in the politics of the environment, particularly with respect to climate change. The logical place to go to engage in this further was DEH. That brought me to Canberra.

First placement

Impacts of Human Activities in Antarctica Section, Australian Antarctic Division

I arranged a trip to Antarctica as a volunteer at the end of my Ph.D. and then, upon being accepted into the Graduate Program, arranged for it to be my first placement. I spent around 5 months at Casey station, where my primary responsibility was to develop a marine bio-indicator for heavy metal pollution coming off the station. My time down there allowed me to learn a lot more about Australia's policies surrounding Antarctica and whaling, and about many of the pressures that these are under.

Second placement

Greenhouse and Agriculture Team, International Land and Analysis Division

My main project here was the preparation of a review paper regarding the impacts of emissions from the Queensland agricultural hinterland on the Great Barrier Reef. The paper has since formed the basis for a major research Program. While in the AGO, I obtained a much broader and more comprehensive understanding of how Australia and other governments are approaching climate change.

Third Placement

Environment Investigations Unit, Approvals and Wildlife Division

My main project here was the preparation of resources for DEH's partner agencies working off northern Australia, like the Navy and the Australian Customs Service, who're on the frontline dealing with foreign fishing vessels. The placement gave me an opportunity to learn a lot about compliance and enforcement policy, both in general and with specific reference to Australia's marine environment. I was also given the opportunity and resources to travel to Darwin in order to learn more about what is a significant and understated environmental threat.

Permanent Position

Renewable Energy Technologies Team, Industry Community and Energy Division

I am working here on a number of Programs aimed at encouraging solar energy uptake in Australia, including the Photovoltaic Rebate Program and the Remote Renewable Power Generation Program.

'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'