23 May Gary Brierley
Posted at 12:22h
Professor Gary Brierley is a geomorphologist who specialises in the use of landscape science to guide coherent and proactive management applications, particularly in river rehabilitation and conservation. He was born in the UK, completed his postgraduate work in Canada, established the foundations of his academic career in Australia, and moved to New Zealand in 2005. He is now Chair of Physical Geography at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. With A. Prof Kirstie Fryirs, he co-developed the River Styles framework (www.riverstyles.com) and authored Geomorphology and River Management). There has now been extensive uptake of the River Styles Framework in different part of the world. His primary interest lies in the development and application of approaches to promote an era of river repair in a manner that respects the inherent diversity and variability of river systems. His research group has worked on numerous topics related to human impact on river systems, sediment budgets, river management, environmental governance and education. He has written and edited several books and has published more than 140 internationally refereed journal articles. A recent co-edited book examines landscapes and ecosystems of the Upper Yellow River in Qinghai Province, western China. A core element of his recent work emphasises concerns for the co-production of shared knowledge platforms as a basis for informed management applications, with particular interest in the development of approaches to analysis of ‘biophysical-and-cultural’ landscapes.
Keynote presentation: The development and uptake of the River Styles Framework: A catchment approach to guide coherent, geomorphologically informed river management practices
Informed river management builds upon coherent scientific understanding of the character, behaviour and evolutionary trajectory of any given catchment. Analyses of the landscape itself provide an integrative platform for such endeavours. The River Styles Framework provides a scaffolded set of procedures to document the geomorphology of a catchment. It has four open-ended stages. First, reach-scale patterns of river character and behaviour, and their process linkages, are assessed at the catchment scale. Second, geomorphic river condition is appraised in relation to evolutionary traits. Third, reach-scale adjustments are interpreted at the catchment scale to outline likely evolutionary trajectory and the potential for river recovery. These understandings are then used to guide management applications through generation of a realistic (physically achievable) vision for a catchment, derivation of target conditions for all reaches, prioritization of management activities and implementation of a monitoring programme. Although developed with river managers in Australia, where procedures have now been integrated into policy, the procedures are generic and have been adapted as a basis for geomorphologically-informed management of river systems on all continents. This presentation will provide an overview of the development and uptake of the River Styles framework in different global environmental and management contexts, including discussion of concerns for professionalism in practice in the use of such scientific tools. Lessons learnt in the delivery of professional short courses in various parts of the world will be discussed, outlining challenges faced to ensure effective learning in the application of transformative and proactive approaches to river management.
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