CSIRO entrance in the Desert Knowledge Precinct, Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
Alice Springs, NT (Alice Springs laboratory)
CSIRO’s laboratory in Alice Springs focuses on research about natural resource management and sustainable livelihoods in arid and semi-arid rangelands.
4 August 2011 | Updated 2 November 2012
Established in 1953, the Alice Springs lab, which moved to its current location within the Desert Knowledge Precinct in 2009, provides a base for scientists engaged in research on ecology, natural resource management and socio-economic systems in arid and semi-arid rangelands, environments which constitute more than 70 per cent of the Australian continent.
The Alice Springs lab has informed projects about resource management in other arid ecosystems, this international experience has enriched approaches to research about issues in Australia.
The Alice Springs laboratory initially undertook land surveys to gather knowledge on resources and ecosystems in the arid zone.
The research scope has expanded in the ensuing years to areas such as:
- pastoral production
- conservation management
- Aboriginal livelihoods
The broad aim of our current research is to contribute to better regional planning for sustainable livelihoods and habitation of the Australian rangelands and deserts. This requires solutions that recognise regional differences and support better management for environmental, social and economic outcomes.
CSIRO aims to understand these solutions using a research approach that integrates environmental, social and economic considerations in developing new approaches to complex issues, and incorporates uncertainty about possible impacts of climate change in Australia’s interior.
The broad range of scientific skills at the Alice Springs laboratory includes:
- animal ecology
- carbon economies
- climate change impacts and adaptation
- conservation planning
- environmental monitoring
- fire and landscape ecology
- knowledge and data management
- rangeland management
- regional planning
- remote sensing
- socio-economic systems
- system modelling
- tourism futures.
The laboratory also has a distinguished history of research in other parts of the world. The learnings from Central Australia have been used to inform projects about resource management in other arid ecosystems and in turn this international experience has deepened staff expertise and enriched approaches to research about issues in Australia.
Current international involvement includes:
- Antarctica: cold desert ecology
- China: monitoring ecosystem carbon
- East and West Africa: food security, farm productivity and sustainability.
Much of our research is done in partnership with other research institutions, including:
- Local, State/Territory and Federal Government agencies
- international organisations.
Read more about research at CSIRO in Darwin.