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Harvard visiting professorship for water expert

Professor Mike Young, University of Adelaide Professor of Water Economics and Management.
Photo by Jennie Groom.

Professor Mike Young, University of Adelaide Professor of Water Economics and Management.
Photo by Jennie Groom.

Full Image (138.86K)

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

One of Australia's foremost water policy experts, the University of Adelaide's Professor Mike Young, has been appointed to the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair of Australian Studies, a prestigious visiting professorship at Harvard University.

Mike Young is Professor of Water Economics and Management at the University of Adelaide and was founding Executive Director of the University's Environment Institute.

After three years leading the Environment Institute, Professor Young has stepped down from that role to continue his research, based in the University's Faculty of the Professions.

He will take up his visiting professorship at Harvard in 2013 where he will work in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for one year.

"Establishing the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide has been a rewarding experience. I'm now looking forward to focusing on my main research interests - water, climate change and resource management issues," Professor Young says.

"Fresh water is one of the world's scarcest resources. By 2030, the OECD predicts that more than half of the world's population will have experienced water scarcity challenges similar to those experienced by Australians over the last decade.

"Australia is recognised as an international leader in water management. We've made many mistakes but we've learned some valuable lessons as well. We have a lot to offer.

"At Harvard, I'll be aiming to translate the Australian experience in water management into recommendations that are internationally applicable," he says.

Professor Young is a Member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. He was 2008 South Australian of the Year (Environment), is a winner of the Land and Water Australia Eureka Prize for Water Research, received a Centenary Medal for contributions to environmental economics, and established CSIRO's Policy and Economic Research Unit with offices in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.

"Professor Young is a highly regarded researcher and public commentator on water resources and policy issues," says the University's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.

"His significant contribution to the establishment and development of the Environment Institute is to be commended. He has provided a very solid foundation for the future of the Institute. We know he will strongly represent the University of Adelaide and this state when he visits Harvard University next year."

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