Photos by Paul Macklin.
This PhD project would not be possible without the help and support of Dr. Gusti Suryaputra, my collaborator and fieldwork partner from Ganesha University in Singaraja, Bali; Ari Sutresni, a great fieldwork assistant from Ganesha University; Professor Isaac Santos and Dr Damien Maher, my supervisors and more; The Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia (RISTEKDIKTI); The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia (MoHA); the Direktorat Jenderal Sumber Daya Air and Governor of Bali I Made Mangku Pastika for permits, access and permissions to inland water sites.
A PhD in tropical Bali: the good, the bad and the research.
Author: Paul Macklin PhD researcher Date: 07/11/2016
The Ijo Gading River, on the west coast of Bali, has proven to be an ideal PhD study site for investigating water quality in densely populated tropical regions. Originating in pristine mountain headwaters of Mt Merbuk, the river passes through the large city of Negara before entering an impressive mosaic of shrimp and aquaculture farms, and emptying into the deep waters of the Bali Strait via Perancak Estuary.
To effectively sample this river seasonally, we use a combination of spatial and fixed location sampling technology. A research vessel allows us to measure water quality throughout the system, while land-based sampling enables us to target fixed locations downstream of high-interest natural, urban and agricultural zones. To achieve this we use high-precision, automated scientific equipment, focusing on drivers of carbon dioxide and nutrients, through groundwater and surface water interactions.
While Indonesian has a rapidly growing economy with great potential and many opportunities, it is currently lacking in scientific investment in its water resources. However, Indonesia is currently supported by large-scale global carbon reduction initiatives. This study aims to highlight previously unknown carbon emissions from its inland waters, and partly redirect these initiatives into the timely management of its waterways. This translates into strengthening Australia and Indonesia’s scientific collaborations, and the recognition of Australian science in the global arena.