STEM education and training at the CSIRO Marine National Facility

Dr Ben Arthur1, Mr Ben Rae1

1CSIRO Marine National Facility, Hobart, Australia


The Marine National Facility (MNF) offers Australia’s future marine scientists, managers, and teachers unique education and training opportunities on board the world class research vessel Investigator. Teachers and students from primary to tertiary education can get hands-on with the real world application of STEM related to Australia’s marine and coastal environments, both when the ship is in port and at sea. From the ‘CSIRO Educator on Board’ program which imbeds teachers on research voyages, the ‘Floating Classroom’ initiative which opens up the vessel’s labs and facilities for on-board classes when in port around Australia, the ‘CAPSTAN’ postgraduate sea training program, to live ship-to-classroom linkups. The MNF is uniquely placed to help support and develop the next generation of experts needed to address the challenges of managing Australia’s marine and coastal environments and economies into the future. Here we provide an overview of STEM education and training activities currently delivered by the MNF, and discuss the future of the Facility as a unique training platform within Australia’s innovation system.


Ben Arthur has worked in science education and engagement at the CSIRO since 2011. He currently coordinates stakeholder engagement programs at the Marine National Facility, which centre around Australia’s blue water research vessel Investigator. He has worked on a wide range of science engagement and education projects, with a particular interest in the marine and Antarctic sciences. Ben holds a PhD in marine ecology.

Innovation by design and teamwork in coastal management capacity building interventions

Dr Marcello Sano1, Dr Neil Lazarow1,2, Professor Rodger Tomlinson1

1Griffith Centre For Coastal Management , Southport, Australia, 2CSIRO, Canberra, Australia


Numerous approaches for stakeholder engagement can be used to understand the complexities of the system and to test possible solutions under different scenarios, however, more flexible and adaptive approaches can be used to improve traditional stakeholder-driven project design practices and idea-to-execution processes, in particular as part of capacity building programs.

Both Australia and other less developed or developing countries would strongly benefit from the systematic integration of innovative practices in capacity building processes and in the design of environmentally and financially sustainable coastal management interventions, including related services and businesses, beyond the classic publicly-funded project cycle.

In recent workshops in Indonesia and Chile, we have started testing some ideas of innovative coastal management design, with the final aim of involving participants in crafting new ideas which respond not only to the coastal conservation and resilience imperatives but also to financial viability, profitability criteria, with emphasis on the integration of the private sector in the design of sustainable coastal projects, services and businesses. The final aim is integrating innovative design in stakeholder engagement and capacity building programs in coastal management, with an emphasis on the cross-fertilization between the public and private sector and the community at large, integrating innovative approaches to optimize  product or project design and testing, such as design thinking, lean startup methods, agile and scrum methods and team building. These could also be effective in improving the participatory design and execution of coastal management interventions and the creation of financially viable coastal business models through public-private partnerships.


Dr. Sanò has more than a decade of experience in coastal science and management and climatic risks in coastal areas. He has international experience in research, consultancy and capacity building with projects in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, North Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Chile and Peru. He has developed approaches and worked on projects in coastal planning and management, climate change and coastal hazard risk adaptation, systems thinking and modeling, socio-economic studies and stakeholder engagement. He holds a PhD from the the University of Cantabria, Spain and a MSc in Marine and Environmental Science from the University of Genoa, Italy. Dr. Sanò joined the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management in Australia in 2010. He is the lead author of the Queensland’s Compendium of Coastal Hazard Adaptation Options (2012) and of the Guidelines for the preparation of Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategies for Queensland Costal Councils (2016).

Deconstructing the coastal professional in Australia

Miss Naomi Edwards1 Kerrie Foxwell-Norton, Rob Hales

1Griffith University , Gold Coast, Australia 


Coastal management has arguably become a wicked problem and demands other ways to rethink complex environmental, social, cultural and political, economic, institutional and personal issues. A way to rethink the complex and dynamic space that coastal management has become is to understand the nexus of the coastal professional and institutions responsible for coastal management. There is a wealth of knowledge about coastal systems, institutions and policy, yet the coastal professional, as a professional product of historical themes and events, remains unknown. This paper critically presents another way of rethinking complex coastal management issues by constructing a deconstructive critical historical inquiry into the emergence of the coastal professional in Australia.

By taking a constructivism approach, this paper demonstrates how the disciplines of institutional theory and change, environmental sociology and sociology of professionals can connect societal pressures and political contexts for policy change to explain continuous conflicting frameworks, which the coastal professional is expected and conditioned to negotiate within their profession of coastal management. Alongside a critical discourse analysis into the history of coastal management with the coastal professional as a key theme, we found that there was a significant importance of the environmental movement in the development of responsible environmental citizenship, which continues to translate into the professionalism of coastal management, and the professional production of the coastal professional. For instance, from the legalisation of daylight swimming in the early twentieth century demanded clean water regulation, to the emergence of green politics and coastal care philosophies in the later part of the same century, saw Australia’s coast become a public and political space to demonstrate deliberative coastal democracy, which has notability translated into numerous coastal policy and management strategies. This intimate engagement with the discourses of the coastal professional and coastal management offers stimulus for a serious conversation to theoretically conceptualise the coastal professional to better understand their engagement, limits, negotiation and navigation of continuous conflicting frameworks and what this means for future directions in creating more robust coastal management.


Naomi Edwards is a disrupter of institutions. Her honest opinions have inspired thought provoking conversations on how to re-think ways we tackle wicked problems.

Having found herself being deeply caught inside the web of decision-making circles and institutional networks responsible for coastal and natural resource management, it’s of no surprise that she is currently researching a Phd about the nexus of the coastal professional and institutions responsible for coastal management at Griffith University. She is a leader for sustainability fellow from the United Nations University, and in 2016 was awarded as a National Young Landcare champion and ambassador for her commitment to social and environmental justice.

She is highly regarded for multiple award-winning coastal and natural resource management initiatives that engage the community in different ways. Her most recent transformational engagement adventure is Intrepid Landcare, a national organisation that connects and inspires young people to act and lead with Landcare.

About the Association

The Australian Coastal Society (ACS) was initiated at the Coast to Coast Conference in Tasmania in 2004. The idea was floated as a means for those interested in coastal matters to communicate between conferences and where possible take resolutions of the conference to appropriate levels of government.

The idea was discussed further at the Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne in 2006 and it was agreed that Bruce Thom develop a constitution of a company limited by guarantee that would operate on a national basis.

This plan was accomplished and in 2008 at the Coast to Coast Conference in Darwin the constitution was ratified and an Executive appointed. The company received charitable status in 2011.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.
© 2015 - 2020 Conference Design Pty Ltd