Conference Online
Neil Lazarow

Dr Neil Lazarow
Senior Research Consultant, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Dr Neil Lazarow is a Senior Research Consultant with Australia’s national science agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Neil’s primary research interests focus on how society makes complex trade-offs in resource constrained environments. His work extends to global challenges such as climate, water security, sustainable cities and food security, as well as coasts, recreation and tourism. Neil is a coastal sector specialist. Neil has a PhD in environmental science and natural resource management complemented by graduate and post-graduate degrees in political science. He has 20 years of national and international experience across academia, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector. In the coastal sector, Neil’s work has focused primarily on planning and management, stakeholder engagement, adaptation to climate change, urban development, tourism and social research. Neil’s pioneering work on the valuation of coastal resources, in particular ‘surf-onomics’ has helped to establish this field of research and he remains a critical thinker in this area. Prior to joining CSIRO in 2012, Neil was an Assistant Director with the Australian Government's Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, where he worked on climate adaptation issues, including providing specialist coastal sector advice. From 2005-2010 Neil was a Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University. His primary focus and achievement during this time was to lead and deliver Gold Coast City Council’s Shoreline Management Plan.

Presentation Title: Culture, Meaning and Sustainability in Surfing
Presentation Day: Tuesday 14th March
Presentation Time: 2.20 - 2.40pm

Surfing is at a(nother) crossroad. In the past 10 years there has been an explosion of thought and literature on the evolution of culture, meaning and sustainability in surfing. More women are surfing than ever before, there is a greater variety (and acceptance of) surfcraft than in any decade previously, urban water quality is vastly improved in some of surfing’s traditional bastions, and there has been an evolution in the forms and manner in which surf media are generated and consumed. There are also more surfers contesting for waves than at any other time in human history, greater pressure on many coastal resources, and an expansion of surfing’s carbon and cultural footprint across the planet; and there is no sign that this is slowing down. We take a moment to reflect on these changes; to consider the good, the bad and the ugly, and to ask whether the ‘the surfing community’, if that even exists in any meaningful form today, is in good health.

Dr Rebecca Olive