Coffee, information, chat @ OEP 12th November

Are you interested in studying environment and sustainability but not sure whether your degree is relevant? Do you want to know what skills you will gain in a multi disciplinary program? Or what environmental career you might go into?

Join us for a coffee and chat with our academics about your options. You’ll meet some current students and learn more about the course.

We offer Masters, Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate degrees all with flexible study options. Applications for Semester 1, 2015 close November 30th 2014.


Info session time:

Date: Wednesday 12th November, 4 – 5pm

Venue: Office for Environmental Programs meeting room, Ground Floor, Walter Boas Building (163) find us

REGISTER  your attendance and see you there!

The OEP Team


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Academic Skills Unit Writing Program

Research Writing Program Semester 2 Want to attend a Workshop? Visit the Academic Skills Workshop Calendar.

A series of workshops for students of the Sciences completing Honours or Masters by Coursework degrees.  Preparing the Literature Review; Shaping your thesis or research report; Writing about your results; Polishing your paper. Details of dates and sessions  can be found at


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Semester 2 is Consumerism and the Growth Paradigm: Interdisciplinary perspectives.

Contemporary Environmental Issues B (ENST90019). The special topic for Semester 2 is Consumerism and the Growth Paradigm: Interdisciplinary perspectives. The subject is taught by Samuel Alexander, Lecturer in the Office for Environmental Programs, and founder of the Simplicity Institute
This interdisciplinary course focuses on theoretical, empirical, and policy issues surrounding the core ideas of consumerism, economic growth, and sustainability. Drawing on sociology, psychology, ecology, normative ethics, economics, and politics, students will critically engage questions about why people consume, how consumption and economic growth impact on the environment, and what influence institutions and public policy have, or could have, on consumption patterns in society. Some attention will also be given to counter-cultural ‘alternatives’ to consumerism and the growth paradigm, such as the voluntary simplicity movement, transition towns, and the steady-state economy. By providing interdisciplinary perspectives on these and other issues, the aim is to enable students to recognise the complex relationship between consumption, growth, and sustainability, and to develop the skills needed to effectively confront the various social, ecological, economic, and political issues raised by consumerism and growth in today’s world.

Topics include: (1) What is Sustainable Consumption? (2) Cheap Energy and the Origins of Consumerism (3) An Early Critique: The Case of Henry Thoreau (4) The Income-Happiness Paradox: Is More Always Better? (5) Consumption, Growth and Externalities: Where Economy Meets Ecology (6) Stuff is Not Just Stuff: Consumption as Meaning and Identity (7) The Political Economy of Consumption: The Growth Paradigm (8) Resisting Consumerism: Voluntary Simplicity and Transition Towns (9) Examining Structure: Willing Consumers or Locked In? (10) Policies for Sustainable Consumption (11) Policies for Post-Growth Economics (12) Beyond Consumerism and the Growth Paradigm.

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International Course on River Basin Management

Call for Expressions of Interest

The International Course on River Basin Management is an intensive one week course to be held from 26th to 30th August 2013 at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville Campus. The course is which is being organized by Tsinghua University in China and the University of Melbourne is designed to give post graduate students insights into the diverse and complex world of river basin management.

The 2013 Course will:

* focus on the Murray Darling Basin in Australia, and the Yellow River Basin in China;

* draw on the challenging experiences in the Murray Darling Basin which has undergone the most radical transformation since the River Murray Waters Agreement was signed in 1914 , including the Water Act(2007), The Basin Plan, creation of environmental water holders , modernization of ageing irrigation systems while maintaining agricultural  production under the stress of the most severe drought in recorded history;

* be cross disciplinary exploring issues of governance, public policy, environmental and climate science, water engineering, economics and the social consequences of the reforms

* be delivered by academics and experienced practitioners with deep understanding of the Murray Darling Basin including presenters from the University of Melbourne, CSIRO and the Murray Darling Basin Authority (partners in the Australia China Centre on River Basin Management);

* include a field trip to the Goulburn Valley to see at first hand the complexities involved in modernizing an irrigation system, including its irrigated farms; and

* provide an overview of the challenges facing the Yellow River Basin by Professor  Zhongjing Wang, Vice Dean of Civil Engineering at Tsinghua University

The International Course on River Basin Management is supported by Tsinghua University, and the Australia China Centre on River Basin management led by the University of Melbourne and is provided without charge to post graduate students of both these universities.  A total of 15 postgraduate students from each university can participate. A competitive selection process is being used at both universities to select the participants.

An expression of interest involving a brief CV and a 350 word statement describing your reasons for applying should be submitted to Professor John Langford, Department of Infrastructure Engineering email  by Friday 12 July 2013.

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Legal perspectives on disaster preparedness Seminar

Next Friday, the 21st June, at midday, Lisa Caripis and Tim Baxter from the Melbourne Law School will present to the seminar series on the topic of “Responsibility for climate change adaptation and preparedness for extreme events: A legal perspective on who does what and how”.

A number of disaster enquiries in Australia have emphasised the need to clarify roles and responsibilities in the area of natural disaster risk management. Similarly, recent policy statements on climate change adaptation have focused on identifying which responsibilities are best allocated to government and to the private sector. In this presentation researchers from Melbourne Law School, Tim Baxter and Lisa Caripis, consider the legal and governance arrangements relevant to adaptation and disaster risk management. Using examples, they look at how the way in which roles and responsibilities are defined affects the choice of legal and regulatory tools and how existing legal arrangements, in turn, can affect the allocation of roles and responsibilities.

Tim and Lisa work on the VCCCAR-funded project, Governance models for adaptation and natural disaster risk management: legal, regulatory, institutional and financial assessment. VCCCAR, the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research, is a research organisation that fosters collaboration between universities, government, private and community sectors to assist the development of policy and build understanding and capacity in relation to adaptation across the private and public sectors in Victoria.

Seminar venue: Harold White Theatre, Level 2, 757 Swanston St, which is building 199 on the Parkville campus.

A map of the campus can be found here All are welcome!

The flyer for the seminar is attached Caripis and Baxter NDMRI seminar 210613


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