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Department of Geography




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# Pani, Pahar: Waters of the Himalayas

Toby Smith

A photo essay on the Pani, Pahar research project, "Sacred, life affirming and fast disappearing: waters of the Himalayas" is now available from the Guardian.

The project explores the escalating water crisis in the Himalayas. It is a collaborative project from Professor Bhaskar Vira and Dr Eszter Kovacs (Geography Department), photojournalist Toby Smith, the University Library, and the Centre for South Asian Studies.

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# Geography undergraduates at Caius publish academic paper

Jay Shah (left), Esha Marwaha (second from left), Stephen Parkinson (right)

Third year Geography students at Cauis have gained an early taste of academic publication, co-authoring a paper in a prestigious journal alongside an international team of scientists co-led by their former Director of Studies, Dr David Rose (now at UEA), with Juliette Young (CEH) and Nibedita Mukherjee (Exeter).

The three undergraduates, Esha Marwaha (Geography), Stephen Parkinson (Geography) and Jay Shah (Management, formerly Geography), provided a key contribution to the paper. The research, "A methodological guide to using and reporting on interviews in conservation science", is published this week in Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

Caius and the Department of Geography are very proud of the students, Dr Rose added. "It's very unusual for undergraduates to gain publication in a high impact factor academic journal. The students are looking forward to citing themselves in their dissertations when talking about how to conduct interviews (and to all their peers citing them too!)."

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# Public Lecture: Racial Banishment: old and new forms of urban transformation in the United States

Professor Ananya Roy will detail key elements of racial banishment and indicate how urban transformation is articulated with necropolitics, including mass incarceration. Thinking from Los Angeles, she will argue that what is at stake is not only a more robust analysis of urban transformations but also attention to the various forms of urban politics that are challenging racial capitalism.

Professor Ananya Roy is visiting the Department as part of our Distinguished International Visitors Programme this January. Professor Roy is Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy and Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare and Geography at UCLA Luskin.

The lecture will be held on Thursday 18th January 2018, 5pm, in the Large Lecture Theatre, Main Geography Building, Downing Site.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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# Book release: North Sea Surge, 2nd Edition: social accounts of the 1953 floods remain relevant over 60 years later

In 1953, England suffered its deadliest natural disaster in over 350 years. The cause - a North Sea Surge that swept its way down the east coast battering communities from Northumberland to Norfolk and beyond to the Thames Estuary. Over 300 people were killed in England alone, both during the storm and in the chaotic aftermath that followed.

As one of the few sociological accounts of the impacts on flood victims, North Sea Surge has often been cited by research scientists, in government reports and the press. Now in a second edition, James Pollard updates the unforgettable story of the East Coast Floods, in North Sea Surge: The story of the East Coast Floods of 1953, 2nd Edition.

Through this update, Pollard reiterates the key themes for flood risk management and resilience to future flooding that have been the mainstay of reviews, reports and research since: the responsiveness of local and national government; the efficacy of flood warnings and national forecasting services; the tensions between private and public accountability; and the deep reserves of national good-heartedness that feature large in times of crisis. In doing so, questions pertinent to the flood risk managers of today are posed:

  • Have we genuinely learnt lessons?
  • Are we really better prepared or does serendipity still dictate the extent of harm from coastal flooding?
  • Are we thinking about personal impacts when we design national strategies for 'flood risk management' and 'flood resilience', or have we simply invented a new lexicon to avoid the challenges of making things better for communities prone to coastal flooding, including those far from the city?

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# Cambridge University selects coastal Geography case study to showcase Public Engagement with Research

Iris Möller

"The potential effects of climate change and of human modifications of the landscape on flood risk are critically important if human society is to continue to thrive in flood-prone areas" says Dr Möller of the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit and the Biogeography and Biogeomorphology Research Group at the Department of Geography.

"To encourage greater awareness of this important issue, we successfully applied to the University's Public Engagement with Research Awards scheme in 2016 to construct our augmented reality dynamic landscape sand box". The sand box has multiple uses. It is as useful as a tool to engage research stakeholders and policy makers in discussion around complex flood protection and climate adaptation issues as it is for engaging the general public during events such as the University's Science Festival, where it will next make an appearance on the 17th of March 2018.

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# Dissertation diaspora

See where some of our students went on fieldwork in the summer for their dissertations, in this year's 'Dissertation diaspora'.

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# Postgraduate Engagement Fellowship - apply now

Postgraduate students have until 15th January 2018 to apply to be an Engagement Fellow at the Polar Museum at SPRI. This is a paid opportunity thanks to the generous support of the British Society for the History of Science. Applicants do not need specialist polar or climate knowledge - we are looking for somebody who is enthusiastic about communicating historical ideas about our changing climate. Full training and support will be given.

Further details are available on the British Society for the History of Science website.

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# Natura Urbana wins at the Yosemite Film Festival

Natura Urbana - The Brachen of Berlin picked up the Best Documentary Feature prize at the Yosemite Film Festival 2017. The ERC funded documentary film by Professor Matthew Gandy and Dr Sandra Jasper tells the post-war history of Berlin through its plants. Many congratulations to the Rethinking Urban Nature team.

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# Annual Report for 2016-17

The Department's Annual Report for 2016-17, containing an overview of departmental activities across research, teaching, and technical and information services, is now available online.

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# Invited expert review for the IPCC


Professor Tom Spencer has been invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to act as an Expert Reviewer of pre-release, internal draft material on 'extremes, abrupt changes and managing risks' as part of the IPCC's Special Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).

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