Graciela Metternicht is a Professor of Environmental Geography in the Environmental Management Programme of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Her research interest is primarily in the fields of environmental geography, with a focus on geospatial technologies and their application in environmental management and policy (sustainable land management, land degradation, indicators, ecosystem services, solid waste management policies) and sustainability.
- UN Global Environmental Facility, Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel: Land Degradation Adviser
- Scientific Steering Committee, Global Land Programme
- Earth Observation Australia: Management Committee
- IUCN Drylands Ecosystems Specialist Group: Co-lead
- Australian Academy of Sciences, National Committee for Geographial Sciences: Chair
- Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (NSW): Chair of the Biodiversity Conservation Advisory Panel
- Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (NSW) Willandra Lakes World Heritage Advisory Committee
Prior to joining UNSW, Professor Metternicht was Regional Coordinator of Early Warning and Assessment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for Latin America and the Caribbean. Previous academic appointments include Head of Discipline and Professor of Geospatial Systems and Environmental Management at the School of Natural and Built Environments of the University of South Australia and Professor of Spatial Sciences at the Western Australian School of Mines, Curtin University of Technology.
Graciela has made significant contributions in the field of production and management of spatial information for land degradation and agriculture-related applications. Grants she secured from the Australian Research Council, industry, international agencies and the CRC for Spatial Information have produced critical evaluations on the performance of different operational remote sensors and platforms for the mapping and monitoring of rangelands and agricultural landscapes, including pastures, crops, noxious weeds, soils, native vegetation.
Professor Metternicht has provided significant leadership on the way in which remote sensing and GIS can be used for the practical solution of problems related to vegetation degradation, soil salinization, rangeland management, and sustainable rural planning. Outputs of her research include formulation of protocols for improved mapping of landscape conditions for optimising farming. She has also supervised research on the production and modelling of spatial information for analysis of urban landscapes and vegetation.
Metternicht has developed international and professional leadership standing, resulting in invitations of Guest Professorships and Visiting Fellowships at European, Japanese, Chinese and African Universities and Research Institutes; membership of editorial boards of international journals in GeoSpatial Sciences; and the prior appointment as chair (acting) of the commission Mapping from Satellite Imagery of the International Cartographic Association.
Metternicht is Fellow of the Surveying and Spatial Science Institute of Australia; Honorary Fellow, International Cartographic Association; Member, Institute of Australian Geographers and of the Australian Rangeland Society.
- Increasing landholder collaboration for landscape scale conservation. Funded by NSW Environmental Trust (2016-2017)
- TERN AusCover: outreach and engagement (2017). Funded by CSIRO-NCRIS
- National pathways to the Sustainable Development Goals (with C Allen and T Wiedmann) - PhD project
- Advancing a Marine Spatial Planning Perspective in Resource Management across the Sydney Harbour, NSW, Australia (with E Dominguez-Tejo and E Johnston) - PhD project
- Assessing the Effects of Land Use Change on Water Quality and Quantity of the Lower Mekong Basin (with K. Ly and L Marshall) PhD project
- Speeding the Uptake of Electric Vehicles in Australia – social attitudes to electric vehicle purchase and recommendations for government intervention to address market failures (with G Broadben and D. Drozdzewski) MPhil Env Management project
- Impacts of Absentee Landholders in Central Tablelands, NSW on Production and Conservation Initiatives ( with H Kam and D Robinson) MPhil Env Management project
- Towards sustainable solid waste management in remote coastal areas: identifiying successful waste management practice and enabling conditions (w M Marcos-Holmberg and J Sammut) MPhil Env. Management Project