Dr Karyn Bosomworth's research focuses on the social-institutional dimensions of governance for transformative adaptation. Her work is policy-oriented and collaborative.
Karyn is a Vice Chancellor's Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Urban Research (CUR), and co-convener with Dr Lauren Rickards of CUR's Climate Change and Resilience group.
Karyn works with various government agencies on climate change adaptation challenges. In doing so, she is exploring social-institutional dimensions of governance that can enable or constrain transformative adaptation in different policy sectors, and the implications of practice for theories of adaptation, transformation and learning in public policy. She is interested in the role of politics, cultures and norms in adaptive management and adaptive governance, and thereby our ability to transform unsustainable trajectories such as GHG emissions, social inequalities, biodiversity degradation, etc.
Her research spans:
- Climate change adaptation
- Public policy, administration and governance
- Sustainable development
- Disaster risk reduction
- Urban and regional planning.
Before moving to academia, Karyn worked for many years in policy-relevant research and analysis within the government sector. Consequently she has significant interest and involvement in the “science–policy interface” in theory and practice.
Karyn's empirical research is predominantly in the policy sectors of natural resource management and disaster management, as well as adaptation planning more generally in local and State government. A major aspect of her work is using ‘Adaptation Pathways’ as a method for adaptation planning including through a serious game approach, and as a heuristic that can reveal (and possibly address) the aforementioned social-institutional dimensions of governance.
Karyn's most recent work involved the use of ‘Adaptation Pathways’ planning for coastal biodiversity. Funded by the Helen MacPherson-Smith Trust, the project involved Port Philip Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA), City West Water (CWW), the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA) and some of their stakeholders. That work stemmed from a major collaboration with the University of Tasmania, Monash University and a ‘cluster’ of nine Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) across Tasmania, coastal Victoria and the southern rivers region of New South Wales. That project has supported NRM planning for climate change. The extensive reports and outputs can be found at: https://terranova.org.au/repository/southern-slopes-nrm-collection.
She also recently completed development and trial of a Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) framework for assessing the contribution of research to policy. This framework was developed in collaboration with the Fire and Emergency Management Division of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Karyn has also been a co-investigator on projects such as:
- Implementing tools to increase adaptive capacity in the community and natural resource management sectors
- Developing a systematic approach for urban land managers to optimise Green Infrastructure (vegetation) in addressing Urban Heat Islands (with Melbourne and Monash Universities)
- Integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk management (with Griffith University); and
- Future challenges facing Australia's emergency management sector (with the University Tasmania and the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre)
- PhD, RMIT (2012)
- BAppSci (Hons), Deakin University (2000)
- Diploma of Photography, Photography Studies College (1991)
- 2004 – 2011 Victorian Government Senior Policy Officer in what is currently the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (previously DEPI and DSE)
- 1997 – 2004 Natural Environment Research Co-ordinator, Country Fire Authority
- Bosomworth, K.,Own, C.,Curnin, S. (2016). Addressing challenges for future strategic-level emergency management: Reframing, networking, and capacity-building In: Disasters, , 1 - 18
- Howes, M.,Tangney, P.,Reis, K.,Grant-Smith, D.,Heazle, M.,Bosomworth, K.,Burton, P. (2015). Towards networked governance: improving interagency communication and collaboration for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in Australia In: Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 58, 757 - 776
- Bosomworth, K. (2015). Adaptation Pathways: a playbook for developing robust options for climate change adaptation in Natural Resource Management. In: Catchment Management Authorities Australia
- Bosomworth, K. (2015). Southern Slopes Information Portal Report: Climate change adaptation information for NRM organisations in the Southern Slopes Cluster. In: Catchment Management Authorities Australia
- Bosomworth, K.,Handmer, J.,Dovers, S. (2014). Learning from analyses of policy frames and informal institutions in the fire management sector of Victoria, Australia In: Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning, Springer, Germany
- Owen, C.,Bosomworth, K.,Curnin, S. (2014). The challenges of change in future emergency management: Conclusions and future developments In: Human factors challenges in emergency management: Enhancing Individual and Team Performance in Fire and Emergency Services, Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, Surrey
- Fuenfgeld, H.,Turner, S.,Rance, A.,Wallis, P.,Bosomworth, K.,Lonsdale, K. (2014). Facilitating adaptation: Lessons learnt from engaging and supporting the primary health and community services sector in climate change adaptation In: Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research Melbourne, Australia
- Fuenfgeld, H.,Bosomworth, K.,Millin, S.,Wallis, P.,Rance, A. (2014). Adaptation planning for community service organisations and primary care partnerships: policy guidance for state government In: Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR) Melbourne, Australia
- Howes, M.,Grant-Smith, D.,Reis, K.,Bosomworth, K.,Tangney, P.,Heazle, M.,McEvoy, D.,Burton, P. (2013). Rethinking disaster risk management and climate change adaptation In: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF Griffith, Australia
- Bosomworth, K.,Trundle, A.,McEvoy, D. (2013). Responding to the Urban Heat Island: A Policy and Institutional Analysis In: Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research Melbourne, Australia
- Collaborating stewardship of urban natural resources for social-ecological well-being. Funded by: Helen Macpherson Smith Grant 2014 Round 2 from (2015 to 2015)
- 2015 Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship (Bosomworth). Funded by: RMIT Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship CAT0 from (2015 to 2018)
- Climate Impacts and Adaptation Planning for Southern Slopes NRM region. Administered by University of Melbourne. Funded by: Climate Change Adaptation Research Grant Pre-2014 from (2013 to 2016)
- Responding to the urban heat island: optimising the implementation of green infrastructure. Administered by The University of Melbourne.. Funded by: Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR) Contract from (2011 to 2013)