Dr Meg Parsons
PhD (Sydney) 2009, BSocSc with First Class Honours (Waikato) 2005
From my early days as an undergraduate student I have always been interested in the relationships between people and places, and how these relationships shift, change, are maintained and contested over time. My research is interdisciplinary in scope and nature, and crosses the boundries between human geography, historical studies, and Indigenous studies. My research is focused on examining how different values and belief systems are translated into environmental policies and actions, the ways in which specific historical narratives and discourses influence both the construction and practices of scientific knowledge, and how colonialism influences contemporary Indigenous societies' responses to climate change and other environmental changes. Key areas of research include:
- Historical geographies of settler societies
- Indigenous peoples' perceptions and responses to social and environmental changes
- Risk, resilience and climate change adaptation
- Drivers of transformational change
- Interaction of different knowledge systems (western scientific, Indigenous and local knowledges)
Research | Current
- Indigenous Transformations to Sustainability
- Historical experiences of environmental change in Oceania
- Rethinking freshwater management in the Waipa River
Teaching | Current
ENVMGT 742 (S2): Social Dimensions of Global Environmental Change
Honours Dissertations (Completed):
Roa Crease (2015), "How Vulnerability Discourses Influence the Process of Climate Change Adaptation, in Vanuatu"
Elizabeth Driver (2014), "Rolling-out the blue green carpet?: neoliberalisation and environmental governance in NZ"
Jessica Kennair (2013), "What is social media’s role in communicating knowledge in the event of a disaster?"
Daylyn D'Mello (2013), "Environmental Soil Policy in New Zealand: Discourses, Science, and Politics"
Riki Taylor (2013), "The Origins of River Management in New Zealand: Environmental Attitudes at Uawa"
Masters Theses (Completed):
Prudence Raine (2016), "Community perceptions of vulnerability to coastal hazards in Waihi Beach"
Cilla Brown (2015), "Climate change adaptation strategies amongst Samoan tourism operators"
Sally Jerome (2015), "Cultural constraints to climate change adaptation in Manus island, Papua New Guinea"
Honours Canidates (Ongoing):
Brianna Milner, "Exploring how lived values are actualised through policy and management of the Rangitaiki River"
Charlotte Grimshaw, "Exploring the US Federal Government's attitudes towards climate change in the Trump era"
Heather Paterson-Shallard, "Repriortising River Restoration Works in the Waikato and Waipa Rivers"
Masters Candidates (Ongoing):
Bradley Jones, "Auckland Acclimisation Society's Attitudes to Eels"
Emma O'Neill, "The Politics and Processes of Memory: The New Zealand War Memorial"
PhD Candidates (Ongoing):
Anthony Gampell, "Stop Disasters 2.0: Exploring Video Games as a Tool to Foster Participation in Learning about Disaster"
The University of Auckland, School of Environment, Early Career Research Award, 2015
International Social Sciences Council, Transformations to Sustainability, Seed Funding Grant, Principal Investigator, 2015
Royal Society of New Zealand, Marsden Standard Grant, Principal Investigator (co-PI Dr Karen Fisher), 2016
Course Co-ordinator GEOG 205 and ENVMGT 742
Areas of expertise
Historical geography, social dimensions of climate change adaptation, Indigenous geographies
New Zealand Geographical Society
New Zealand Historical Association
Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society
Co-ordinator of Network of Indigenous Experiences of Environmental Change (NIECE)
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Parsons, M., Fisher, K., & Nalau, J. (2016). Alternative approaches to co-design: insights from indigenous/academic research collaborations. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 20, 99-105. 10.1016/j.cosust.2016.07.001
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Karen Fisher
- Parsons, M., & Nalau, J. (2016). Historical analogies as tools in understanding transformation. Global Environmental Change, 38, 82-96. 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.01.010
- Pittock, J., Marshall, N., Capon, T., Parsons, M., Robertson, A. I., & Casaril, C. (2014). A review of Australian institutions for riparian adaptation to climate change. Journal of Water and Climate Change, 5 (3), 315-315. 10.2166/wcc.2014.116
- Leonard, S., & Parsons, M. (2013). Cultural dimensions of climate change adaptation: Indigenous knowledge and future adaptive management in East Kimberley, Australia. In J. Palutikof, S. L. Boulter, A. J. Ash, M. Stafford Smith, M. Parry, M. Waschka, D. Guitart (Eds.) Climate Adaptation Futures (pp. 190-200). Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Related URL.
- Leonard, S., Mackenzie, J., Kofod, F., Parsons, M., Langton, M., Russ, P., ... Smith, M. (2013). Indigenous climate change adaptation in the Kimberley region of North-western Australia: Final report: Learning from the past, adapting in the future: Identifying pathways to successful adaptation in Indigenous communities. Indigenous Communities: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Gold Coast, Australia: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.
- Leonard, S., Parsons, M., Olawsky, K., & Kofod, F. (2013). The role of culture and traditional knowledge in climate change adaptation: Insights from East Kimberley, Australia. Global Environmental Change -- Human and Policy Dimensions, 23 (3), 623-632. 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.02.012
- Parsons, M. (2012). Creating a Hygienic Dorm: The Refashioning of Aboriginal Women and Children and the Politics of Racial Classification in Queensland 1920s-40s. Health and History, 14, 112-139. 10.5401/healthhist.14.2.0112