Geography at Cambridge - news 2017-03-23T20:11:34+00:00 How does livelihood affect people's perception of deforestation? 2017-03-23T00:00:00+00:00 A new paper by Cambridge researchers Dr Mike Bithell, Prof Keith Richards and Dr Gareth Rees with Dr Ronald Twongyirwe (Mbarara University of Science) explores the connections between people's class and social group and their perceptions of deforestation, looking specifically at forested and non-forested landscapes in Western Uganda. Occupy and the dilemmas of social movements 2017-03-21T00:00:00+00:00 Department Leverhulme fellow Sam Halvorsen explores the challenging spatial aspects of social movements in a new blog and article. The texts highlight the dilemmas and contradictions that can arise for movement leaders when mobilising particular spatial strategies and the importance of geography in understanding social movements. Muddy Fun at the Science Festival 2017! 2017-03-20T00:00:00+00:00 On Saturday 18 March, the Department was 'awash' with hands on activities exploring coastlines, flooding and mud as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. Visitors viewed pollen and coastal creepy crawlies under the microscope, got hands on with our shifting sands light box, survived a flood in our emergency scenario game and watched our flume simulator destroy the poor sea defenses of a village of lego people. Thanks to everyone who came along! Changing Court Spaces: Policy, Architecture and Experience 2017-03-17T00:00:00+00:00 On 15th October 2015 Natalie Ceeney, CEO of HM Courts & Tribunals Service, stated that the 'physical paradigm' of courts in the UK had to change. As a £700m programme of regeneration is now underway, a research project headed by Department Reader Dr Alex Jeffrey sought to understand how best this change can be enacted by working with the range of different individuals who experience the court environment. Measures of poverty and well-being still ignore the environment 2017-03-16T00:00:00+00:00 Without nature, humans could be neither healthy nor happy. And yet the natural world can be completely ransacked without causing even a tiny blip on our usual measures of economic progress or poverty. In a new article on The Conversation, Department reader Dr Bhaskar Vira and Research Associate Dr Judith Schleicher argue that measures of societal progress need to expand to explicitly include what nature does for human well-being and prosperity, especially for those in poverty. The Great Austerity Debate: New Documentary 2017-03-15T00:00:00+00:00 A new documentary on 'The Great Austerity Debate' forum theatre project run by Dr Mia Gray and Professor Susan Smith in collaboration with Menagerie Theatre Company is now online on the University's Youtube Channel. The project, which toured for the first time in Autumn 2016, explored Smith and Gray's work on the impacts of austerity through the genre of forum theatre: in which audience members intervene in the action on stage to explore the different effects of austerity policy. Volcanology and the ERC 2017-03-14T00:00:00+00:00 As part of the 10 year anniversary of the ERC, Professor of Volcanology Clive Oppenheimer discusses his work in volcanic activity in a new film. New film on coastal research 2017-03-13T00:00:00+00:00 In a new film on the University's Youtube Channel, University Lecturer Dr Iris Möller explains how an understanding of natural processes and landforms can help us develop win-win solutions for reducing flood risk. How does geography affect participatory governance? 2017-03-10T00:00:00+00:00 In a new article published in the International Development and Planning Review University Lecturer Charlotte Lemanski explores the phenomenon of participatory governance and urban structures within Cape Town. Participatory governance has become a mainstream feature of city management. However, it is often criticised for problems with implementation and fundamental imbalances of power. Lemanski explores the role played by the urban spatial and temporal structural context in shaping citizenship experiences of participatory processes. Based on fieldwork in a electoral ward of Cape Town, the paper demonstrates how the spatial and temporal landscape of the city is not a neutral technical backdrop for participatory processes, but is active in creating and perpetuating inequalities that are institutionalised through processes of participatory governance. Protest Camps in International Perspective 2017-03-08T00:00:00+00:00 A newly-published book on protest camps with Policy Press features a chapter by Leverhulme Research Fellow Sam Halvorsen. Responding to the appearance of protest camps in hundreds of cities worldwide in 2011, the book engages with a broad range of geographical and historical examples of protest camps. Dr Halvorsen's publication explores dilemmas over the end of the protest camp in Occupy London (2011-2012), part of his previous research project on the territoriality of the Occupy movement. Halvorsen, S., 2017. 