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Science Week looks beyond the microscope to remote sensing technologies




Queensland is looking beyond the microscopes, beakers and Bunsen burners to celebrate the varied aspects of our valued scientists for National Science Week which runs from August 14-22, 2021.

Tom Franz has a Bachelor of Science majoring in geographical sciences, and a Master of Environmental Management (Natural Resource Management and Conservation).

“I’ve worked with the Department of Environment and Science for two-and-a-half years and am a Scientist focusing on Remote Sensing with the Land Surfaces Sciences Team,” Mr Franz said.

“I became interested in fire management and spatial sciences after I completed my undergraduate degree.

“This interest carried over into my post-graduate degree as I realised that remote sensing technologies were a valuable tool to use to understand these large-scale environmental events.

“I then tried to direct my learning toward remote sensing for mapping fire, which led me to getting a job in the same field that I studied.

“I’m currently working on the fire scar mapping program within the remote sensing centre in which the program maps all the burned areas within Queensland.

“Approximately a quarter of the state burns each year; the area which burns is quite large and sparsely populated.

“The most cost effective and quickest way to keep track of these events is with satellite data.

“With the help of satellites, we can gather the crucial information of when and where these fires are occurring.

“This information can then be used to inform many different fields of work including conservation and emissions accounting”

Mr Franz said National Science Week is a great opportunity to highlight the many facets across the field to inspire young people to consider a consider a career in science.

“The field of science is a rewarding and interesting field,” he said.

“You’re able to study anything you’re interested in.

“If you find yourself often asking the questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’, you’ll enjoy working in science.”

Queensland’s Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Possingham said everyone from students to grandparents could get involved in the celebration of science during National Science Week.

“Visit the National Science Week website to find local or online National Science Week activities near you and follow the Queensland Science Facebook channel for the latest science news,” he said.

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