‘Engaging with communities: Practitioner profiles’ – Dave Berman

What drives engagement practitioners to persevere in the face of intractable issues? In many cases, it is passion. Dave Berman exemplifies a passionate practitioner. He believes that good science is essential to good community engagement. This unwavering commitment propels him through difficult situations in his work on feral horses, rabbits and cats. He first learnt about feral horses as a young man, developing a long lasting affection for them. This led him to research their impacts and use this science to liaise between horse conservationists and pest management organisations, two groups that often have opposing goals. Although it is not always easy, Dave finds creative ways to communicate scientific knowledge to landholder and community members so they can find common ground. Dave views this as useful, applied work. Ultimately, Dave defines success as bringing science to the table so communities can co-create goals and solutions that make a real impact.

Dr Dave Berman is a Research Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland.