Environmental cost of fieldwork

Students and teachers alike are concerned for the environment, but the environmental cost of fieldwork is a seldom discussed and uncomfortable irony. Following a rare discussion on the subject with colleagues during a research field trip I decided to investigate to see if we can make more informed choices when planning and …

Learning Ecologies and Curricular Design

A workshop run by Norman Jackson about self-regulated learning and how this relates to a life-wide and ecological approach to learning. Key references Eraut and Hirsh (2007) The Significance of Workplace Learning for Individuals, Groups and Organisations McWilliam (2005) Unlearning Pedagogy Redecker (2014) The Future of Learning is Lifelong, Lifewide and Open …

Bacterial and fungal representation and interactions in a former degraded upland peatland vegetation mosaic undergoing restoration

Peatlands are under threat from land management, anthropogenic pollution and climate change. These factors are implicated in severe degradation of ombrotrophic peatlands in the Southern Pennines of northern England. Significant areas of unconsolidated bare peat are both highly vulnerable to peat erosion and resistant to natural re-vegetation. Restoration efforts during …

What shall we do today?

As a biologist, I regard teaching and learning as innate natural abilities, so I question the value of pedagogical tinkering. Should I engage deeply with the latest teaching and learning research, or should I reject it and rely on instincts, which have been through millions of years of evolutionary testing? Forget the rules, and learn from …

Off road driving

Royal Geographical Society Expedition Course delivered by Land Rover Experience at Eastnor over two days. Topics covered included: Off-road driving techniques using Land Rover products Introduction to four wheel drive vehicles Land Rover technology Vehicle and equipment preparation Risk assessment Care for the environment Handling obstacles Introductory off-road driving techniques including steep ascents, steep …

Bacterial and fungal communities in a degraded ombrotrophic peatland undergoing natural and managed re-vegetation

The UK hosts 15-19% of global upland ombrotrophic (rain fed) peatlands that are estimated to store 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon and represent a critical upland habitat with regard to biodiversity and ecosystem services provision. Net production is dependent on an imbalance between growth of peat-forming Sphagnum mosses and microbial …

Educational value of fieldwork

Some of my school peers selected Geography A-level at least in part because of the fieldwork opportunities, and they selected university courses on the same criteria, seeking courses with the best holiday opportunities. What can be done to ensure that fieldwork is highly educational for all participants, including those lacking motivation to learn? I …

Enough is enough

I recently gave three research presentations on a broadly similar topic, and to different audiences. As I reflected on each presentation I identified two main concerns that are intrinsically linked: How much to present Keeping to time I wanted to use my experience and the literature to improve these aspects of …