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Dr. Nathan Wales

Contact Information

Email: wales_n(at)usp.ac.fj
Phone: +679 323 2651
Office: Room 16, SGESE Building, Lower Campus
Web: www.staff.usp.ac.fj/~wales_n

Research Interests

Nathan Wales is interested in mixed-methods research, including spatio-temporal modelling of vegetation change using GIS and remote sensing, and the application of landscape ecology principles to the quantification of landscape change. His PhD research combined remote-sensing-based change detection, field botanical surveys and community-scale interviews to examine the influence of World Heritage zoning on subsistence use of forest resources, and to understand the relationship between patterns of vegetation change and forest management practices. He has several years’ experience in conservation and geographic information science in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Courses taught at USP

  • GS100 Geography Techniques and Methods (including flexi-schools at USP Republic of the Marshall Islands campus)
  • GS200 Quantitative Methods
  • GS201 Geographic Information Systems I (including flexi-schools at USP Republic of the Marshall Islands campus)
  •  GS211 Remote Sensing I (including flexi-schools at USP Republic of the Marshall Islands campus)
  • GS301 Geographic Information Systems II (including flexi-schools at USP Republic of the Marshall Islands campus)
  • GE403 Research Methods in Geography

Current Research Activities

  1. Climate-smart landscapes for promoting sustainability of Pacific Island agricultural systems. $1.6m (AUD) collaborative research project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Timeframe: January 2018 – December 2021. Role includes supervising in-country USP Postgraduate students and research assistants, overseeing field activities and contributing to collaborative geospatial platform design.
  2. Using the Environmental Livelihoods Security (ELS) framework for developing climate-smart landscapes: a preliminary investigation for informing agricultural policy in the South Pacific. Research project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). 2017.
  3. The Role of Geospatial Information for Assessing Environmental Livelihood Security in the South Pacific. Collaborative project funded by the Pacific-Europe Network for Science, Technology and Innovation (PACE-Net Plus). 2016.
  4. Multiple-temporal mapping of urban growth in the Greater Suva Urban Area, Fiji Islands, using remote sensing indices and change detection methods. 2017 -.
  5. Reconstructing the topography of the Botany Basin using archival photographs and satellite remote sensing. 2017-.

Student supervision
PhD students

  1. Spectral Signatures of Mangroves in the Pacific Islands (Lanieta Veileqe Tokalauvere). Principal Supervisor. Current. 2016 -.

Master’s students

  1. Climate proofing sea level rise and nesting Hawksbill Turtle at Arnavon Islands, Solomon Islands (Henry Vavu Kaniki). Principal Supervisor. Current. 2016 -.
  2. The Spatial Distribution of Seagrass in Suva Lagoon, Fiji.  (Namrata Chand). Co-Supervisor. 2017 - .
  3. Decision support for agroforestry interventions using GIS-MCDA (Multi-criteria Decision Analysis) in the Sigatoka Valley, Fiji (Dean Wotlolan). Co-Supervisor. 2017 -.
  4. Understanding the influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on Coastal Change in the Dromuna Peninsula, Fiji (Ahnivar Ancelmo Peralta). Co-Supervisor. Current. 2016 -.

 

Research Dissemination

Wales, N.A. 2018. Multiple-temporal mapping of urban growth in the Greater Suva Urban Area, Fiji Islands, using remote sensing indices. Paper presentation at the Geospatial World Forum, Hyderabad India, January 2018 (full paper in preparation).

Wales, N.A. 2015. Modelling the extent of coastal inundation on Majuro atoll, the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Pacific Islands GIS&RS User Conference, Suva, Fiji 24 – 27 November

Wales, N.A. 2010. Combining remote sensing change detection and qualitative data to examine landscape change at a World Heritage site. 11th Annual Association of Pacific Rim Universities Doctoral Students Conference, University of Indonesia 12 – 16 July. Funded by award of the Annual University of Sydney Association of Pacific Rim Universities Doctoral Students Conference Scholarship for 2010

Wales, N.A. 2008. The use of a mixed-methods approach in understanding the influence of World Heritage zoning on subsistence forest practices. International Conference Landscape Ecology and Forest Management Challenges and Solutions (IUFRO), Chengdu, China 11-16 September

Wales, N.A. 2008. Using mixed-methods to examine the relationship between World Heritage zoning and forest management practices. Institute of Australian Geographers Conference – ‘Coming out of the Cold at 50’ Hobart, Australia 29 June – 3 July

 

Selected Publications

Fepuleai, A., Gale, S and Wales, N.A. The late Quaternary volcanicity of Upolu, Samoa: geomorphology, morphostratigraphy and crater basin sedimentation. Journal of Paleolimnology (in press).

