OEH’s major areas of research fall under 7 knowledge themes. All themes offer opportunities for research partnerships.
Conserve biological diversity, ecological processes and systems
Manage native vegetation more effectively
Upgrade the Vegetation Information System and continue mapping NSW plant community types, to assist landholders, planning authorities and regulators to manage native vegetation.
Improve ecosystem management through adaptive management science
Conduct scientific trials in river red gum reserves in the Riverina to improve adaptive management of ecosystems.
Undertake research to develop management priorities for threatened species. Continue the WildCount program to detect fauna trends and changes over time.
Manage fire and invasive species
Undertake research in OEH’s Living with Fire strategy to improve fire management in national parks. Determine the impacts of invasive species on biodiversity, national parks and local communities.
Understand and adapt to the impacts of climate change
Understand climate systems
Deliver fine-scale climate projections for NSW, and information on the likely impacts of climate change on regional communities to help communities adapt.
Understand the impacts of climate change on our systems
Develop information on the likely impacts of climate change at regional scales which will be provided to regional decision makers through an online portal.
Understand risks across regions and service providers
Study the potential impacts of climate change to help various sectors improve service delivery. Develop potential adaptation responses for communities and industries which are most vulnerable to climate change.
Understand and build adaptive capacity
Study cost-effective options to enable communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Protect and enhance the values of the coast, estuaries and marine environments.
Share coastal knowledge to improve decision-making
Deliver the Coastal Information System for easy online access to coastal information, including digital elevation models, hazard assessments and management plans.
Manage risks and build prosperous communities
Help coastal planners and communities understand the risks of erosion and inundation, to assist in land-use planning, asset protection and emergency response.
Build healthy communities through healthy estuaries
Model estuary conditions and undertake research to help communities and stakeholders protect estuaries for a sustainable future.
Respond to NSW Government marine management reforms
Update the priority knowledge needs and actions for the Knowledge Strategy in line with NSW Government reforms for the management of the marine estate.
Promote integrated landscape management for long-term ecological, cultural, social and economic sustainability
Enable better management decisions
Increase access to natural resource data and information to agencies, communities and landholders.
Build resilient, connected landscapes
Progress the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative to restore landscape connectivity and resilience, by managing invasive species, rehabilitating habitat, and developing private land conservation agreements.
Apply traditional Aboriginal knowledge to manage landscapes
Work with Aboriginal communities to understand Aboriginal land management and further integrate Aboriginal knowledge into current practices.
Support healthy and sustainable landscapes
Provide scientific input to support NSW Government strategic planning initiatives. Assess burned areas, study hydrogeological landscapes and map groundcover.
Reduce the risks of harm from pollution to human health and the environment while protecting, restoring and enhancing the quality of the environment
Monitor air quality and analyse particle emissions
Continue to monitor air quality in NSW. Establish new monitoring stations as needed for the NSW air-quality monitoring network.
Minimise pollutant emissions and develop cleaner technologies
Study the long-term impacts of alternative waste treatment technologies on the environment and human health to increase recycling of waste products.
Improve tools and resources to minimise pollution
Provide expert input and advice to revise national guidelines for pollutants and polluting activities. Assess the risks to human health and the environment from pollutants, contaminated sites and polluting processes.
Understand and improve resource efficiency for a more sustainable, productive and environmentally healthy NSW.
Support improved resource efficiency
Collect and share resource efficiency data and evaluation in a format that will assist householders, businesses and government agencies to be aware of and take control of their energy consumption.
Trial new ways to more efficiently and cost-effectively use resources, manage assets, and encourage resource recovery, within our own organisations (OEH and EPA).
Understand the costs and benefits, including social, environmental and economic, of resource efficiency
Increase awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency and productivity beyond the economic benefits.
Enable effective government decision-making and improved understanding of the interrelationships between environmental and economic policies.
Understand the behavioural and cultural opportunities for NSW residents to improve resource efficiency
Conduct the Who Cares About the Environment survey every three years to understand NSW residents’ sentiment towards the environment.
Develop a deeper understanding of how business drivers and market segmentation impact on resource efficiency.
Understand the barriers to, and benefits of, resource efficiency
Examine various housing accreditation schemes, and the uptake of sustainability and energy efficiency in the housing market.
Investigate the current energy usage of targeted, high-energy users and their barriers to energy productivity.
Explore the financial barriers to investment in clean energy opportunities and quantify the return on such investments.
Maintain and improve the extent and condition of wetland, riverine and groundwater systems
Ensure targeted and effective allocation of environmental water
Improve monitoring techniques and predictive models to support the management of environmental water.
Support management actions by tracking the health of water and wetlands
Provide frameworks, data and assessment services to monitor the health of rivers and wetlands.
Improve floodplain management
Develop Floodplain Management Plans for inland catchments. Identify aquatic ecological assets and their water requirements.