Environmental management research

Environmental Management centres upon society’s impact on the environment and the management choices available to reduce or mitigate this impact.

Given the interconnectivity between living species and their habitats, environment management decisions address both living and non-living elements of the biophysical environment. Our research contributes to economic, social and cultural advancement through collaborative arrangements, innovative research and technology transfer.

Research expertise

Water resources, quality and safety

Our team studies soil-water dynamics, nutrient runoff, surface and ground water hydrology, and soil-water management including irrigation and drainage systems. We develop methods and models to assess water use, water productivity and water footprinting in primary production processes. We identify processes to attenuate pollutants moving from agricultural landscapes to water. We develop alternative cost-effective solutions for treatment of rural wastewaters.

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Sustainable landscape management

Landscapes are an important scale at which people and nature interact. Therefore, the composition and configuration of any particular landscape is determined by the interplay of its biophysical characteristics with the human influences. We use interdisciplinary approaches drawn from landscape ecological theory and landscape sustainability science to consider the spatial and temporal aspects of landscapes and the interrelationships between the components making them up. By understanding links between pattern, process and change valuable recommendations about sustainable landscape management can be made.

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Sustainability and environmental systems analysis

We study the interactions between ecological systems and economic activity, and assessment of more sustainable consumption and production (SCP) systems. This includes development and use of environmental footprinting techniques such as carbon and water footprinting, Life Cycle Assessment and wider sustainability assessment.

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Māori perspectives and geographic information science

We are developing methods to model and capture indigenous geographic knowledge (which may be qualitative and include representations such as oral histories) and incorporate it in existing environmental monitoring systems, considering Māori worldviews and perspectives of the environment.

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Māori environmental management

We have a strong environmental focus in research and projects aligned to the natural resources of Aotearoa/New Zealand. In particular we are researching ecological and environmental systems, especially in regard to flora and fauna issues and management. Freshwater, coastal resources, and natural resource policy as it pertains to Māori interests are key focus areas of research and education.

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Land use and evaluation

We assess land for various uses through soil mapping and characterisation. Land is evaluated through qualitative and quantitative assessment of soils and the landscapes they cover. Land evaluation is valuable for production, sustainability, environmental issues and biodiversity. We also study soil formation and erosion.

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Environmental, agricultural and ecological economics

Massey researchers have expertise in agricultural and environmental issues and their impact on and connection with economic and development issues. This includes trade programs to improve conservation (and development) outcomes and impacts of illegal trade in wildlife.

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Ecological economics

We have employed the transdisciplinary subject of ecological economics to consider the relationships and dependencies between the planet's natural systems, human values, health and well-being. We also employ environmental economics tools and techniques to consider the environmental impacts of economic policies and financial decisions.

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Research degrees

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Research projects

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Research centres and groups

International Research Centre for the Management of Degraded and Mining Lands

Located in Indonesia, this centre aims to help restore land degraded by mining. Collaborative research is being carried out between Massey, a founding partner, and partners Brawijaya University, the University of Mataram and the Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The centre grew out of a research project started by Dr Chris Anderson investigating remediation techniques for mercury-contaminated soil using plants.

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New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre

The Centre is a collaboration between Massey University, AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant & Food Research and SCION. It works to build capability in life cycle management (LCM) by providing education, training and research to LCM professionals to meet increasing consumer demand for green metrics on products.

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You may also be interested in research in

Biodiversity and ecosystem health

GIS and geoinformatics

Soil and land management

Water management

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