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Department of Geography




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# Department of Geography buildings closure

In light of recent government announcements, and of recent developments including a growing number of staff members now working from home, the University of Cambridge has now moved into its "red" phase in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. There are more details about this on the University's Coronavirus (Covid-19) pages.

As a result, the Department of Geography Main Building, and the Department offices in the William Hardy Building, will be closed; as will the Department's facilities, including the Geography Department Library, the Geography Science Laboratories and Field Equipment Service. Information for staff and students about this closure, procedures for remote working, and Departmental updates about the Coronavirus situation are available on the Geography Intranet.

# Coronavirus: latest information for students and staff

The Geography Intranet has a new section giving updates on the Coronavirus situation, together with links to key resources.

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# Getting a (proper) grip on UK flooding

Professor Tom Spencer takes the government to task on its approach to river flooding, in an article in The Guardian, 'Getting a proper grip on flooding problems'.

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# Upcoming Events in London: The Urban Salon and the British Academy events both chaired by Prof. Matthew Gandy

On Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 February, Matthew Gandy will chair two events in London on urban green space, urban biodiversity, and ecological design in the city.

The Urban Salon event on the evening of the 18th of February is free and open for all, no need to RSVP.

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# New book: The Edge of Law by Alex Jeffrey

A new book by Alex Jeffrey examines the social and political consequences of conducting war crimes trials in the wake of violent conflict. Focusing on the establishment of a war crimes court in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Edge of Law explores the challenge of creating a new legal institution in a divided and traumatised society.

To examine this task, Dr Jeffrey understood the operation of law as a social process, in doing exploring the ways in which trials are communicated; the civil society groups and NGOs helping facilitate legal proceedings, and even the architecture and organisation of the court itself. In mapping the consequences of the court's establishment, the book argues that war crimes trials need to be understood as part of a wider array of legal and political instruments established to confront atrocities of the past.

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# Best Article Award of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Congratulations to Joanna Kusiak on being awarded the 2019 Best Article Award of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research for 'Legal Technologies of Primitive Accumulation: Judicial Robbery and Dispossession-by-Restitution in Warsaw'. The prize is awarded for 'the article that makes the most original and outstanding contribution to the journal.

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# Quaternary Glaciations - top of the pops!

The Geological Society

Quaternary Glaciations - Extent and Chronology - A Closer Look. Developments in Quaternary Science 15. 1108 pp. published by Elsevier: Amsterdam in 2011, ISBN: 978-0-444-53447-7, edited by Emeritus Professor Philip Gibbard with J. Ehlers and Philip Hughes was the most downloaded e-book from the Geological Society of London's Library in 2019.

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# Pani, Pahar: The Water Curriculum

Hearth Education Advisors

Research led by the Department has been used to develop an innovative resource for schools in India, Pani Pahar: The Water Curriculum. The resource is free to use and download, and should be adaptable for use in a wide range of contexts, including the UK.

The underlying research focused on the political economy of water resources and water security in six small towns in the hill regions of India and Nepal. The project was led by Professor Bhaskar Vira and Dr Eszter Kovacs, and worked with the Centre for Ecology, Development and Research (CEDAR), Dehra Dun, India and the Southasia Institute for Advanced Studies (SIAS), Kathmandu, Nepal Further work focused on developing a visual archive of the research, in collaboration with photographer Toby Smith, which resulted in an exhibition that travelled across the UK, India and Nepal.

The curriculum material was developed following the exhibition, and was co-developed by a recent Department graduate, Beth Barker with The Hearth Education Advisors (India and UK), who led on the education structure, development of curriculum resources (including activities, worksheets, learning tools) and instructional design for the learning materials.

Funding for this research was generously provided by grants from the UK's Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme, which was a joint initiative of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Funding was also provided by the University of Cambridge's Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Account. The Oxonian India Foundation funded the graphics design of the curriculum materials.

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# Undergraduate Geography dissertation prize for Paavan Sawjani

In more success for Cambridge Geography, we are delighted to congratulate Paavan Sawjani of Sidney Sussex for winning first prize for his undergraduate dissertation, "Sex and the post-colonial City: University students' understanding of the accepted boundaries of public intimacy in New Delhi, India".

The prize was awarded by the Geographies of Children, Youth, and Families Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. Paavan graduated last summer, and is currently studying for his MRes at the University of Nottingham. Well done, Paavan!

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# Antarctic research features on BBC Radio 4 Today programme

Current glaciological research being undertaken by Ian Willis and Alison Banwell as part of a joint US-NSF and UK-NERC funded project featured on a recent edition of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, guest edited by Greta Thunberg. The research investigates the role of surface meltwater movement on the stability of Antarctic Ice Shelves and involves fieldwork on the George VI Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsular from where the SPRI scientists have recently returned. Their work is mentioned as part of a larger report into Antarctic glacier melt and sea level rise, which begins about 47 minutes into the programme.

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