Pia Harkness

Pia came to CDU as a Master of Tropical Environmental Management (MTEM) student in 2009, with a background in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management from the University of Newcastle (Australia), and gained GIS skills while working on marine conservation planning and protected area design for an alliance of Non-Government Organisations in Sydney. She then spent some time in North Queensland working as a researcher mapping terrestrial pollutants carried by flood waters onto the Great Barrier Reef, before moving to Darwin to study MTEM. In Darwin she has worked for the Northern Territory Government Department of Land Resource Management mapping vegetation communities and the impacts of sand extraction on the Howard River Sand-plain.

Pia has a keen interest in international development issues, and the interrelationships between subsistence communities and their environments. She enthusiastically joined CDU’s Eastern Indonesian Field Intensives (EIFI) in 2009 and 2011. Her MTEM research project looked at the relationship between household access to land and experience of food shortages in an irrigation project in West Timor, Indonesia. Since then she has spent 18 months volunteering with KOPPESDA, a grassroots NGO on the island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia via the Australian Volunteers for International Development program. Her PhD research, ‘mapping human uses for improved livelihood and conservation outcomes in the Savu Sea, Eastern Indonesia’, brings her key interests together.

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