New tropical doctorate for land managers 


For the first time in Australia, land managers can advance their career via a practical qualification in environmental management with clear links to industry.

The idea for the doctorate came from the Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centre (TS-CRC), to meet the need for professionally focused education opportunities in tropical northern Australia for managers of stations, national parks and land councils and related government agencies.

The Professional Doctorate in Tropical Environmental Management (DTEM), available from this semester at Charles Darwin University (CDU), results from the collaboration of CDU and two partner universities, as part of the TS-CRC.

DTEM Program Adviser, Dr Penny Wurm, said the new doctorate offers research and coursework, and the additional benefit of a professional placement at one of the CRC’s partner agencies, where candidates can conduct their research on the ground.

“For people already working in environmental management in the tropics, and keen to gain a professional doctorate in their area of expertise, the new qualification is an ideal career move,” said Dr Wurm.

The DTEM provides the opportunity to combine expertise in natural resource management with qualifications in areas such as project management, education, communication, Indigenous land management and regional planning. The program will increase the links between tertiary institutions and the land management agencies within the region.

The award may also be accredited at the CRC’s other university partners, James Cook University and University of Queensland.

A professional doctorate is equivalent to the usual research PhD, but it must have clear links to industry and make a significant contribution to professional practice. In contrast to a traditional PhD, the focus of the doctorate is the application of research in applied and professional settings.

Program Advisors, Dr Penny Wurm and Dr Lindsay Hutley, will liaise with natural resource management agencies across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia to assist candidates find suitable project and placement supervisors.