The School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management was disestablished on 1 January, 2017.

Following a review, the school was merged with the School of Earth Sciences to create the new School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences website can be found at

Dr Joanne Nightingale’s interest in geographical sciences led her to complete a Bachelor of Science, Honours and PhD at UQ, which prepared her for a successful career as an Earth Observation applications research scientist.

“I chose UQ because it is one of the leading universities in Australia and offers a wide range of geographical science courses,” she said.

 “While studying I was able to gain experience through fieldwork, industry placements, tutoring undergraduate courses, conducting my own research, and presenting at national and international scientific conferences.”

Joanne has worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Forest Science at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and the Department of Forest Science at Oregon State University, and as a Research Scientist with Sigma Space Corporation at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in the USA.

Joanne is currently based at the National Physical Laboratory in London, UK, where she leads a research area investigating the quality aspects of satellite records for climate and environmental monitoring applications.

“My job involves working with the international community to define standards for measuring land surface properties, such as leaf area and biomass of forests, on the ground and from satellites,” Joanne said.

“We also investigate the accuracy of this information for real world applications such as assessing carbon emissions from deforestation and many other issues related to climate change.

“My role is both challenging and interesting and the range of projects I get to work on takes me all over the world for scientific meetings and field campaigns.

“UQ is one of the leading Universities in this field and offers a full spectrum of geographical science courses - and it was this combination of academia and work experience that put me ahead of the pack.”

Last updated: Feb 24, 2014