Subhash Chand

Subhash ChandMasters Candidate

Research Area: Analysing of coastline changes in Ra province using multi-scale and multi-temporal remote sensed imagery and GIS.

Current Research Summary:

The coastal zones are important for economic and social landscapes but they are a very vulnerable environment. Changes caused by accretion and erosion are detectable after several years and are important for coastal zone management (Perez-Gonzalez, 2008). As coastal populations continue to grow along the coastlines, community and infrastructures are threatened by the active nature of coasts which means an increase in demand for accurate information regarding shoreline movement in recent years (Hapke et al. 2007). The rate of shoreline change is one of the most common measurements used by coastal scientists, engineers, and land planners to indicate the dynamics and hazards of the coast (Dolan et al. 1991). For this reason it has been standard practice for many decades to track the position of the shore using remote sensed imagery as the primary source of data and GIS as software for analysis of change (Jimenez et al., 1997; Leatherman, 1983; McCurdy, 1950; MOPU, 1979; Pardo-Pascual, 1991; Smith & Zarrillo, 1990; Stafford, 1971; Thieler & Danforth, 1994). Remote sensed imagery provides an important data source for coastal monitoring and a GIS is an appropriate tool for analysing these data also is used as the primary acquisition method for shoreline mapping due to its reasonable cost and high level of accuracy (Burke et al., 2001, Morton and Miller, 2005, Hapke and Reid, 2007).

The Coastline along Ra Province is subject to exploitation aimed at recent developments and sustaining human livelihood. The coastal biodiversity of this area is barley studied and there is no coastline change data available which can be utilized in preparation of conservation plan mainly ICZM (Integrated coastal zone management). The change in coastline are routinely extrapolated into the future to predict the expected location of a coastline to represent a linear summary of the processes,  that has impacted the coastline through time and implicitly reflected in historical shoreline position/time data. The coastline rates of change estimates are often important for scientific, policy and legal decisions plus are employed to summarize historical shoreline movements and to predict the future based on those perceived historical trends (Fenster et al 1993).

This study can be used by Department of Environment, Commissioner Central’s Office, Climate Change Unit of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ra Integrated Coastal Management Committee. To achieve the following:

(i) The knowledge base of coastal management and planning can be strengthened by formation of governance strategies.

(ii) Best practises learnt from failures of shoreline management (places more vulnerable are not selected for development/localities.

(iii) Proactive approach to data and information from the region.

(iv) Harmonization and Integration of data in ICZM.

 The Candidature Experience

The reason I joined the University of the South Pacific to further my studies in Postgraduate Diploma and MSc is because the programs offered here are tailor-made for individual students needs whether it be in Arts or Science. They have exceptional facilities for research and expert lecturers for support which make learning/research enjoyable.

USP provides some of the most innovating and motivating Strategic Research Themes under which the most relevant research opportunities can be undertaken and accomplished which are relevant to the needs and challenges faced by member countries.

Currently I am pursuing my Master’s Degree in Environmental Science with a scholarship from the USP Research Office. The research group under which my research falls is Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change. There are weekly seminars by different faculties which enhance the students’ knowledge base, ideas on how to do effective presentations and are made aware what research has/is  being embarked on by staff/students of different faculties.