July 2, 2012

I have been engaged with two major activities during June: 1) submission of a research proposal to NERC, and 2) excitement of my first online teaching module going live to students, Cyprus activity, within Practical science: Earth and environment module (SXG288). Other members of the group have been writing up methods chapters (Natalie), number crunching and submitting abstract to the International Paleolimnology Symposium (Lottie), and submitting first year probation reports (Hayley and Frazer).

Grant submission
The grant submission is designed to expand our work on the fossil pollen record from Lake Bosumtwi (Ghana) by examining the chemical composition of the individual grains. This research applies organic geochemical techniques developed by co-investigators Barry Lomax (University of Nottingham) and Wesley Fraser (who has just been given a visiting research fellowship position at The OU). This has now been submitted and we all have our fingers crossed for the review process.

Science teaching online
The Discovering Cyprus: rocks, mud and water activity was an interesting teaching project to design. Trying to deliver credible pratical science training through an online environment was a challenging one. The aspect of the activity which I was responsible for related to analysis of sediments and investigating how they might be linked in with global environmental change. I hope that the students enjoyed the investigation and I would be interested to hear any feedback from people who have completed the module.

Other stuff
Two other key events have been: 1) the presentation of a seminar to OpenSpace The Open University’s Centre for Geographical and Environmental Research group on “Exploring Past Environmental Change to Provide Context For Today”, and 2) a visit from Drs Mike Burn and Suzanne Palmer (University of West Indes) to use our splitter to look at sediments which will provide information on Caribbean Environments!

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