Flinders strengthens environmental focus

andrew-milllingtonFlinders University has boosted South Australia’s environmental expertise and capacity with the appointment of Dr Andrew Millington as Dean of the University’s new School of the Environment.

Flinders Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, has announced that Dr Millington – currently Director of Environmental Programs in Geosciences and Professor of Geography at Texas A&M University in the United States – will take up his new role in July.

Professor Barber said attracting Dr Millington to Flinders was not only an excellent academic appointment but also a boost to the State’s environmental knowledge and research capacity.

“Dr Millington will bring great energy and innovative ideas to the role and provide a strong impetus to the contribution that Flinders new School of the Environment will make in both research and teaching in this important area,” he said.

Dr Millington said the creation of a new School of the Environment underscored Flinders commitment to research and teaching in this field and was one of the appealing features of the position.

“Flinders University has put a strong focus on the environment in its recently published, five-year Strategic Plan and I look forward to making a contribution towards meeting those goals,” Dr Millington said.

“The Strategic Plan objectives include establishing the new School of the Environment ‘as a highly visible, cohesive and focused hub of environmental teaching and research excellence’,” he said.

“We are also aiming to double the number of undergraduate students enrolled in environmental programs, and reduce the University’s carbon footprint by 10% per capita, by 2014.”

Dr Millington started his academic career in 1978 as a geography lecturer at the University of Sierra Leone with subsequent appointments at University of Reading, University of Leicester and Texas A&M University. He has also consulted for the World Bank, United Nations and the European Union.

Dr Millington’s research has focused on the impact of people on vegetation and land use-land cover change, landscape fragmentation and biodiversity. Dr Millington uses remotely sensed images from satellites and aircraft extensively in his research, and developing this technology with the School of Environment will be a major thrust of his research when he takes up the post.

Flinders new School of the Environment brings together staff and resources from the University’s highly respected undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in the areas of environmental sciences, management and health. The School also incorporates the recently established National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training and Airborne Research Australia, a facility based at Parafield Airport that provides unique environmental research and monitoring capability.

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