Biggs, E., Bruce, E., Duncan, J., Boruff, B., Haworth, B. and Wales, N.A. 2017. Using the Environmental Livelihoods Security (ELS) framework for developing climate-smart landscapes: a preliminary investigation for informing agricultural policy in the South Pacific. ACIAR Final R&D Report (ASEM/2016/030).

Biggs, E., Bruce, E., Duncan, J., Boruff, B., Haworth, B. and Wales, N.A. 2017. Operationalising a landscape approach to enhance resilience to climate change in Fiji. Summary of field research findings. ACIAR (ASEM/2016/030).

Wales, N.A. Multi-decadal change in the spatial pattern and areal extent of forests at Angkor using coarse scale satellite imagery. Journal of Land Use Science (under review).

Wales, N.A. and Bruce, E. Assessing land cover change and its drivers at the Angkor World Heritage site by combining remote sensing results and local knowledge. International Journal of Geographical Information Science (under review).

Duncan, J., Haworth, B., Biggs, E., Wales, N.A., Boruff, B and Bruce, E. 2017. Explanatory factors for effective operationalisation of landscape approaches to enhance response to climate change within smallholder farming communities. Landscape and Urban Planning (under review).

Wales, N.A. Using remote sensing change and qualitative observations to examine the relationship between management boundaries, forest resource access and exclusion in Angkor. Geographical Research (in preparation).

Haworth, B., Duncan, J., Biggs, E., Boruff, B., Bruce, E. and Wales, N.A. At the community-level how can agricultural geographic information (AGI) be better harnessed for climate change adaptation? Landscape Ecology (in preparation).

Duncan, J., Haworth, B., Biggs, E., Wales, N.A., Boruff, B and Bruce, E. A review of landscape approaches to enhance climate resilient livelihoods. Global Change Biology (in preparation).

Montoya, D., Wales, N.A. and Griffith, G. 2012. NSW planning reforms: the Green Paper and other developments. New South Wales Parliamentary Research Service Briefing Paper 07/2012, 57 pp. 

Wales, N.A. 2012. Mining in NSW (October 2012). New South Wales Parliamentary Research Service Statistical Indicators 7/12, 45 pp. 

Montoya, D. and Wales, N.A. 2012. Wind farms: regulatory developments in NSW. New South Wales Parliamentary Research Service e-brief 13/2012, 13 pp. 

Wales, N.A. 2012. Agriculture in NSW (July 2012). New South Wales Parliamentary Research Service Statistical Indicators 4/12, 51 pp. 

Wales, N.A., Sopheak, C. and Frewer, T. 2011. An investigation of land cover and land use change in Stung Chrey Bak Catchment, Cambodia. Cambodia Development Resource Institute Working Paper 53, 58 pp. 

Wales, N.A. 2011. A fine balance. Forest Matters 2011, 14–17. 

Montoya, D. and Wales, N.A. 2011. Key issues in energy. New South Wales Parliamentary Research Service Background Paper 4/2011, 53 pp. 

Phalla, C., Hirsch, P.H., Somatra, K.S., Sovannarith, S., Vanny, S., Daravy K., Neave, M., Griffiths, K., Wales, N.A., Gillespie, J., Kimkong, H., Vuthy, L., Keamony, N., Phallika, C. and Sopheak, C. 2008. Framing research on water resources management and governance in Cambodia: a literature review. Cambodia Development Resource Institute Working Paper 37, 60 pp. 

Wales, N.A. 2005. GIS Options Paper for the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development. Consultancy Report, International Development Division of UniQuest, 74 pp.

 

 

 


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School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
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The University of the South Pacific
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