Adams, Michael J. Associate Professor

Associate Professor of Human Geography

  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • School of Geography and Sustainable Communities
  • Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • My research (and teaching) engages with human-nature relationships. I have completed extensive research on shared governance arrangements between government conservation agencies and Indigenous communities in national parks and World Heritage Areas, including direct contributions to policy development. Other research has examined Indigenous and local knowledge systems and how these interact with Western knowledge frameworks, as well as the cultural dimensions of hunting, especially around knowledge, respect and sacredness. My current research examines freediving as a means of relationship with our Blue Planet. I am also interested in the theory and practice of transformational learning experiences.

    Methodologically, I like ‘full-immersion fieldwork’, getting deeply and actively involved in the human and non-human lives and landscapes I research. I have worked with Indigenous and other communities across Australia, in arctic Scandinavia, Indonesia, the United States and in India. Prior to joining academia, I have 20 years of professional experience that integrates teaching, research, professional and community roles. I have worked for community-based organisations, NGOs, government agencies, Indigenous organisations, and as a consultant. This experience continues to facilitate strong industry and community linkages that benefit both teaching and research.

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Presentations


Investigator On


Other Research Activities


  • 2014 AsiaBound Outbound Mobility Program: Fieldwork Intensive ($21,500) 2013 AsiaBound Outbound Mobility Program [with others] ($21,500) 2013 Formas Swedish Research Council ($5,000 funding as keynote speaker) 2012 UIC Strategic International Links Grant - India ($12,500) 2012 UIC Strategic International Links Grant California (with Dr C. Eriksen, $10,500) 2012-2016 UOW Strategic Research Initiative: Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research - annual member allocation $6,000. 2011-2004 UOW Research Strength: Institute for Conservation Biology & Environmental Management - annual member and special allocations $36,000. 2011 UOW Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning Award 2010 Dept of Environment, Climate Change & Water ($10,000) 2009 NSW Regional Arts [with Garry Jones] ($9,909.80) 2009 UOW Community Engagement Grant [with Garry Jones] ($9,968) 2008 Dept of Environment & Climate Change Research Agreement ($10,000) 2007 ALTC National Award for Teaching Excellence ($25,000) 2007 UOW Educational Strategies Dev Fund grant [with Dr Nick Gill] ($10,000) 2006 UOW Teaching and Learning Fund Grant ($32,000) 2006 Dept of Environment and Conservation Research Agreement ($6,000) 2005 Dept of Environment and Conservation Research Agreement ($2,500) 2004 UIC Strategic International Links Grant ($6,500) 2004 ARC Special Initiatives: Research Networks [with others] ($10,000) 2003 Churchill Fellowship ($15,000) 2002-2004NSW Environmental Trusts [with others] ($145,000) 2002-2004 National Parks and Wildlife Service research grant ($56,000) 1998-2000 ARC-SPIRT Postgraduate Scholarship ($62,000) 1999 ANU Centre for Cross Cultural Research ($2,500)

Available as Research Supervisor

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Storytelling and Ocean Conservation Croft, Freya
    Master of Philosophy The applications and function of Citizen Science in Growing Community Based Knowledge Woods, Adam

Outreach Overview


Professional Service Activities


Teaching Overview


  • In 2015 I taught GEOG334 Uncertain Islands, taking students to the Andaman Islands, India on a two week fieldwork intensive. This will continue in 2017. For ten years I taught INDS201 Redefining Eden: Indigenous Peoples and the Environment. I also contributed lectures to INDS150 Introduction to Indigenous Australia, and INDS130 Introduction to Comparative Indigenous Studies. These were all taught to Wollongong and regional campuses. I regularly lead field trips for visiting international academics and Study Abroad students.

    I am interested in experiential and participatory learning. My teaching engages with subjects that are controversial, sensitive and highly relevant nationally and internationally, including critical unresolved issues around entrenched racism and environmental crisis. I have mentored numerous Indigenous students through science and other degrees, and mentored many graduates into professional careers. Several of these graduates have won prestigious awards, including the Robert Hope Memorial Prize (J. Kitchener 2013); the Ray Kelly Scholarship (R. Evitt 2009); the NSW Indigenous History Fellowship (Evitt 2010); and the Illawarra Prize in 4th Year Earth & Environmental Sciences (V. Cavanagh 2008).

