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# Applications open: two new Climate Change Masters

Photo by Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash

Applications are now open for two new 11 month Masters Programmes in the Department of Geography: Anthropocene Studies and Holocene Climates, with our first intake in October 2020.

These Programmes will provide deep insights into the various processes of global change, both climates of the past (the Holocene MPhil) and the processes of human and planetary change and transformation taking place in the present and future (the Anthropocene MPhil). An inter-disciplinary concepts and methods course is common to both Programmes. The Anthropocene Studies course is led by prominent public intellectual on climate change Prof Mike Hulme and Holocene Climates is led by Prof Ulf Buntgen, Professor of Environmental Systems Analysis.

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# ERC Arctic Cultures Workshop, 9-10 January 2020

The ERC Arctic Cultures grant led by Richard Powell is holding its first Project Workshop – 'Knowledge Formations and Colonial Encounters in the Arctic', 9-10 January 2020 at the Scott Polar Research Institute.

The workshop is part of a series of research events bringing team members, leading international experts and interested scholars into dialogue around the themes of the project. The focus for this workshop specifically is to examine the co-production of Arctic knowledge formations through encounters between indigenous inhabitants and non-indigenous actors. Presentations will draw upon empirical research and theorisation to investigate spatial formations of the Arctic and the role of Northern actors and institutions.

All are welcome and attendance is free, but prior registration is required please. The full programme, abstracts and registration details are available on the project website.

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# Living with a predator: why understanding local attitudes is vital for successful snow leopard conservation

Daniel Muenger

Local people in the Nepal Himalayas value snow leopards as much for the potential personal benefits they gain from the animals' conservation as they do for the intrinsic value of this charismatic species, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

A team of researchers, including Jonathan Hanson, PhD student in the Department of Geography, who led the study, found that local attitudes towards the snow leopard were strongly linked to local views on the conservation methods used to protect them.

The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is considered a 'vulnerable species', with an estimated 4,000 left in the wild, and Protected Areas have been created to safeguard its habitat. However, the animals range over much larger areas, and successful co-existence with humans is key to their survival. The potential for Protected Areas to restrict, as well as benefit, local livelihoods makes it imperative to consider how snow leopard conservation measures are perceived by inhabitants and neighbours of these areas.

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# SPRI Director, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, awarded RSGS WS Bruce Medal

Dr Bryan Lintott

Congratulations to our Director, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, who has been awarded the Royal Scottish Geographical Society 2019 WS Bruce Medal, for his contribution to glaciology & polar science.

We were pleased to welcome RSGS Chief Executive Mike Robinson, as he visited the Scott Polar Research Institute to present Professor Dowdeswell with the award.

# ESRC Interdisciplinary PhD studentship - Entrepreneurial infrastructure in the off-grid city, Ghana and South Africa

The University of Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership [DTP] is pleased to offer an interdisciplinary studentship available for admission in October 2020. The studentship will be a one-year masters (MPhil Geographical Research) followed by three-year doctoral programme, and will be co-supervised by Dr Charlotte Lemanski (Department of Geography) and Prof Jaideep Prabhu (Judge Business School).

The studentship will explore entrepreneurial practices and state regulation of off-grid water and energy infrastructure (e.g. water sachets/bottles, storage tanks, boreholes, solar panels, diesel generators) in the cities of Johannesburg (South Africa) and Accra (Ghana). Primary fieldwork in these cities will involve ethnographic observation and qualitative semi-structured interviews with off-grid water and energy entrepreneurs, and state officials. While in the field the student will be supported by colleagues at the University of Ghana and University of Witwatersrand.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 7th January 2020 (references must be received by then). Applicants should apply for the MPhil Geographical Research, indicating their interest in this project. Please enter the Studentship title under the research section of the application and indicate that you wish to receive funding under the Reasons to Apply section. In the Proposal section, please explain your interest in this particular project, why you feel you are a suitable applicant, and any ideas that you have for how you would wish to develop the project.

Please direct questions to Dr Charlotte Lemanski.

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# Fitzwilliam College Foundation Lecture 2019

In this year's lecture Professor Bhaskar Vira, Professor of Political Economy, Head of the Department of Geography, Fitzwilliam College Fellow, and Founding Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute, offers his perspective on working towards a political economy of environment and development – from the mountain peaks of the Himalayas to the flat Fens of East Anglia.

The Fitzwilliam Foundation Lecture was first given 50 years ago in 1969 to mark the centenary of the College, and has since become the College's major annual public lecture. The lecturers have often been distinguished alumni, Fellows or former Fellows of the College.

The lecture will be held on 14th November 2019, at 6pm.

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# Former PhD student's prize-winning book 'Unjust Conditions'

Tara Cookson (PhD in Geography 2012-2015) has just won the National Women's Studies Association's Sara A. Whaley Book Prize for her book 'Unjust Conditions: Women's Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs' (University of California Press, 2018). The book develops out of her doctoral work on low income rural women's unrecognised time and labour in accessing small cash transfers on behalf of their children.

The prize is awarded for groundbreaking scholarship in women's studies that makes significant feminist contributions to the topic of women and labor. The prize notes: "Through rigorous ethnographic work, Cookson documents women's care work and the high price they pay for receiving aid from the state and international programs. In doing so, Cookson challenges powerful institutions as well as her readers to think beyond quantitative measures to truly create a just and caring society."

Earlier in the year, Tara Cookson's Unjust Conditions won the Assoociation of American Geographers 2018 AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography. That award is given for a book written or co-authored by a geographer that conveys most powerfully the nature and importance of geography to the non-academic world.

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# Master classes for year 12 students

Dr Harriet Allen and Dr Catherine Sumnall will be taking part in the university-led master classes. The master classes are aimed at students in year 12 to give them an idea of what undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is like. Dr Allen will talk about 'Why does Biodiversity Matter? and Dr Sumnall about 'Plague, population and public health'. The lectures will take place on the 26th October sign up to attend the master class.

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# AHRC DTP PhD studentship - Gender and histories of Arctic field science, 1900-1950

Applications are invited for an Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), University of Cambridge, in partnership with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (OUMNH).

The fully-funded studentship will be based in the Department of Geography and the Scott Polar Research Institute. The successful applicant will work on a collaborative project co-led by Dr Richard Powell, Department of Geography (and Scott Polar Research Institute) and co-supervisor, Professor Paul Smith, Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

This project provides the opportunity to explore the histories of a range of women in the twentieth-century Arctic, including female scientists, travellers and collectors and their encounters with indigenous people. The project draw upon extensive archival records about the geologist Phyllis Wager and the writer Isobel Wylie Hutchison. The student will also be encouraged to develop a comparative focus to include other key actors involved in gendering the Arctic field sciences.

Further details of the project and its aims can be found on the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP website.

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# Cambridge Legal Geographies Symposium on Friday 20th September

Legal geographies symposium: Friday 20th Sept, 12-2pm,
Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography.

Dr Alex Jeffrey and Dr Francesca Moore are pleased to convene a symposium of new and emerging research in Cambridge Legal Geographies. If you are working on the law or would like to hear about new developments in the field from historical geographies of colonial rule to war crime and feminist geography please do join us for presentations and discussion.

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