Assoc Professor Ian Thomas

Position

Associate Professor

School /
Work Unit

Global, Urban and Social Studies

Contact Details

+61 3 9925 3441

ian.thomas@rmit.edu.au

Location

Building: 8
Level: 7
Room: 13

City Campus

College/Portfolio

Design & Social Context

"Ian Thomas photo"

On this page:



Availability

Mondays and Wednesdays and by appointment.


Key activities

Associate Professor Ian Thomas teaches in undergraduate and postgraduate environmental policy programs, and has written books on environmental impact assessment, environmental management and environmental policy. In his research Ian has investigated the issues of embedding environmental education and sustainability education in the curricula of universities, examined the status of tertiary environmental programs, and investigated employment of graduates from these programs. His recent research has focused on capacity building of academics to support curriculum change across a range of disciplines, and the graduate capabilities that are expected by employers. In conjunction with Assoc Professor Barry Meehan Ian has been awarded RMIT’s Certificate of Achievement (2003),Teaching Award (2007) and Carrick Citation (2007) for his teaching. Teaching areas include: Environmental Management, Policy Practice, Environmental Policy Project Vietnam; Environmental Management: EIA and EMS, Environmental Policy.


Qualifications

  • B.Eng.(Civil) 2B Hons, Monash University , 1971
  • M.Eng.Sc.(Transport), University of Melbourne, 1974, Thesis: ‘A Theoretical Analysis of the Intervening Opportunities Trip Distribution Model’
  • Grad. Dip. Urban Systems - Swinburne Institute of Technology, 1977
  • Ph.D. Monash University, 1991, Thesis: ‘Evaluation of the Master of Environmental Science Program: A Case Study’

Accomplishments

In conjunction with Assoc Professor Barry Meehan Ian has been awarded RMIT’s Certificate of Achievement (2003),Teaching Award (2007) and Carrick Citation (2007) for his teaching.


Industry experience

In addition to his time as an academic, during his career Ian has worked with Victorian state and local government, a state statutory authority, and with a consulting firm.

Professional interests and links to industry

  • Member Engineers Australia
  • Member Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand


Research and scholarship

Key areas of interest

  • Implementation of Education for Sustainability in Australian universities
  • Use of problem and project based team work projects to develop professional practice and sustainability literacy for tertiary students
  • Development of graduate capabilities for sustainability competency
  • Environmental and sustainability careers in Australia

Current research focus on:

  • Use of action research in assisting academics to introduce Education for Sustainability
  • Use of project based team work through multi-disciplinary projects to develop professional practice for students in undergraduate environment program
  • Development of graduate capabilities for sustainability
  • Environmental psychology

Current postgraduate supervision includes supervising PhD candidates researching the following topics:

  • ‘Best Practice Learning Systems for Sustainability in Higher Education’.
  • ‘Sustainable Volume Housing: Uptake of Innovative Practices by Australian Volume Housing Builders.’
  • ‘Community Based Prepareness and Coping Strategies Under Climate Change Context – Urban Flood in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Research grants include:

  • Supervision of the research project and trial to introduce waste management curricula into tertiary institutions, with a focus on RMIT, funded by EcoRecycle Victoria
  • Joint supervision in 2005 of the Beyond leather Patches project to work with the staff of two schools at RMIT to revise their teaching to include Education for Sustainability, funded by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment
  • Joint supervision of the 2007 ARC Linkage Grant titled Building Capacity for a Sustainable Future to examine the use of action research in assisting academics to introduce Education for Sustainability
  • Supervision of the 2010 project 5star Sustainability Tertiary Education, for Sustainability Victoria, to develop a rating system to assess sustainability in tertiary institutions

Publications

Book chapters

Holdsworth, S., Bekessy, S., Mnguni, P., Hayles, C., Thomas, I (2006) Beyond Leather Patches: Sustainability Education at RMIT University, Australia, in Filho, W.L. (ed) Innovation, Education and Communication for Sustainable Development Lang Publishing, Frankfurt, pp153-176.

Holdsworth, S., Bekessy, S., Hayles, C., Mnguni, P. and Thomas, I. (2006) Beyond Leather Patches Project for Sustainability Education at RMIT, in Filho, W.L. and Carpenter, D. (eds), Sustainability in the Australasian University Context, Peter Lang Scientific Publishers, Frankfurt, pp107-128.

Books

Thomas, I. and Murfitt, P. (2011) Environmental Management Processes and Practices for Australia, edn 2, (revised) Federation Press, Sydney.

Elliott, M. and Thomas , I. (2009) Environmental Impact Assessment in Australia: Theory and Practice, 5th edition (substantially revised), Federation Press, Sydney.

Thomas . I. (2007) Environmental Policy: Australian Practice in the Context of Theory, Federation Press, Sydney.

Thomas , I. (2005) Environmental Management Processes and Practices for Australia, Federation Press, Sydney.

Thomas , I. and Elliott, M. (2005) Environmental Impact Assessment in Australia: Theory and Practice, 4th edition (substantially revised), Federation Press, Sydney

Journal articles (refereed)

Thomas, I and Day, T. (in press) Careers in the environment in Australia, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management

Janjua, S., Thomas, I. (in press), Learning from Experience: Deriving Lessons from theLocal Level Climate Adaptation Actions in Three Urban Areas of Asia & Africa, ClimateClimate and Development.

