Serwan Baban

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Serwan M. J. Baban
Professor S. Baban.jpg
Born 1958
Kirkuk, Iraq

Serwan Muhammad Baban FGS FRGS (born 1958) is a Cabinet member of the Kurdistan Regional Government. Previously, he was the Vice-Chancellor for the University of Kurdistan Hewler. He is engaged in developing science based decision making processes, promoting sustainable development and assisting the KRG with various aspects of nation-building.

Background and Career[edit]

Baban was born in Kirkuk in 1958, He gained his BSc in Geology during 1980 and MSc in Geophysics in 1983 both from the University of Baghdad. He obtained his PhD in Applied Remote Sensing and his DSc in Geo-based Environmental Challenges from the prestigious School of Environmental Sciences, the University of East Anglia, UK in 1991 and 2011 respectively.

Baban’s academic, scientific and management career was developed through working in universities in the UK, The Caribbean, Australia and Iraq. He worked as a Research Assistant and Senior Research Associate in the School of Environmental Sciences, the University of East Anglia, UK. Then as a Lecturer and later a Senior Lecturer in Geosciences/Physical Geography, Coventry University, UK.

He moved to the University of the West Indies during September 2000 to become the Professor of Surveying and Land Information and at a later date the Dean/Chairman, School for Graduate Studies and Research at the St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad. He moved to Australia to join Southern Cross University during January 2007 to become the Professor of Environmental Geoinformatics and Head, School of Environmental Science and Management.

He was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kurdistan - Hawler in August 2009. The appointment was made on competitive basis and merits by an international panel and as the outcome of a global search for a Vice-Chancellor.

In March 2012, Baban was appointed to the Kurdistan Regional Government as the Minister of Agriculture and Water resources and he reluctantly stepped down from his position as Vice-Chancellor to embrace this new challenge. Professor Baban’s research interests and accomplishments are in Geosciences, Environmental Science, in Geoinformatics (Environmental Remote Sensing and GIS) and Governance. He has a multi-disciplinary Geo-based background and working experience in Arid/Semi Arid (Iraq, Tunisia,Morocco, and Jordan), Temporal UK and Tropical environments (Malaysia, the Caribbean region, Indonesia and Australia). Professor Baban has authored and co-edited twelve books. Furthermore his Publication and International Scholarly Activities indicates that he has produced over 200 research and consultancy publications. He has served on the scientific and organizing committees for various international conferences worldwide (UK, Netherlands, Australia, USA, Jordan, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Bahamas, India, China, Thailand and South Africa) and is a member of the Editorial Board and an academic referee for a wide range of international, regional and national refereed journals. Professor Baban founded and directed several successful research centers and Institutes worldwide. These include; the GIS and Remote Sensing Research Utility (GRRU) group at Coventry University, UK; the Center for Caribbean Land and Environmental Appraisal Research (CLEAR) at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad; the Centre for Geoinformatics Research and Environmental Assessment Technology (GREAT) at Southern Cross University in Australia and the Geoinformatics Institute for Future Threats to Sustainability (GIFTS) at the University of Kurdistan - Hewler.

Recent and Current Positions[edit]

Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq (April 2012 – to date)

Professor and Vice Chancellor, University of Kurdistan – Hawler (UKH) (Aug. 2009 – April 2012).

Chairman of UKH Governing Board (April 2012- Resigned on Feb. 2013).

Professor of Environmental Geoinformatics, Southern Cross University Australia (2007- 2009)

Head, School of Environmental Science and Management, Southern Cross University Australia ( 2007- 2008)

Director and Founder, The Centre for Geoinformatics Research and Environmental Assessment Technology (GREAT), Southern Cross University Australia (2007- 2009)

Professor of Surveying and Land Information, The University of the West Indies, Trinida and Tobago (2000 - 2007).

Dean/Chairman, School of Graduate Studies and Research, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago (2004 - 2007)

Special Advisor to the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) at The University of the West Indies (2002 - 2007).

Director and Founder, The Centre for Caribbean Land and Environmental Appraisal Research, (CLEAR) The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago (2000 - 2007).

Research Interests and Record[edit]

Baban's aspiration is to understand the interactions between people and the environment within a geographical location, attempt to provide information for effective environmental decision making using geosciences and environmental geoinformatics and to hopefully assist in creating a sustainable future via developing reliable management options for decision-makers particularly in developing countries. Baban's research interests focus on developing and employing Geoinformatics (Environmental Remote sensing and GIS) based approaches, mainly to find sustainable solutions, for managing challenges in the areas of geo-sciences and environmental science and ecology (hydrology and hydrogeology; resource management and sustainability including biodiversity and conservation; geo-hazards with a focus on landslides and floods; soil science; coastal zone management and climate change) and development issues including ‘information poverty’, decision making as well as research training and education.