'Losing Space in Occupy London: Territorial Forms and the Fetishisation of the Protest Camp', in Brown, G., Feigenbaum, A., Frenzel, F. and McCurdy, P. (eds) 2017. Protest Camps in International Perspective: Spaces, infrastructures and medias of resistance. Bristol: Policy Press, 161-176 Decision Support Tools in Agriculture 2017-03-08T00:00:00+00:00 The work of Department Research Associate David Christian Rose on the use of decision support tools in agriculture has been featured in the March editions of Arable Farming and Farmers' Guardian. The features draw on a recent article by Rose and other partners from SIP exploring how developers of decision support tools can design and deliver tools effectively so that farmers and their advisers want to use them. This forms part of the group's broader project encouraging designers of decision support tools to adopt practices focused on user groups and exploring the broader impact of adopting such tools within agricultural communities. Geography at the Science Festival 2017-03-06T00:00:00+00:00 Geography will be holding a number of hands-on events and talks as part of the Cambridge Science Festival (13-26 March 2017). Talks listing. Cambridge Coastal Research at the European Geosciences Union 2017-03-03T00:00:00+00:00 The Cambridge Coastal Research Unit will have a strong presence at the European Geosciences Union Annual Assembly in Vienna, 23-28 April 2017. This is one of the largest gatherings of geoscientists worldwide; in 2016, the meeting was attended by over 10,000 delegates from over 100 countries. Rethinking Urban Nature: website is live! 2017-03-02T00:00:00+00:00 The project website for Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography Matthew Gandy's ERC-funded project Rethinking Urban Nature is now live. The research challenges existing understandings of urban nature with fieldwork in London, Berlin, Tallinn, and Chennai. Geography starts new social media groups for alumni 2017-03-02T00:00:00+00:00 The Department is pleased to announce the creation of new Linked In group and Facebook page specifically for Cambridge Geography alumni. We'll be using the groups to keep you updated on Department news and alumni activities, and to help you reconnect with old friends and those now working in similar fields. Come and join us! How can salt marsh vegetation dissipate waves during storm surges? 2017-03-01T00:00:00+00:00 Research by a team including Department Lecturer Iris Möller and Professor of Coastal Dynamics Tom Spencer has explored the impact of different kinds of vegetation in salt marshes on wave energy during storm surges. Using one of the world's largest wave flumes, they were able to study vegetation-wave interactions between two typical NW European salt marsh grasses: Puccinellia and Elymus and waves ranging from 0.1–0.9 m up close for the first time. The results showed the importance of plant flexibility and height in dissipating waves which could help better understand the potential resilience of salt marshes to storm surges. Rupprecht, F., Möller, I., Paul, M., Kudella, M., Spencer, T., van Wesenbeeck, B.K., Wolters, G., Jensen, K., Bouma, T.J., Miranda-Lange, M. and Schimmels, S., 2017. Vegetation-wave interactions in salt marshes under storm surge conditions. Ecological Engineering, v. 100, p.301-315. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.12.030 The global gag rule and maternal health 2017-02-28T00:00:00+00:00 In a recent blog post, article and video, Department lecturer Alice Evans explores the ramifications of the Global Gag Rule, recently reinstated by the USA, for maternal health around the world, and the actions that other governments and international organisations can take to offset this. Mapping ice sheet dynamics 2017-02-27T00:00:00+00:00 A team of researchers including Aleksandr Montelli and Prof Julian Dowdeswell of the Scott Polar Research Institute have created a three-dimensional reconstruction of the changing nature of ice-sheet derived sedimentary architecture throughout the Quaternary Ice Age. The team have discovered the presence of a calving margin on the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet since the earliest Quaternary. They have also found a number of diagnostic buried subglacial landforms which indicate complex ice-sheet evolution. This palaeo-environmental examination will provide a useful framework for ice-sheet modelling in the future. Montelli, A., Dowdeswell, J.A., Ottesen, D. and Johansen, S.E., 2017. Ice-sheet dynamics through the Quaternary on the mid-Norwegian continental margin inferred from 3D seismic data. Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 80, p.228-242. doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.12.002. How the UK and India can lead the development of ecologically smart cities 2017-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Department reader Bhaskar Vira and postdoctoral researcher Eszter Kovacs write in The Conversation on ways in which the UK and India can collaborate to ensure that ecological concerns are at the forefront of new projects to develop Indian urban areas. This article was first published in November 2016 and is reproduced to mark the start of the University's Celebrating India season. Cambridge part of project exploring the mitigation hierarchy in biodiversity and conservation 2017-02-22T00:00:00+00:00 Reader in the Political Economy of Environment and Development Bhaskar Vira has been involved in a project exploring the dynamics that lie behind managing the impact of new developments in industry and construction. Avoiding impacts is seen by many as the most certain and effective way of managing harm to biodiversity. However, despite an abundance of legislative and voluntary requirements, there is often a failure to avoid impacts. This project explores the reasons for this failure and outlines some possible solutions. It highlights the key roles that can be played by conservation organizations in cultivating political will, holding decision makers accountable to the law, improving the processes of impact assessment and avoidance, building capacity, and providing technical knowledge. These findings can help to limit the impacts on biodiversity of large-scale developments in energy, infrastructure, agriculture and other sectors. Publication: Phalan, B., Hayes, G., Brooks, S., Marsh, D., Howard, P., Costelloe, B., Vira, B., Kowalska, A. and Whitaker, S., 2017. Avoiding impacts on biodiversity through strengthening the first stage of the mitigation hierarchy. ORYX, p.1-9. doi:10.1017/S0030605316001034. Imagining infrastructures workshop 2017-02-20T00:00:00+00:00 A workshop, Imagining infrastructures: space, subject, and affect, will be held in the Department on 8th March 2017, from 2-6pm. The idea of infrastructure has expanded in recent years to encompass not just technological networks but modes of living, interstitial spaces, and emerging bio-cultural landscapes. Infrastructure now extends to different scales of analysis from the multi-sensory domain of the individual human subject to more complex or diffuse types of attachments, atmospheres, and subjectivities. Speakers include Vanesa Castán Broto, Jiat-Hwee Chang, Somaiyeh Falahat, Matthew Gandy, Sandra Jasper, Maros Krivy, Kumiko Kuichi, Jochen Monstadt, Mathilda Rosengren, Manuel Tironi, Jane Wolff. Dinner will follow the event. Please RSVP to . Film screening of Geography Graduate's film 'Facing the Mountains' 2017-02-17T00:00:00+00:00 On Friday 24 Feb, the Department of Geography will be hosting a screening of 'Facing the Mountains', a film co-directed by Geography graduate Ross Harrison: Facing the Mountains (20:36) (Director/Camera/Editor: Ross Harrison; Director/Producer: Vaibhav Kaul; Score: Juliet Aaltonen) Coping with extremes is part of life for people across the Himalayas. But in June 2013, at Kedarnath, a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in northern India, conditions fatefully aligned to produce an unprecedented disaster. Thousands of pilgrims and locals were faced with a once-in-a-generation catastrophe and thousands of lives were lost. Through the words of survivors, local elders and new visitors, we are shown a portrait of a place where the events of 2013 have become part of a larger story; one of resilience, of faith, and of eternal change. Screening at 4.15pm, Small Lecture Theatre. The screening will be followed by an informal discussion with the film makers. Geography PhD Student featured in 'Cambridge's postgraduate pioneers' 2017-02-16T00:00:00+00:00 PhD student Jonny Hanson's work on snow leopard conservation has been featured in University's 'Postgraduate Pioneers' Series. Jonny came to Cambridge from Northern Ireland and his research explores the relationship between people, snow leopards and snow leopard conservation in two protected areas in Nepal: the Annapurna Conservation Area and the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. Jonny is identifying the human factors which are both critical for and detrimental to snow leopard conservation, including assessing household conflict with snow leopards and conservation efforts. In particular, Jonny's study examines how attitudes vary under the contrasting management regimes at his two field sites, as well as varying degrees of livelihood dependence on livestock. Jonny's work in Nepal has included surveying 705 households and conducting seventy qualitative interviews with local people who share the mountains with snow leopards Mapping malaria on a local scale 2017-02-15T00:00:00+00:00 A team including Emeritus Professor of Human Geography Bob Haining are working towards the development of a new spatial support system for infectious diseases within Karnataka State in India. Their latest work has focused on the incidence of malaria in the region, using data mapping and cluster detection to identify local conditions associated with high numbers cases. This project will contribute to the development of a practical spatial decision support system for combatting the disease in the area.