Bonnie McBain


What inspires me professionally and personally is the search for solutions to persistent environmental problems. Given the increasing complexity of environmental issues, I focus my research, teaching and professional practice on approaches which address this complexity directly. I have a multidisciplinary environmental background (Ecological Footprints, climate change, surface water quality, catchment management, sustainable forest management, air quality, groundwater and fisheries management) but am particularly interested in transdisciplinarity (work that goes beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries). My work aims to build solutions which increase the resilience of communities and the natural environment they rely upon for their welfare. My research, teaching and professional practice explicitly uses holistic, systems thinking to address the limitations of current environmental management. I have a background in the development of sustainability policy especially those aspects of policy which persistently hinder the implementation of appropriate policy and behavioural change. I am interested in approaches which allow decision makers to make robust and defensible policy choices given the likelihood that future uncertainty will increase. My expertise in strategic planning for an uncertain future includes scenario and futures analysis, environmental modelling, robust policy development, collaborative learning, mechanisms for adaptive management and the explicit consideration of alternate explanations, values and perspectives. I am also interested in environmental governance and the benefits of particularly participatory processes. Although I research Ecological Footprints (the demand we have on Earth’s resources), what I am really interested in is that my work can support the growth of our collective Ecological Handprint (the positive impact we can have on the planet).

Teaching Material