Hegarty, K, Thomas, I., Kriewaldt, C., Holdsworth, S. and Bekessy, S. (2010) Insights into the value of a ‘stand alone’ course for sustainability education, Environmental Education Research, Manuscript ID: 547931

Thomas I., Sandri O., Hegarty K. (2010) Green Jobs in Australia: A Status Report. Sustainability. 2(12):3792-3811. doi:10.3390/su2123792. http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/12/3792/

Janjua, S., Thomas, I. and McEvoy, D. (2010) Framing climate change adaptation learning and action: the case of Lahore, Pakistan, International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 2, Issue 3, pp.281-296. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1756-692&volume=2&issue=3&articleid=1876143&show=abstract

Thomas, I. and Meehan, B. (2010) Student Preparation for the International Environmental Profession, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Vol 34, No 1, pp91-107.

Thomas, I, Hegarty, K and Sandri, O. (2010) Green jobs in Australia: what are we talking about? Sustainability Matters, Posted: Feb 24, 2010, http://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/articles/38995-Green-jobs-in-Australia-what-are-we-talking-about- (Not refereed)

Thomas, I. G.(2010) Environmental policy and local government in Australia, Local Environment, Vol 15, No 2, pp121 — 136.

Thomas, I. (2009) Critical Thinking, Transformative Learning, Sustainable Education, and Problem-Based Learning in Universities, Journal of Transformative Education, 7(3) 245-264

de la Harpe, B. and Thomas, I. (2009) Curriculum Change in Universities: Why Education for Sustainable Development is so Tough, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp75-85.

Holdsworth,S., Bekessy, S., and Thomas, I. (2009), Evaluation of curriculum change at RMIT: experiences of the BELP project, Reflecting Education, Vol 5, No 1,pp. 51-72.

Meehan, B., Thomas, I. and Turner-Walker, S. (2008) Work Integrated Learning for Tertiary Environmental Students: Professional Preparation Through International Project Work, Journal of Cooperative Education and Internships, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp1-10.

Holdsworth, S., Wyborn, C., Bekessy, S. and Thomas, I. (2008) Professional Development for Education for Sustainability: How Advanced are Australian Universities, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp131-146.

Thomas, I., Lane, R. Ribon-Tobon, L. and May, C. (2007) Careers in the Environment in Australia: Surveying Environmental Jobs, Environmental Education Research, Vol. 13, No.1, pp97-117.

Sterling, S. and Thomas, I. (2006) Education for Sustainability: the Role of Capabilities in Guiding University Curricula, International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol 1, No. 4, pp349-370

Lang, J., Thomas, I. and Wilson, A. (2006) Education for Sustainability in Australian Universities: Where is the Action?, Australian Journal for Environmental Education, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp45-58.

Meehan, B. and Thomas, I. (2006) Tertiary EE Student Projects: What the Academics Learnt, Australian Journal for Environmental Education, Vol. 22, pp.59-70.

Meehan, B. and Thomas, I. (2006) Team Work: Education for Entrants to the Environment Professions, Environmental Education Research, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp609-623.

Plus additional articles published prior to 2006

Conference papers (delivered)

Janjua, S., Thomas, I., “Opportunities for climate adaptation learning and action at the urban local level: The case of Pakistan”, accepted for poster presentation, Paper ID: 181, Australian NCCARF 2010 International Climate Change Adaptation Conference, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia, 29 June – 1st July 2010.

Thomas, I. (2009) Education for Sustainability = Healthy Universities, 41st Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health (APACPH) Conference 3 December, Taiwan.

Thomas, I. (2009) Education for Sustainability: Implementing a Green Curriculum, 4th Green University Workshop, 1-3 December, National Normal University, Taiwan, Taipei. [unpublished, not reviewed paper]

Thomas, I. (2008) Education for Sustainability: Developing a Green Curriculum, proceedings of the 3rd Green University Workshop, 21-23 October, National Normal University, Taiwan, Taipei. [unpublished, not reviewed paper]

Thomas, I. (2008) Thinking: Sustainability and Universities, 8thACTS Conference, 1-3 October, Christchurch (NZ) [unpublished, not reviewed paper]

Thomas, I., Holdsworth, S. and Bekessy, S. (2007) Implementing Sustainability Education Across Universities, Sustainability in a Changing World Conference of Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering, Perth, 31 October – 2 November [unpublished, peer-reviewed paper]

Meehan, B. and Thomas, I. (2007) Preparation for the Profession: Team-based Environmental Research Project in Vietnam, Partnerships for World Graduates Conference 2007, RMIT University, Melbourne, 28-30 November [unpublished, peer-reviewed paper]

Bekessy, S., Hayles, C., Holdsworth, S. and Thomas, I. (2006) Framework for Education for Sustainable Development Curricula in Universities: BELP Project at RMIT, 6th ACTS Conference, 20-22 September, Ballarat. [unpublished, not reviewed paper]

Holdsworth, S. and Thomas, I. (2006) Implementing Education for Sustainable Development in Universities - RMIT's BELP Project, Learning for Sustainability Conference 2006, 2–4 August, Melbourne. [unpublished, peer-reviewed paper]

Thomas, I. (2006) Perspectives on ESD, Leadership in University for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Workshop, 28-30 November, Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei. [unpublished, not reviewed paper]

Thomas, I. (2006) ESD in the University Curriculum, Leadership in University for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Workshop, 28-30 November, Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei. [unpublished, not reviewed paper]

Thomas, I. (2006) Partnerships for Education for Sustainable Development – Australian Examples, Leadership in University for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Workshop, 28-30 November, Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei. [unpublished, not reviewed paper]

Thomas, I. (2006) Sustainability in Universities, Leadership in University for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Workshop, 28-30 November, Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei. [unpublished, not reviewed paper]

Thomas, I. (2006) Sustainability in Australian Universities, Leadership in University for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Workshop, 28-30 November, Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei. [unpublished, not reviewed paper]

Plus additional papers delivered prior to 2006

Reports

Thomas, I. and Day, T (2010) The Guide to Environmental Careers in Australia, electronic publication available from Environmental Jobs Network, http://www.environmentaljobs.com.au/