30 nationalities meet at the beach for IWC island field trip
57 professionals from 30 countries and eight IWC staff and lecturers from six nationalities benefited from the island's sandy beaches, freshwater lakes and natural beauty for first-hand experience of issues which demand more integrated forms of water management.
The students come from diverse backgrounds such as environment, engineering, social science, biotechnology, marine science, business, economics and law. They bring with them an enormous amount of professional experience to share as they learn from academics and each other in their studies ahead.
"This field trip is always a wonderful way for students to get to know one another and to immerse themselves in the complexities of integrated water management in a beautiful setting with a wealth of learning opportunities," said Dr Brian McIntosh, IWC Senior Lecturer and Education Program Manager.
"We learned about each other, about issues involving community, ecology, economy and water on the island, and, of course, about more integrated water management."
Multidisciplinary teams of lecturers and students explored the island's sand mines, lakes and fresh water swamps that act as windows into the groundwater table and listened to views and ambitions from across the community.
Guest presenters on the trip included representatives from the Queensland's Department of Natural Resources and Mines, the Stradbroke Island Water Action Group and global minerals/sand mining company Sibelco.
"I chose IWC's Master of Integrated Water Management because I want to gain a holistic and global perspective on water management," said one student.
"This program will give me professional skills that will make me a desirable candidate in the work force," said another. "It exposes us to insights and ways of thinking that can never be learnt in a work environment."
Using pieces of driftwood and other jetsam, the students created three-dimensional conceptual models in the sand to effectively communicate the biophysical, ecological, social, economic and political dimensions of water management. Concepts of engineering, groundwater hydrology, aquatic ecology, planning, anthropology, law and economics were woven through discussions of integrated, sustainable water management.