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Ms Nat Raisbeck-Brown

Experimental Spatial Scientist


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Nat is a spatial science professional with 25 years’ experience focused on spatial data management, remote sensing, indigenous land management and the environment. She has a proven track record for working with people across diverse fields and transforming complex, spatial data into datasets suitable for many levels of analysis. Nat is highly creative and this allows her to see outside the “box” to solve complicated spatial data management and analysis problems. This creativity and flexibility was essential to limit the impacts of COVID on her work and projects, especially those with remote Aboriginal people and communities.

Nat leads the Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Project within the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA-IEK). The aim of this project is to promote Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and she is doing this by including Indigenous language and knowledge into the ALA - Australia's primary biodiversity online database. Nat works closely with Indigenous language centres, grass roots language workers, Indigenous Ranger groups and Native Title organisations to collect and share this knowledge. The projects developed for each group is markedly different, testament to Nat's ability to create co-design and co-innovation projects with Indigenous peoples and organisations. Two of these groups have now published their language and knowledge on the ALA which has contributed to nearly 800 new words and 150 profiles for plants and animals. These projects also received both first and second place awards for Ecological Society of Australia's "Best 2-way science "in 2020 and 2021.

Nat has deep interests in spatial ecological data management planning and is keen to keep CSIRO and her projects at the forefront of data management planning. She progresses this ideal by adopting emerging international data management standards and planning the entire data lifecycle through the project and beyond including data discovery, collection and organisation, quality assurance, control and data documentation, uses, preservation, sharing and citation.

Nat is also passionate about communication, learning and education and enjoys teaching, training and mentoring. She believes communication is at the base of everything we do in both work and life and through good communication we can do great science. COVID isolation rules in Western Australia led to Nat facilitating meeting and workshops with Aboriginal groups in WA for other scientists who attended via video link. Nat showed herself to be a great facilitator but more importantly a great translator of scientific ideas to plain English to ensure everyone in the room understood the topics of discussion. This re-iterated for Nat a long held belief that people will contribute to discussion and share their knowledge when the communication is open, clear and inclusive. Through these workshops these projects were invited to build future co-led/designed/innovated projects with these Aboriginal groups and organisations.

Nat was also an active and dedicated member of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee from 2016 to 2021. She believes a diverse and inclusive workplace and project team is an essential foundation for good science.

In 2020 Nat was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate how First Nations peoples in Canada, the US and Norway are using mapping to capture, protect and share their Indigenous ecological language and knowledge. She will commence the Fellowship in October 2022.

In 2019 Nat was selected for the Homeward Bound Women in Science Leadership program. She has now competed the online component of the leadership course. COVID has meant delays in the face-to-face component. Current hope is for this to commence Oct/Nov 2023.

Current Roles

  • Experimental spatial scientist
    Advise projects on spatial research and spatial component potential; Design and develop spatial analysis and data management methods to meet project needs and enhance research results

  • Project Lead: Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (IEK) Project
    Building co-designed, co-led, innovative projects to collect, protect and share Indigenous languages and knowledge for Australian plants and animals

  • Section Lead: Community Mapping
    Co-design and co-creation of innovative maps to explain and explore Malgana (Shark Bay) peoples perceptions and aspirations for climate change mitigation and adaptation

  • Section Lead: Spatial and ecological data manager
    Design, manage and maintain spatial database for ecological data for longitudinal projects

Academic Qualifications

  • 1994

    Bachelor of Science
    Curtin University

  • 1996

    Graduate Diploma - Geographic Information Science
    Curtin University

  • 2014

    Graduate Certificate - Applied Statistics
    Swinburne University

  • 2019

    Master of Spatial Science
    Curtin University

Achievements and Awards

  • 2021-2021

    Right Way Science - 2nd Prize (presentation with Noongar Traditional Owners at ESA 2021)
    Ecological Society of Australia

  • 2020-2020

    Right Way Science - Best presentation (presented by Bernadette Duncan about co-designed Indigenous language and knowledge project at ESA 2020)
    Ecological Society of Australia

  • 2020-2020

    Churchill Fellowship - Visit Canada, USA and Sweden to investigate intergenerational transfer of knowledge using mapping and technology
    Churchill Trust

  • 2019-2020

    Homeward Bound - Women in Science Leadership Scholarship
    Homeward Bound

  • 2018-2018

    Recognition for your individual contribution to the Bioregional Assessment Project

  • 2016-2016

    Award for leadership and commitment to the Spatial Science student internship program that she has established in collaboration with Curtin University

  • 2016-2016

    Award for continued dedication to delivering Bioregional Assessment Project

  • 2015-2015

    Award for continued dedication to delivering Bioregional Assessment Project

  • 2014-2014

    Award for demonstrating responsibility, initiative, commitment and fostering excellent relationships to ensure product delivery.

  • 2014-2014

    Award for creativity and effective team work under a tightening deadline by developing visually impressive mapping templates to showcase the scientific data supporting AdaptNRM Module 3 and its scheduled launch.

  • 2007-2007

    Shinju Matsuri Art Awards – Winner of “Works on Paper”
    Shinju Matsuri

  • 2006-2006

    Graham Stanton Award for Overall Excellence
    International Map Traders Association

  • 2006-2006

    Best Map Related Product
    International Map Traders Association

  • 2005-2005

    NT Research and Innovation Awards (Finalist)
    CRC for Tropical Savannas Management

  • 2000-2000

    Research and Development Award, Institutional Category (2nd place).
    Mapping Sciences Institute Australia & Hatch Associated Pty Ltd. Technology

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2016-2021

    CSIRO - Diversity and Inclusion Committee

  • 2014-2019

    APWIGIS - Asia Pacific Women in Geographic Information, Spatial Sciences and Surveying

  • 2016-2018

    CSIRO - Consultative Committee

  • 2010-2014

    CSIRO - Fire Warden

We have publications by Ms Nat Raisbeck-Brown