About Us

About Us

The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research is a teaching and research group focusing on cultural and social aspects of environmental issues.

We teach human geography at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as Indigenous studies and environmental and heritage management.

In AUSCCER we apply cultural research methods to environmental issues. We understand culture as ‘a process in which people are actively engaged … a dynamic mix of symbols, beliefs, languages and practices that people create, not a fixed thing or entity governing humans’ (Anderson 1999: 4).

People make and remake culture as individuals, communities and in institutions and academic disciplines. They do it in everyday practices and over both long and short periods of time. Geographic perspec­tives on environmental cultures pay particular attention to their spatial characteristics, their relationships to place, and their manifestation in the biophysical environment.

It follows that to understand our environmental cultures we need fine-grained methodologies that enable understanding of motivations, behaviours, contradictions, tradition, change and flexibility in requisite depth. These are brought into conversation with broader trends identified in quantitative data analysis including surveys. It also follows that cultural methods can be applied to the examination of how large scale institutions, economies and structures of meaning are created and maintained.

Our work in AUSCCER is concerned with these aspects of cultural environmental research. In particular we:

  • undertake in-depth cultural analysis of Australia’s highest priority environmental issues to make intellectual and practical contributions to the pressing problems of environmental sustainability
  • strengthen national humanities and social science research and research training capacity in the environmental field, with particular strengths in ethnographic and related social science methods
  • drive theoretical and practical research frontiers on the cultural environment
  • provide a basis for more effective multidisciplinary engagement with the natural and physical sciences
  • contribute to the development of relevant local, state and federal policy
  • build Australia’s international research presence in the cultural dimensions of environmental sustainability.

Anderson, K. 1999 Introduction. In K. Anderson and F. Gale (eds) Cultural Geographies. Longman Australia. 2nd edition. Pp. 1-24

Contact Us

The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research is located on the second floor of building 41. For general enquiries please contact the School of Geography and Sustainable Communities on 4221 8016 or email geography-admin@uow.edu.au.

Last reviewed: 17 May, 2017

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