Tropical Savannas CRC > Achievements > Industry-ready graduates

Courses that produce industry-ready graduates

A standard feature of Cooperative Research Centres is that they work with Industry and Research Institutions to produce young researchers who are focused on the needs of Industry – for example by supporting a PhD. Program in which students work closely with industry. The TS-CRC is no exception and since 1995 it has supported 35 Ph.D. students who worked on research relevant to the savanna “industries”: the government departments and agencies, the grazing enterprises and communities that have to manage the tropical savannas.

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CRC supported PhD students study topics of practiocal interest to savanna land managers


The areas studied ranged from the ecology of threatened or significant species, to the operation of community NRM groups, how pastoralists make decisions, and Indigenous perspectives on work. In all these studies, students had at least one supervisor from a savanna industry partner to ensure the project remained practically relevant to industry. Many of the students have gone on to play significant roles in north Australian NRM research and management.

A survey of a broad range of tropical savanna land managers conducted by the Centre in its early years, showed that they also valued graduates who were not full-time researchers but who had certificate, diploma and masters qualifications related to savanna NRM and who worked in industry and planning roles. Consequently the Centre helped Charles Darwin and James Cook Universities establish certificate, diploma, masters and Professional Doctorate courses in Tropical Environmental Management.

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The courses in environmental management brought students with current savanna management issues


These course have now produced 68 graduates who have been exposed to the latest ideas on savanna management. These graduates have gone on to fill a range of industry roles across the tropical savannas ranging from positions with Government Agencies and local councils, positions with Mining Companies, environmental consultancies, positions working with Indigenous communities, regional NRM groups and NGOs. Courses are continuing to be delivered through Charles Darwin University with units available through James Cook University.

The Professional Doctorate in Tropical Environmental Management course is equivalent to the usual research PhD, but has clear links to industry through professional placement with one of the CRC’s ex partner agencies and a research program. This program is offered through Charles Darwin, Queensland and James Cook University. It was started in 2007.