20 October 2010
RMIT joins German partner in climate impact research
Dr Iris Bergmann.
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Researchers at RMIT University will join with colleagues in Germany and Austria to look at how different parts of the community understand the impact of climate change.
The work will be underpinned by a bilateral exchange between RMIT and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
Dr Iris Bergmann will be joint project leader for the research, which has won funding from the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in partnership with the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research's International Science Linkages program.
She is a member of the Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF) research program within RMIT's Global Cities Research Institute, and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Design.
Professor Ralph Horne, Director of the Centre for Design, will also participate in the project.
Dr Bergmann said: "The impact of climate change poses extremely complex problems.
"The development of adaptation and mitigation strategies transcends disciplinary boundaries, and the phenomenon is perceived differently across social groups.
"Knowing the social and interest specific understandings and perceptions of climate change is vital in formulating targeted adaptation and mitigation options.
"The objective of this study is to further develop and test visual research methods, combining participatory visual photographic methods and Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM).
"FCM has been successfully applied in social ecological research and management.
"The results of this research are expected to advance the methodology, provide a better understanding of social representations of climate change and facilitate the development of targeted mitigation and adaptation options across social groups, urban regions and planning systems."