The struggle behind the smile

A University of Brighton graduate is launching a charity to help international and ethnic students realise their academic dreams.

Lagos slums where Dr Akinlotan was born and raised

Dr Oladapo Akinlotan was brought up in slums in Nigeria and after years of financial hardship he finally achieved his goal of being awarded a Doctor of Philosophy.

He now wants to share his journey “to inspire overseas students facing financial challenges in the UK and worldwide”.

Dr Akinlotan said: “To achieve this I want to set up a charity to help inspire and motivate people from less privileged backgrounds so they can achieve their dreams, no matter what the challenges.

“I want to visit high schools, colleges and universities in deprived areas across the UK and encourage the younger generation to follow their dreams even in the midst of challenges.”His charity, he said, would provide financial assistance to those “whose dreams are threatened” by lack of funds, and he will be looking to organisations and individuals to back him with donations.

Dr Akinlotan, whose PhD was awarded at the university’s Winter Graduation last month (Feb) for his work on sedimentary geology in South East England, said he hoped also to inspire the next generation of geologists and geoscientists as a lecturer.

He praised the university: “It deserves huge credit for this success story particularly the international office and the School of Environment and Technology for providing financial assistance. By giving me one of the Doctoral College’s four International Research Scholarship slots in that year the university has made world class education accessible to aspiring oversea students like me who desperately need financial support to achieve their goals.

“The scholarship paid 50 per cent of my tuition for three years while the School paid the tuition for the fourth year.”

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Interview with an Environmental Science Alumni – Rebecca Cavlan – i-studentglobal

Alumni Rebecca Cavlan describes her time at university in the Earth and Environmental Science department.

Source: Interview with an Environmental Science Alumni – Rebecca Cavlan – i-studentglobal

Double celebration!

There was cause for double celebrations for the Geographers at the University of Brighton this week following news of a further prestigious graduate award and confirmation of the University’s accreditation by the Royal Geographical Society.

BA Geography graduate Moa Eriksson has been named as the winner of the hugely competitive Royal Geographical Society/IBG Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group 2016 Dissertation prize. This is the second major Royal Geographical Society prize won by University of Brighton Geography graduates this year.

Dr Rebecca Elmhirst, Deputy Head (Learning and Teaching) of the School of Environment and Technology said: “Huge congratulations to Moa for her well-deserved prize following the success of fellow graduate Imogen Fox earlier this term. For us to have two Royal Geographical Society graduate prize winners in one year is unprecedented in the sector, a fantastic achievement and testament to the hard work of our talented students and staffRGS_approved programme icon_1.”

And there was further good news with confirmation that the University of Brighton has become one of only 20 universities to have their Geography courses accredited by the Royal Geographical Society under a newly launched scheme.

Dr Kirsty Smallbone, Head of the School of Environment and Technology said: “The accreditation of our Geography courses by the Royal Geographical Society is great news.  As one of the few universities with such accreditation our students can be sure they are receiving a first class geographical education and that we put them at the heart of everything we do.”

Pricing Place: Studying Science & Technology in Human Geography – Paul Gilbert

A lot of the work that I do falls into the interdisciplinary field called ‘Science & Technology Studies’, which involves studying how technology and scientific expertise both shapes and is shaped by society and space.

Over the summer, I attended the meetings of the Society for Social Studies of Science and the European Association for the Study of Science & Technology in Barcelona. Work in Science & Technology Studies often crosscuts the concerns of human geographers, geologists, and even engineers. A good example of this kind of work at the Barcelona conference comes from Jessica Smith, an anthropologist at the Colorado School of Mines. Smith has examined how geologists and mine engineers adjust when they move away from applying their expertise to the ‘underground’ aspects of mining, and work with other experts in community relations departments that deal with ‘overground’ social and spatial issues, such as deciding where to site a mine or a drilling pad.

pricing-place-blog-imageMy own work also involves studying how geologists and engineers (and other experts like lawyers and financial analysts) shape the social world. At Barcelona, I presented on a track called ‘Turning Things into Assets’. In my paper, I tried to show how geological knowledge about a mineral deposit gets turned into something that people want to invest in, based on the belief it will produce revenue in the future. While a big part of mine valuation depends on geological information about resources and reserves, the value of a mine also depends on how confident investors feel they can be that they will receive profits from it in the future.

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River in a Box

Dr Annie Ockelford from the Aquatic Research Centre was part of the team helping the Forestry Commission promote their Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme at the New Forest and Hampshire County show this week.

The HLS scheme seeks to return some of the New Forest’s rivers back to a natural, meandering state and as such restore the health and biodiversity of the rivers within the New Forest.

Visitors to the stand were able to experiment with a ‘River in a Box’, a sandbox where the shape of the river can be controlled and manipulated to show different scenarios. This demonstrates how changes to river channel dimensions can affect flood risk and shows how restoring rivers back to a meandering course benefits habitats, ecology, fisheries and people.

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