Science is vital to our conservation work. Our ecologists work hand-in-hand with land managers to plan and deliver effective programs.
A big part of this program is working with research partners to build skills and capacity. This is a two-way process, with knowledge exchanged in both directions. Together, we create healthier, more resilient ecosystems that benefit people as well as native species.
Our science program is used to:
1. Inform decision making
There's science behind our land management work (such as fire management, feral animal and weed control). Science also helps us identify the sites, species, ecosystems and landscapes most in need of protection.
2. Generate new knowledge
Research across a range of disciplines is needed to solve conservation problems and increase our knowledge of landscapes, ecosystems and species.
3. Design surveys and monitoring
Baseline knowledge of the species and communities on our properties is essential if we're to manage them effectively. Monitoring is critical to evaluating our work. As our property portfolio grows, we'll increasingly look to citizen scientists and collaborative programs (e.g. BushBlitz) to collect data and generate new knowledge.
Communication and knowledge exchange is the final step in the process. Our findings are shared with our partners, supporters, the scientific community and the general public.
10-year science plan
A 10-year plan to double our science capacity was launched in 2015. In summary:
- At launch there were 55 active conservation research projects, involving 50 scientists from 15 universities.
- We will double our science capacity by 2025 through collaborative research, science fellowships and citizen science.
- We'll support young scientists with new post-graduate scholarships, internships and placements.
- Growth will support 120 collaborative research projects by 2025 aimed at halting biodiversity loss.
Download your copy: 10-year Science Plan (3mb)
The plan aims to double our science and research output by 2025. Here's how:
Secure nationally-competitive research grants
Partner with academics to undertake multi-year research projects, funded through nationally competitive research grants. By 2025, we'll have been a Partner Organisation on 10 new nationally-competitive research projects.
Secure small research grants
Secure funding for Bush Heritage-led research through small ($10,000-$50,000 per year) research grants. By 2025 we'll aim to secure three small research grants per year.
Bush Heritage scholarship scheme
Scholarships will be offered to outstanding honours or postgraduate students to conduct relevant research on our properties. By 2025 we'll be offering four post-graduate scholarships per year.
University work placements and recent graduates will be offered internships for specific projects on our reserves or partnership properties. By 2025 we'll be offering two science internships per year.
Bush Heritage Science Series
Publish and promote a series of reports that synthesise current thinking and stimulate discourse in topical conservation issues. By 2025 we'll have published four Science Series reports.
Scientist in Residence program
Establish a program for world-leading scientists and thinkers to be resident in Bush Heritage for an extended period. By 2025 we aim to be offering a Scientist in Residence each year.
Transformational change forum
Establish a multi-platform forum (online blogs and posts, symposia, public lectures, workshops, open days) to bring together practitioners and scientists to foster learning and influence among land management practitioners, farmers, policy makers, politicians and public. By 2025 we aim to be leading an active and influential forum that's at the forefront of transformational change in environmental policy and practice.
Create dedicated positions within Bush Heritage for research scientists to develop and lead multi-institutional research of direct and applied relevance to our mission. By 2025 we aim to employ three Science Fellows.
Centres of learning
Establish field stations that act as hubs for scientific research, community education, citizen science, volunteers and visitors. By 2025 we aim to have four.