Welcome to the blog of the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Northampton. This will keep you up to date with both student and staff activities.

The Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences includes staff with interests in biological sciences, conservation, ecology, environmental sciences, environmental statistics, geography and waste management. We offer a range of degree programmes and have a number of postgraduate research students. For more information about studying with us please visit http://www.northampton.ac.uk/.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Relational geographies

Dr John Horton attended the Fifth International and Interdisciplinary conference on Emotional Geographies at the University of Edinburgh on 10-12 June 2015. The conference, which was attended by more than 250 delegates, aimed ‘to bring together scholars from a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds, third sector partners and creative practitioners to explore and discuss the role of emotion in shaping and in experiencing space and society’.

John collaborated with colleagues Dr. Matej Blazek (Loughborough University) and Professor Peter Kraftl (University of Leicester) to convene a strand of sessions focusing on Relational geographies of emotions/affects, childhood and youth. The sessions brought together researchers from diverse backgrounds with a shared interest in thinking about the complex emotional relationships which constitute children and young people’s everyday geographies in different contexts. Over the course of a really fascinating, thought-provoking day, researchers presented on topics as diverse as student houses, acne, the Scottish independence referendum, transitions out of Higher Education, Slovenian (non-)citizenship, dance lessons, volunteer tourism, Canadian student mobilities, and Catalonian heteronormativities.

Presenters showcased a wide range of creative, innovative research methods. For example, in an interesting presentation, Emma Kindell (Durham University) demonstrated the potential usefulness of new wearable digital video cameras for geographical research…  As you can see from the picture, John made a lovely model for this demonstration!

Dr John Horton models wearable digital video cameras,
whilst Emma Kindell (Durham University) explains how they can be used in research.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Enhancing accessibility on campus

Dr Faith Tucker, Dr John Horton and Dr Michelle Pyer have been awarded a £3,000 Innovation Fund grant to develop resources to enhance accessibility on campus.

Since 2005 the team have facilitated annual student-led audits of accessibility issues encountered by students with diverse disabilities.  The project will build upon this work by supporting student involvement in the production of innovative maps, guidance and resources for disabled students, visitors and staff at the University.  They will be working closely with the University’s ASSIST team.

Students carrying out a wheelchair accessibility audit earlier this year.
In September 2015 a number of student bursaries will be advertised.  The successful students will carry out site audits, consult with students with diverse disabilities, and develop the resources.

Current students with disabilities identified some ways in which accessibility could be enhanced
- these three ideas will inform the project.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Visiting Professor gives research seminar

On Monday 8th June 2015 Professor Kate Rowntree gave a seminar on 'Politics, policy and projects - landscape greening in the Tsitsa catchment, South Africa.'  Professor Rowntree outlined a current research project investigating sustainable solutions to erosional problems in an area of the Eastern Cape near to the proposed Ntabelanga dam.

Professor Rowntree is based at the Department of Geography, Rhodes University, South Africa, and is a Visiting Professor at the Department of Geographical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Northampton.