Members in Profile
Each month we ask a member to write a few words about him or herself. In this way we will get to know each other better. You can access profiles for members featured in past months by going to our Members Profiles category in our Resource Library.
This month's Member in Profile is Deidre Dragovich.
My interest in geography started at an early age, while contemplating a highly coloured wall map of the world above the blackboard in a one-teacher country school and wondering what all these exotic places were like.
Geography for me was always focussed on the processes operating in places and landscapes, particularly in relation to weathering and erosion. Research on desert varnish, a thin (<0.3mm) often shiny deposit on stable rock surfaces, led to an interest in the conservation of aboriginal rock engravings in arid parts of Australia (Broken Hill in NSW and the Pilbara in WA). Subsequently I became involved in assessing weathering processes and rates of deterioration of sandstone and marble used in historic buildings and structures in the urban environment of Sydney, and investigating which stone management and conservation activities would be most effective. This weathering research has run in parallel with work on soil erosion, especially post-fire sediment movement. The impact of moderate to high severity wildfires and prescribed burns are predictable – erosion will increase – but the quantity of sediment moved is unpredictable due to the role of post-fire rainfall intensity and amount, and soil conservation measures. Fires alter vegetation cover and thus rainfall interception, as does logging of forests and human activities including recreation; all these impacts contribute in varying degrees to accelerated sediment movement.
Current research is directed towards the application of geomorphic knowledge to environmental problems, with much of this work being conducted with PhD students: investigations on desertification and sustainability in arid lands, post-fire erosion, logging impacts, and pathway erosion in national parks. The multi-facetted discipline of geography is a natural and leading contributor in progress towards successfully managing environmental problems.
This page last updated: 8 Mar 2013