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 https://sees.uq.edu.au/

Michael has helped implement a program of assessing the rebuilding of housing after the 2011 floods & cyclones in Queensland.
Michael has helped implement a program of assessing the rebuilding of housing after the 2011 floods & cyclones in Queensland.

Spatial technology plays an increasingly important role in coordinating recovery from natural disasters, as UQ graduate Michael Kraus can attest to after Queensland’s devastating summer in early 2011.

Michael has been helping the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) implement a program of assessing the rebuilding of housing following the recent floods and cyclones. 
 
“Mostly it is about applying spatial technologies to make a difference to Queenslanders whose lives were turned upside down by these events last summer” Michael said. 
 
“It’s touching to listen to the stories of residents who have been impacted by these disasters, and it is satisfying to know that the information collected about their situation can be used in near real-time to ensure decision makers are aware of their plight, and allow appropriate assistance to be provided”.
 
“We’ve walked the streets and carried out over 20,000 assessments on houses so far” he said.
 
Michael KrausMichael is also responsible for the analysis and presentation of the fieldwork results to ensure that government and NGOs supporting efforts can be directed to the most appropriate areas and provide resilience and better preparedness for future disasters.  
 
“GIS is used in the planning phase to identify the properties that need to be assessed and allocate the number of inspectors; capture their assessment; and afterwards to analyse the data from multiple sources, and present the results”.
 
Recently the QRA was recognised by The World Bank for their work in flood and cyclone recovery and will result in a joint report that will become an important resource for other governments managing significant disaster response activities.
 
“I’ve received a few awards throughout my career, but the most rewarding thing for me is seeing that I have made a positive difference,” michael said. 
 
Michael initially discovered the spatial technology subjects that have enabled him to pursue this career as electives in his Bachelor of IT degree. He enjoyed them so much, that he switched courses to allow him to focus on Spatial Technologies.
 
“While my studies were a couple of decades ago now and technology has taken great leaps forward, I still apply the foundations laid during my Geography and IT studies at UQ” he said.
 
Michael then went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in GIS.
 
“I found the subject matter and the practical hands-on GIS components most valuable. I also found the staff well respected, approachable, and happy to assist. Coming out of UQ with hundreds of hours of hands-on use of industry standard GIS technology, backed by the theory provided in the lectures had me job ready and confident I could succeed”.
 
Michael’s plans for the future are cautious.
 
“Hopefully Queensland has a much less dramatic summer this time, and I can finish off my contract in autumn and find a new challenge” he said.

Last updated: Sep 17, 2012