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June 30, 2011

Brisbane 2011: Living with floods and dancing with dugongs

Dr. Bill Dennison Thursday 7th July 2011 5.30 – 7.00pm *followed by light refreshments The Long Room Customs House 399 Queen Street, Brisbane RSVP here The 2011 Queensland floods have provided a ‘learning moment’ for Queenslanders. As councils, businesses and families rebuild from the devastating floods, it is important to reflect on how to live […]

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June 28, 2011

Communicating climate change via a melting ice bear

During a visit to Sydney, I stumbled upon an interesting climate exhibit in front of Customs House in Circular Quay. A British sculptor, Mark Coreth, created an ice sculpture in the form of a life size polar bear. Inside the bear was a skeleton model created from metal. The sculpture was placed outside, and although […]

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June 26, 2011

Seven attributes of a vibrant science group

When I was at the University of Queensland, we had a very active group of researchers, science communicators, graduate and undergraduate students investigating seagrasses, mangroves, corals, macroalgae, phytoplankton, benthic microalgae, bacteria and viruses. We called ourselves the Marine Botany group, also known as ‘Marbot’. While the Marine Botany group has dispersed and the logo and […]

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June 24, 2011

Healthy Waterways Champion Award speech

I am not sure exactly what I said upon learning that I had received the award for the Healthy Waterways Champion, as it was a big surprise and unexpected honor, but the following is what I was trying to say. “Thank you for this unexpected honor. I am staggered by this award and would like […]

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June 22, 2011

Marine Botany lives on

The vibrant Marine Botany group was part of the Botany Department while I was at the University of Queensland, but went into the Centre for Marine Studies after I left. The Botany Department has disappeared and the Centre for Marine Studies has morphed into something quite different, but the spirit of Marine Botany lives on. […]

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June 20, 2011

Dugong Rock; Using iconic creatures in conservation

The appeal of iconic creatures has long been used to generate support in the conservation movement. Whales and dolphins in the sea and pandas, gorillas and other apes on land have been and still are conservation icons. WWF still uses the panda in their logo, for example. Icons like birds, particularly raptors, are fairly global. […]

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June 18, 2011

Flooding in Queensland: The story of the Paluma

The story of the naval survey ship Paluma that was cast up into the Botanic Gardens in February 1893 and refloated two weeks later is part of Brisbane lore, and I decided to track down the story about how the Paluma was refloated. I went to the Queensland State Library archive section and was impressed […]

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June 16, 2011

The perspective from Australia’s Top End; fishing, international waters, and invasive species

The Arafura and Timor Ecosystem Action (ATSEA) program is a multi-national agreement between Australia, Indonesia, and Timor Leste (East Timor). It was formed as part of the United Nations Global Environment Facility (GEF). The northern coast of Australia, the western portion of the Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian island archipelago which includes Timor form […]

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June 14, 2011

Darwin: Captain Wickham, Harriet the Tortoise, Alaskan similarities, and Darwinian art

The naming of the city of Darwin is an interesting case of premonition by a sailor. Port Darwin was named by Captain John Wickham in 1839 when the HMS Beagle sailed into Darwin Harbour as part of a survey of Australia’s top end. Charles Darwin went on to become one of the most famous men […]

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June 12, 2011

Natural gas, live cattle, algal blooms & crocodiles: Darwin Harbour field trip

On June 1, I boarded the ‘Beaglet’, a Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport (NRETA) boat for a Darwin Harbour field trip. I enjoyed the naming reference to the famous ship ‘Beagle‘ that Charles Darwin sailed around the world, including his famous visit to the Galapagos Islands. The boat skipper was Matt Majid and […]

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