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Title: Holocene environmental change in northern New Zealand: the view through the lens of Lake Spectacle
Authors: Augustinus, P
Horrocks, M
Munro, H
Gadd, PS
Linnell, T
Keywords: Quaternary period
New Zealand
Climatic change
Issue Date: 29-Jun-2014
Publisher: Australasian Quaternary Association Inc
Citation: Augustinus, P., Horrocks, M., Munro, H., Gadd, P., & Linnell, T. (29 June - 4 July, 2014). Holocene environmental change in northern New Zealand: the view through the lens of Lake Spectacle. Paper presented at the AQUA Biennial Meeting The Grand Hotel, Mildura, 29th June - 4th July, 2014.
Abstract: During 30th anniversary Australasian Quaternary Association (AQUA) Biennial Conference Professor Jim Bowler and Professor Roger Jones delivered public lectures to a full house at the Grand Ball Room, Mildura. This event was introduced by Glenn Milne, Mayor, Mildura rural city council, and conducted by Dr. Jessica Reeves, former president of AQUA. In the first lecture Jim engaged us with his passionate talk on “Journey to Discover, Who are we”, where he focussed on his lifelong research at Lake Mungo. Jim reminded us about the six decades of scientific research at Mungo, including a vivid description of the day he discovered Mungo Man’s skeleton in the dunes at Joulni, which was to go on to change our understanding of Aboriginal occupation of Australia. However, his emphasis then moved onto the challenges for future research. This included the key role that the current traditional owners have in managing and facilitating science, their potential role in researching their history, and the need to establish a keeping place onsite at Mungo to repatriate the archaeological finds, both past and future. Jim finished by encouraging young researchers to engage with the site, particularly given the continued erosion of the dunes and destruction of cultural and natural heritage, especially given the world heritage listing. In the second lecture Roger focused on our future world in the face of climate change, and how we will experience it. Roger began by highlighting the dominance of uniformitarianism over catastrophism in scientific thinking during the past few centuries. He described how this trend in thought has shaped our perspective, and narratives on trends in present and future climates, highlighting the overall gradual increases in temperature with time. Roger contended that this is only part of the story, and that we miss the importance of non-linearity in the climate system – or alternatively stochastic variation along with a gradual change. He described the importance of this variability in influencing the lived experience and response of people to climate change, with particular focus on how we feel an abrupt shift given the step changes in the nature of extreme events. I think this fact should be communicated properly to make people concerned about possible future abrupt change for proper adaptation and better management. Along with all the conference attendees, many non-scientists, indigenous people and local electronic and print media reporters attended the public lecture. People were engaged by the lectures and posed some interesting questions. Both lecturers were happy to answer questions and share their practical and research experience. The public lecture got media attention and huge public interest. I think it was a great idea to arrange a public lecture during the AQUA conference as it is the best way to engage some of the community and let them know our scientific findings. I hope it will continue at all AQUA events in future. © 2014, AQUA Biennial Meeting Mildura.
Gov't Doc #: 7842
Appears in Collections:Conference Publications

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