Associate Professor Ian Thomas teaches in undergraduate and postgraduate environmental policy at RMIT. He has written books on environmental impact assessment, environmental management and environmental policy.
Teaching areas include: Environmental Management, Policy Practice, Environmental Policy Project Vietnam; Environmental Management: EIA and EMS, Environmental Policy.
In conjunction with Associate Professor Barry Meehan, Ian has been awarded RMIT’s Certificate of Achievement (2003),Teaching Award (2007) and Carrick Citation (2007) for his teaching.
Research and scholarship
Ian's research has investigated:
- the issues of embedding environmental education and sustainability education in the curricula of universities
- the status of tertiary environmental programs and investigated employment of graduates from these programs.
His recent research was focused on capacity building of academics to support curriculum change across a range of disciplines, and the graduate capabilities that are expected by employers.
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:
- 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
- BEng(Civil) 2B Hons, Monash University, 1971
- MEng 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
- PhD Monash University, 1991, Thesis: 'Evaluation of the Master of Environmental Science Program: A Case Study'