The South-Eastern Australian Recent Climate History (SEARCH) project has been awarded the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research.
The project was led by the University of Melbourne and partners included Melbourne Water, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Department of Sustainability and Environment, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NZ), the Met Office (UK), the National Library of Australia, the State Library of NSW, the State Library of Victoria, Monash University, National and State Libraries Australasia, and the Powerhouse Museum.
The project was acknowledged for its success in drawing together scientists, water managers, volunteers and historians to extend the record of natural climate variability in Australia.
The project engaged historians, librarians and citizen archivists to source historical records and articles, and enlisted many fields of science, studying coral records, tree rings, cave deposits and ice cores.
General Manager of Integrated Planning, Chris Williams, said Melbourne Water gained multiple benefits from its involvement in the SEARCH project.
“Our role as the manager of greater Melbourne’s water resources is heavily impacted by the climate, so it’s vital that we are continually building our knowledge and incorporate it in into our planning,” said Mr Williams.
“This project is also an example of the significant gains that can be made when several disciplines collaborate to share knowledge and build insight and understanding,” he added.
The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are the country’s most comprehensive national science awards. The Eureka Prizes have been rewarding science since 1990 — celebrating 25 years in 2014.