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • My research (and teaching) engages with human-nature relationships. I have completed extensive research on shared governance arrangements between government conservation agencies and Indigenous communities in national parks and World Heritage Areas, including direct contributions to policy development. Other research has examined Indigenous and local knowledge systems and how these interact with Western knowledge frameworks, as well as the cultural dimensions of hunting, especially around knowledge, respect and sacredness. My current research examines freediving as a means of relationship with our Blue Planet. I am also interested in the theory and practice of transformational learning experiences.

    Methodologically, I like ‘full-immersion fieldwork’, getting deeply and actively involved in the human and non-human lives and landscapes I research. I have worked with Indigenous and other communities across Australia, in arctic Scandinavia, Indonesia, the United States and in India. Prior to joining academia, I have 20 years of professional experience that integrates teaching, research, professional and community roles. I have worked for community-based organisations, NGOs, government agencies, Indigenous organisations, and as a consultant. This experience continues to facilitate strong industry and community linkages that benefit both teaching and research.

Selected Publications


Presentations


Investigator On


Other Research Activities


  • 2014 AsiaBound Outbound Mobility Program: Fieldwork Intensive ($21,500) 2013 AsiaBound Outbound Mobility Program [with others] ($21,500) 2013 Formas Swedish Research Council ($5,000 funding as keynote speaker) 2012 UIC Strategic International Links Grant - India ($12,500) 2012 UIC Strategic International Links Grant California (with Dr C. Eriksen, $10,500) 2012-2016 UOW Strategic Research Initiative: Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research - annual member allocation $6,000. 2011-2004 UOW Research Strength: Institute for Conservation Biology & Environmental Management - annual member and special allocations $36,000. 2011 UOW Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning Award 2010 Dept of Environment, Climate Change & Water ($10,000) 2009 NSW Regional Arts [with Garry Jones] ($9,909.80) 2009 UOW Community Engagement Grant [with Garry Jones] ($9,968) 2008 Dept of Environment & Climate Change Research Agreement ($10,000) 2007 ALTC National Award for Teaching Excellence ($25,000) 2007 UOW Educational Strategies Dev Fund grant [with Dr Nick Gill] ($10,000) 2006 UOW Teaching and Learning Fund Grant ($32,000) 2006 Dept of Environment and Conservation Research Agreement ($6,000) 2005 Dept of Environment and Conservation Research Agreement ($2,500) 2004 UIC Strategic International Links Grant ($6,500) 2004 ARC Special Initiatives: Research Networks [with others] ($10,000) 2003 Churchill Fellowship ($15,000) 2002-2004NSW Environmental Trusts [with others] ($145,000) 2002-2004 National Parks and Wildlife Service research grant ($56,000) 1998-2000 ARC-SPIRT Postgraduate Scholarship ($62,000) 1999 ANU Centre for Cross Cultural Research ($2,500)

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Storytelling and Ocean Conservation Croft, Freya
    Master of Philosophy The applications and function of Citizen Science in Growing Community Based Knowledge Woods, Adam

Outreach Overview


Professional Service Activities


Teaching Overview


  • In 2015 I taught GEOG334 Uncertain Islands, taking students to the Andaman Islands, India on a two week fieldwork intensive. This will continue in 2017. For ten years I taught INDS201 Redefining Eden: Indigenous Peoples and the Environment. I also contributed lectures to INDS150 Introduction to Indigenous Australia, and INDS130 Introduction to Comparative Indigenous Studies. These were all taught to Wollongong and regional campuses. I regularly lead field trips for visiting international academics and Study Abroad students.

    I am interested in experiential and participatory learning. My teaching engages with subjects that are controversial, sensitive and highly relevant nationally and internationally, including critical unresolved issues around entrenched racism and environmental crisis. I have mentored numerous Indigenous students through science and other degrees, and mentored many graduates into professional careers. Several of these graduates have won prestigious awards, including the Robert Hope Memorial Prize (J. Kitchener 2013); the Ray Kelly Scholarship (R. Evitt 2009); the NSW Indigenous History Fellowship (Evitt 2010); and the Illawarra Prize in 4th Year Earth & Environmental Sciences (V. Cavanagh 2008).

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Research Areas

Geographic Focus