Tarn is a human geographer/social scientist and her research investigates local knowledge of landscape, community, and sense of place to explore how people experience and understand their ‘place’.

Tarn’s fieldwork is based on qualitative inquiry using a semi-structured in-depth interview process with individuals and small groups.

Tarn has an interest in rural communities and in particular, volunteerism, and the way knowledge is constructed to build collaborative understanding, skills and practices in environmental management. She has worked in community education and environmental management in programmes such as Waterwatch and Landcare, and as part of the Department (nee NRE and DSE) worked in seasonal fire response and attended a number of large and small bushfires across Victoria.

Tarn completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne (2014), which investigated the complexity of decision-making in relation to bushfires, firefighters and understanding of what it means to fight fire in a local or distant place. Tarn has since worked at UoM and RMIT in projects around the social dimensions of bushfire and is now working with Dr Blythe McLennan on a three-year project: sustainable emergency volunteering. More recently she participated in a Volunteer Victoria training workshop for Managers of Spontaneous Emergency Volunteers (MSEV), which means she can volunteer to be deployed following a disaster event in Victoria – researcher into practice!

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Projects

Enabling sustainable emergency volunteering

This co-designed project is a collaboration with the University of Western Australia and key emergency management organisations for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.

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