Ecological Science Program
The Thomas Foundation initiated a three-year scientific mentoring program, administered by TNC (Australia) and run by the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA).
Under this program Applied Conservation Awards have been won by Helen Waudby (2008), Vanessa Adams (2009), Cairo Forrest (2010) and Gill Ainsworth (2011). A record 23 applications were received in 2011.
The program has been extended, with its scope broadened.
Some other projects supported under the ecological science program have included:
- Northern Australian Mammal Decline Report: The report documents the current alarming, severe and rapid declines in north Australian mammal species, the likely causes and potential solutions
- Gondwana Link Report: Publication of key learnings from Peniup restoration planning and implementation process
- Science Writing Workshop: Writing training for scientists from TNC and TNC’s Australian partner organisations
- Taking Action Together Symposium: A seminar presenting perspectives on various projects by TNC’s partner organisations to encourage cross-flows of ides and learnings
- Indigenous land management: Publication of a special issue of Ecological Management and Restoration on Indigenous ecological management and its impacts on conserving and regenerating nature and culture
The program is to be extended for a further three years to support scientific research by TNC (Australia) and its partners.
The extension will fund development of a scientific mentoring program and the support of research projects addressing conservation problems of international importance.
Objectives will be to:
- strategically build scientific and technical capacity, including in the important field of measures
- develop and apply innovative and cutting edge scientific methods, tools and frameworks
- link TNC scientists, and scientists within TNC’s partner organisations, with leading researchers from Australia and, where expertise within Australia is lacking, establish collaborations with overseas scientists
- improve collaboration between TNC’s partners and leverage funds for collaborative research
- communicate scientific advances an d conservation practices within TNC and to the broader conservation community
- support annual prizes to recognise excellent in applied conservation research and conservation taxonomy
The extended program will facilitate meetings of key conservation scientists from the NGO, governmental and academic community; grants to fund presentations at conferences; top-up scholarships for postgraduate student projects; the production and distribution of publications; establish of a scientific mentoring program and sabbaticals; and co-funding of research projects.
Conservation Taxonomy Award
In partnership with the Australasian Systematic Botany Society, an award focussed on increasing the profile and support for young taxonomists will be supported by The Thomas Foundation in 2012 and 2013.
The $10,000 award is intended to fund a research project, and the costs associated with attending the Society’s annual conference.