In terms of conceptual research, his record shows interests in managing natural resources, environmental and development issues such as; developing lake management strategies, minimising water related natural hazards, sedimentation, and sediment source tracing in reservoirs and lakes. He has also developed strategies for managing tropical forests using environmental remote sensing and GIS (Malaysia and the Caribbean Region); as well as developing a holistic approach and a research agenda to manage desertification in the Middle East; managing the environment and studying geo-hazards in the Caribbean region. The potential use of remotely sensed tracers within a GIS framework in understanding hydrological processes in catchments. Baban explored the possibilities of using representative ground truth data and retrospective ground truth data with remotely sensed information to extract and, to supplement information for natural resources, environmental and development related investigations. As cloud cover is a serious problem in the Caribbean region, He has developed and tested methodologies for removing cloud cover from Satellite Imageries by using field based and secondary data sets. Owing to information poverty in the Caribbean, he became involved in developing scenarios for modeling some of the possible impacts of climate change on food systems and the environment in the region. In Australia, Baban worked on coastal erosion issues; managing climate change consequences in the wetlands of New South Wales; developing coral reef habitat based indicators for climate change in Australia’ and developing a geoinformatics based carrying capacity concept for floods, at the hydrological catchment level, to minimize risk and realize sustainable development in Trinidad.

In terms of Kurdistan and the wider region he is committed to:

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Books[edit]

  • Baban S.M.J. and AL-Ansari N. (Editors) (2001). Living With Water Scarcity, Water Resources in the Jordan Badia Region, The Way Forward. AL al-Bayt University Publications, Jordan. 211pp.
  • Baban S.M.J. (Editor) (2008). Enduring Geohazards In The Caribbean, Moving From The Reactive To The Proactive. University of the West Indies Press. Jamaica, West Indies. 256p. ISBN 978-976-640-204-4.

Winner of the University of the West Indies Press for the ‘Best proposal in Environmental Studies, 2006’. This award carried a cash prize and a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

  • Baban S.M.J. (Editor) (2009). Research, the Journey from Pondering to Publishing. University of the West Indies Press. Jamaica, West Indies. 264P. ISBN 978-976-8125-90-3.
  • Heshmati A., Dilani A., and Baban S.M.J., (Editors). (2012). Perspectives on Kurdistan’s Economy and Society in Transition, Vol.1. Nova Science Publishers, USA. 363P. (ISBN 978-1-62257-934-1).
  • Heshmati A., Dilani A., and Baban S.M.J. (Editors). (2013). Perspectives on Kurdistan’s Economy and Society in Transition, Vol. 2 Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (ISBN (10): 1-4438-4836-0, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-4836-7).
  • Baban .M.J. (2013). A Compilation of International Resources Published by Professor Serwan M J Baban; Refereed Journal & Conference: Volume One: The Period 1980-2000. Kurdistan Regional Government Printers. Erbil, Kurdistan Regional Government, August 2013. Catalogue Record in the General Directorate of Public Libraries, Ministry of Culture and Youth, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq: 2439-2013.
  • Baban S.M.J. (2013). A Compilation of International Resources Published by Professor Serwan M J Baban; Refereed Journal & Conference: Volume Two: The Period 2001-2003. Kurdistan Regional Government Printers. Erbil, Kurdistan Regional Government, August 2013. Catalogue Record in the General Directorate of Public Libraries, Ministry of Culture and Youth, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq: 2440-2013.
  • Baban S.M.J. (2013). A Compilation of International Resources Published by Professor Serwan M J Baban; Refereed Journal & Conference: Volume Three: The Period 2004-2005. Kurdistan Regional Government Printers. Erbil, Kurdistan Regional Government, August 2013. Catalogue Record in the General Directorate of Public Libraries, Ministry of Culture and Youth, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq: 2441- 2013
  • Baban S.M.J. (2013). A Compilation of International Resources Published by Professor Serwan M J Baban; Refereed Journal & Conference: Volume Four: The Period 2006-2007. Kurdistan Regional Government Printers. Erbil, Kurdistan Regional Government, August 2013. Catalogue Record in the General Directorate of Public Libraries, Ministry of Culture and Youth, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq: 2441-2013
  • Baban S.M.J. (2013). A Compilation of International Resources Published by Professor Serwan M J Baban; Refereed Journal & Conference: Volume Five: The Period 2008-2013. Kurdistan Regional Government Printers. Erbil, Kurdistan Regional Government, August 2013. Catalogue Record in the General Directorate of Public Libraries, Ministry of Culture and Youth, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq: 2443-2013.
  • Baban S.M.J. (2013). A Compilation of International Resources Published by Professor Serwan M J Baban; Refereed Journal & Conference: Volume Six: The Period: 1993-2008. Kurdistan Regional Government Printers. Erbil, Kurdistan Regional Government, August 2013. Catalogue Record in the General Directorate of Public Libraries, Ministry of Culture and Youth, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq: 2444 – 2013.
  • Baban S.M.J. (2013). A Compilation of International Resources Published by Professor Serwan M J Baban; Refereed Journal & Conference: Volume Seven: The Period: 2009-2013. Kurdistan Regional Government Printers. Erbil, Kurdistan Regional Government, August 2013. Catalogue Record in the General Directorate of Public Libraries, Ministry of Culture and Youth, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq: 2445 – 2013.

References[edit]