Having locals identify environmental research needs for their own community is a key step to ensuring that research is relevant, appropriate and desirable for communities.

Associate Professor Allan Dale is the Leader of Tropical Regional Development at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, and before that he was CEO of Terrain NRM for the Wet Tropics Region. He is currently Chair of Regional Development Australian Far North Queensland and Torres Strait, and accesses an international network of research expertise in the NRM governance field, with strong linkages to Charles Darwin University, Griffith University and CSIRO.

Professor Natalie Stoeckl is with the Faculty of Law, Business and Creative Arts and the Cairns Institute at James Cook University. She describes herself as an economist with a keen interest in the environmental and social/distributional issues associated with economic growth. Natalie has extensive experience with a variety of non-market valuation techniques.

Dr. Marshall currently leads the Northern Australian chapter of the Social and Economic Sciences Program at CSIRO, and manages a portfolio of projects across a range of primary industries, including cattle grazing, farming, tourism and commercial fishing as well as coastal communities along the Great Barrier Reef. Her research focuses on the relationship between people and natural resources for the purposes of better understanding how strategies can be developed that protect environmental goals whilst minimising any associated social impacts.

For each of the four Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions between Gladstone and Port Douglas, this project aims to deliver an improved understanding of the quantitative relationships between changing deliveries of suspended solids from their main river ways to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and changes in the coastal water clarity within their region.

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