Science and food security

food security

Smarter futures

By Cherese Sonkkila

There are many important challenges ahead of us, but science and technology will be ready with clever solutions.

Healthcare, agriculture, and scientific and technical services are among the fastest growing industries, according to the Employment Outlook to November 2019 report by the Australian Government Department of Employment.

It’s easy to see why, as global warming, an ageing population and an increasing demand for food are just some of the big issues that demand keen, problem-solving minds.

Karl Braganza, climate monitoring manager at the Bureau of Meteorology, says his field is integral in battling global warming, and brings together disciplines of science and technology.

“You need people who are across physics, statistics and supercomputing,” says Karl.

Karl says studying climatology at Monash University taught him essential analytical skills. “Scientists will always trust data over their own gut feeling,” he says.

Karl’s team analyses the data from climate monitoring instruments – such as weather balloons and thermometers – across Australia to produce detailed reports like the annual climate report, for government agencies, researchers and emergency services. This information, says Karl, is vital in future planning – for fire and drought responses, research on the effects of emissions, policy concerning climate change and predicting rainfall for agricultural land.

“If you like the idea of large-scale planning and resource management, then agribusiness or agricultural engineering could be the career for you,” says Karl.

Anika Molesworth, the 2015 Young Farmer of the Year, says agricultural science will be integral in ensuring there is enough food for the world’s growing population.

Anika recently completed a Masters degree in sustainable agriculture at Charles Sturt University, spending time in Laos to research the reuse of the plant material left over after harvesting crops. Instead of burning leftover plant material or biomass, contributing to greenhouse gases, it can be treated to be more nutritious and used as livestock feed. “It’s about recycling what we’ve got and making optimal use of it,” says Anika.

The Australian Innovation Challenge 2015 winners developed new concepts in food science, green energy, health technology and programming.

These included corn crops with higher nutrient content, technology to harness the power of the ocean’s waves, a smarter irrigation system, and a microscope that fits inside a needle to assist in surgery.

With a science degree, perhaps you too will come up with ideas to help protect our future.

food security

GET INTO SCI + FOOD SECURITY!

Check out some work and study options…

CAREERS

Biomedical engineer, climate change analyst, emergency management specialist, hydroelectric plant technician, meteorologist, soil and water conservationist + more!

BACHELOR of…

Engineering Science (Biomedical Engineering)Flinders University 

Environmental StudiesAustralian National University 

Emergency Management, Charles Sturt University 

Economics/ScienceUniversity of Queensland 

Computer ScienceDeakin University 

Science (Mathematics), University of Sydney 

Cherese Sonkkila

Author: Cherese Sonkkila

Cherese is a researcher and science communicator based in Melbourne, Australia. She is passionate about ecology and social science and loves getting out into the field.