Geography at Cambridge - news 2014-10-20T14:00:48+01:00 Festival of Ideas 2014 2014-10-16T00:00:00+01:00 The Cambridge Festival of Ideas 2014 is taking place between Monday 20th October and Sunday 2th November. Members of the Department of Geography will be taking part in a number of talks. Anthropocene: is this the new epoch of humans? 2014-10-16T00:00:00+01:00 Ian Sample, the Guardian science editor discusses the possible definition of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, as geologists, climate scientists, ecologists – and a lawyer – gather in Berlin for talks on whether to rename age of human life. While acknowledging humanity's terrifying impact on the Earth's natural systems, Professor Phil Gibbard of the Department of Geography questions the necessity of this definition. Scott Polar Research Institute awarded £500,000 by Heritage Lottery Fund 2014-10-08T00:00:00+01:00 The Scott Polar Research Institute, part of the Department of Geography, has been awarded £500,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Collecting Cultures funding programme. This money has been awarded for By Endurance We Conquer: the Shackleton Project, which will unite the Scott Polar Research Institute's Archive, Museum, Library and Picture Library in a targeted purchasing strategy designed to develop its collection of material relating to Sir Ernest Shackleton. Salt marsh plants key to reducing coastal erosion and flooding 2014-10-07T00:00:00+01:00 The effectiveness of salt marshes – wetlands which are flooded and drained by tides – in protecting coastal areas in times of severe weather has been quantified in a study led by researchers from the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. In the largest laboratory experiment ever constructed to investigate this phenomenon, the researchers have shown that over a distance of 40 metres, the salt marsh reduced the height of large waves in deep water by 18%, making them an effective tool for reducing the risk of coastal erosion and flooding. Sixty percent of this reduction is due to the presence of marsh plants alone. The results are published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Cambridge Conservation Seminars 2014-2015 2014-10-06T00:00:00+01:00 The first Cambridge Conservation Seminar for 2014-2015 will be given by Dr James Pearce-Higgins, Director of Science, British Trust for Ornithology, entitled 'From individuals to populations to communities: Climate change impacts on birds'. This seminar will be on Wednesday 15th October, 5pm, in the Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site. All Welcome. Geography undergraduate dissertation wins national prize 2014-09-30T00:00:00+01:00 A dissertation by a Geography undergraduate has won a Royal Geographical Society (RGS) prize. Jen Durrant, a Sidney Sussex geographer who graduated in 2014, won the award from the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group of the RGS for her dissertation examining the geographies of a homeless hostel. Congratulations to Jen. New study finds Greenland Ice Sheet more vulnerable to climate change 2014-09-29T00:00:00+01:00 Research by Dr. Marion Bougamont and Dr. Poul Christoffersen at the Scott Polar Research Institute shows that the massive ice sheet covering most of Greenland is more vulnerable to climate change than earlier estimates have suggested. In addition to assessing the impact of increased levels of surface melting on ice flow, the new research also takes into account the role that soft, spongy ground beneath the ice sheet plays in its changing dynamics. The study concludes that there is a limit on how much water can be stored in the soft ground beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet, and this makes it sensitive to climate change as well as to increased frequency of short-lived, but extreme, meteorological events including rainfall and heat waves. The findings are published 29 September in the journal Nature Communications. Valuing what nature does for us 2014-09-08T00:00:00+01:00 Staff from the Department of Geography have been involved in a large collaborative effort to produce the first widely accessible, interactive Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) that was launched online on 8th September to coincide with the 7th Annual Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference in Costa Rica. Prof. Nick Blomley Seminar 4pm Friday 12th September 2014-09-01T00:00:00+01:00 On Friday 12th September 4pm Professor Nick Blomley (Simon Fraser University) will present a Geography Seminar entitled 'The Space of Property' in the Department's Small Lecture Theatre. Professor Blomley has pioneered work examining the relationship between law and space, drawing on a wide array of empirical examples. This seminar is open to all. New book on criminal corpses 2014-08-21T00:00:00+01:00 A new book by Shane McCorristine has been published: William Corder and the Red Barn Murder: Journeys of the Criminal Body (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). This book, written as part of a Wellcome Trust project at the University of Leicester, looks at the notorious killing of Maria Martin at the Red Barn in Polstead, Suffolk, by William Corder in 1827. Corder's arrest and trial in 1828 were sensational events and his subsequent hanging made him into a celebrity criminal, endlessly brought back to life by preachers, ballad singers, anatomists and theatre managers. Corder's corpse was anatomised, skinned, and galvanised, and some of his body parts are still available to be viewed by the public in the Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds, serving as an example of how criminal bodies have historically been commoditised in order to 'curate' crime.