Enhancing fieldwork learning

August 22, 2016
WDG

cropped-banner5Enhancing Fieldwork Learning
Showcase 2016
University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus
12-13th September 2016

Sign up to attend this years showcase which will include:

  • BES-logo-general

    Supported by the British Ecological Society.

    Nocturnal camera trapping

  • Underwater camera work
  • Field microscopy
  • Drones in teaching and research.
  • Virtual fieldwork
  • Using e-books as lab notes
  • Linking to Citizen Science

Click here to sign up.

INQUA 2015: Climate change in the tropical South Pacific during the Late Quaternary

October 27, 2014
WDG

 

inqua-JPPosted on behalf of Prof. David Sear (University of Southampton)

The next INQUA Congress will be held in Nagoya (Japan) on July 27 – August 2, 2015

This is a call for contributions to session P05 on ‘Climate change in the tropical South Pacific during the Late Quaternary’.

The session abstract is as follows:
Establishing well dated, quantitative, highly resolved palaeoclimate data for the major climate systems of the tropical south Pacific has become a research priority owing to the paucity of instrumental data from this critical region of the Earth. Whilst the quantity of proxy climate data for this region is increasing rapidly, compared to records from the Northern Hemisphere there is a surprising paucity especially when considering the importance of this region to global climate. Such information is vital for fully understanding inter-hemispheric climate linkages, global energy fluxes and the long-term evolution of natural climate variability such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation. The dearth of pre-industrial climate records from this region contributes to large uncertainties associated with future climate change impacts far beyond the south Pacific. This session aims to bring together researchers working on Late Quaternary ocean/climate proxies with those whose research lies in modelling ocean-climate processes and dynamics in the tropical south pacific region, and their implications for global climate.

We hope this session will be of interest to you. If you plan to contribute to this session, please submit your abstract before December 20, 2014 click here.

We hope to see you at INQUA 2015.

Best Wishes,

David Sear, Julian Sachs, Kim Cobb, John Chiang, Peter Langdon – session conveners.

Professor David Sear
Geography & Environment
University of Southampton

Teaching in the field: Foundations, feedback and fun

September 16, 2014
WDG

My final teaching job for The Open University was to help deliver the “Sedimentary Rocks & Fossils in the Field” section of the Level 2 Practical Science module (SXG288) offered by the Science Faculty. I have been involved in all three presentations of this section of the SXG288 module, which will now cease to be offered, and a number of other Earth and environmental science residential schools over the last 9 years.

Showing students the rocksHaving the opportunity to engage directly with students and enthuse them face-to-face about the subject I specialise in is a privilege I have gained a lot from. Furthermore, my over-riding impression from the students I have taught is that they feel they benefit greatly from the opportunity to explore first hand the concepts and subjects which they have previously studied in books and online. Based on my experiences on “Sedimentary Rocks and Fossils”, and other modules as both a tutor and a student, I am convinced that to effectively teach geological, geographical, environmental and ecological subjects effectively an element of field-based teaching is required.

Continue Reading

An interview with Phil Jardine

July 1, 2014
philjardine

Well, we’ve heard from Wes and Adele, and now it’s my turn (Phil Jardine) for a bit of a chat on the “Ecology of the past” YouTube channel. Similar to the previous interview videos, I’m talking about my role on the Bosumtwi pollen chemistry project, and what I’ve done (academically speaking) prior to coming to the Open University. Enjoy!

For more videos check out the “Ecology of the past” YouTube channel.

Palaeo-Caribbean

July 30, 2013
WDG

Earlier this month Rachel Gwynn (Geography, UCL) visited the PCRG to use our core splitter to reveal what was contained within two cores collected from the Carribean. She has also been kind enough to provide photos of the sediments and an insight into the story so far:

Sediments from Fresh Water Pond Barbuda (Photograph Rachel Gwynn)

Sediments from Fresh Water Pond Barbuda (Photograph Rachel Gwynn)

Lake sediment cores covering the past few hundred to thousand years have been taken from two lakes, Wallywash Great Pond in Jamaica and Freshwater Pond in Barbuda. The sediments form part of the NERC-funded project Neotropics1k (PI Prof. Jonathan Holmes), which is concerned with climate variability in the northern Neotropics over the past millennium. The sediment cores show marked changes in composition and colour, from pale marl to dark organic mud. These colour changes, which are clearly visible in the photographs, represent changes in sediment composition that are in turn related to lake-level variations caused by long-term climate shifts. Deeper, open-water conditions under wetter climate are represented by the marls, whereas lowered lake levels, caused by direr climate, are associated with organic-rich sediments.

Wallywash Great Pond– core section W2

  • Thirteen separate units have been identified through the 1 m core length, varying between light coloured marl, dark organic and shelly sediments.
  • The abundance of preserved Ostracod valves increases throughout the marl and shell rich layers but drops significantly in the organic rich material.

Barbuda Freshwater Pond- core section FWP

  • This core has four distinct units. 0-23 cm is a calcareous mud with a diffused lower boundary into a shelly calcareous mud at 25-35.5 cm. 35.5-38 cm and 38-52 cm is two variations of calcareous mud.
  • These units, as with the W2 core, have been defined using a Munsel Soil Chart.
  • The Ostracod valves are thought to be abundant throughout the core due to the high marl content.
Wallywash Great Pond Jamaica (photograph Rachel Gwynn)

Wallywash Great Pond Jamaica (photograph Rachel Gwynn)

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