For meteorologist Minwoo Chun, his determination to go beyond his discipline led him to ANU Crawford School of Public Policy – now not even the sky is the limit.
For recent graduate Minwoo Chun, an interest in science developed early. His father is an astrophysicist and his mother worked as a science writer, so he was exposed to the wonders of the universe from an early age.
As might be expected from a budding scientist, Minwoo has an inquisitive nature – but he also has a wide range of interests. With a degree in atmospheric science already under his belt from his native South Korea, he wanted to broaden his horizons by engaging with disciplines beyond the natural sciences.
With a flexible program including courses from humanities, public policy, and science, the Master of Climate Change at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy seemed like the perfect place to satisfy his curiosity.
“While I could not find a specific focus in terms of integrating the diverse range of studies I have done, it seems very natural that I found The Australian National University (ANU) and the Master of Climate Change program to continue my academic pathway, and found opportunities to engage with such inspiring colleagues, friends, and lecturers,” Minwoo said.
As well as the wide variety of courses available, the opportunity to participate in discussions on topical issues was a major drawcard for Minwoo and motivated him to apply to the school.
“I was interested in courses such as international negotiations, policy communication, gender and environment, and to more quantitative ends, geographic information system (GIS) and spatial analysis and climate sciences,” he said.
Minwoo had a strong understanding of meteorology but wanted to learn more about climatology in-depth. He combined units from Crawford and ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society, which helped build his knowledge base.
“To be honest, I struggled a bit to get used to the languages and notions that are frequently used in international and domestic climate policies. However, one of the many advantages of Crawford courses lies in the thorough curricula that help any students to grasp the basics and follow up on the topical areas,” Minwoo said.
Minwoo thoroughly enjoyed Gender in Resource and Environmental Management, convened by Professor Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, as well as Professor Keith Barney’s Research Methods for Environmental Management.
“My lecturers always provided thoughtful and meticulous feedback on my work, which strongly motivates my academic pursuits personally. I could not thank Kuntala and Keith enough during the semester for their efforts on the course design, delivery, and feedback they have provided,” he said.
Along with the interdisciplinary insights Minwoo gained from Crawford, he was able to crystalise his research interest during the independent research project with Dr Rebecca Colvin. His focus was intersectional environmental justice and air quality disparity studies.
“From Bec I learned that climate communication is composed of many different layers, from values and narratives, to trust and risk perception. To accelerate climate actions, society has to pursue higher ambitions to meet the least catastrophic circumstances of changing climate system,” he said.
Due to the pandemic, Minwoo’s first year of study at Crawford School was online. He was able to travel to Canberra for the final semester of the program, where he made enriching connections.
“I was so happy to meet peers and mentors in person, and I believe this has made my connection more firm,” he said.
Minwoo is eager to expand his academic career into doctoral studies, using the skills he has developed at Crawford.
He speaks enthusiastically about his time at Crawford and recommends the Master of Climate Change program to anyone with an interest in gaining a contextual background of climate and environment policy.
“I highly recommend Crawford’s Master of Climate Change program, especially for people who are considering taking a step out of traditional disciplines. Crawford and the Masters course provided me with an excellent introduction and contextual backgrounds about climate and environmental policy and related areas,” he said.
ANU Crawford School of Public Policy offers an extensive range of specialised Master and Graduate Certificate programs.
This article was first published by ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.