Last weekend saw Brighton host this year’s Soapbox science in glorious sunshine at the Brighton seafront. Soapbox science is a novel public outreach platform where female scientists stand on their soapboxes and preach their science to the passing general public. This year saw Dr Laura Evenstar give a very hands-on demonstration on how the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, formed the Andean mountain chain in South America.
Members of the public were involved in building a miniature version of the Andes mountains out of sand. Adults and children alike got involved in looking at how plate tectonics work to produce the different theories on how the Andes uplifted. They then got to pretend to be clouds (cotton wool) traveling over the Andes and created their own rainfall events in the mini Atacama Desert to look at what sort of techniques scientists use to understand climate change in the geological record.
“It’s a great opportunity to show what women in STEM subjects are doing and to bring the joy of our science to people by playing in bags of sand at the beach!”
Our WetlandLIFE project ( www.wetlandlife.org), part of the Valuing Natures Programme (valuing-nature.net) is now in its second year. This means our fieldwork research is well underway. Spring has finally sprung on our wetland case study sites; and last week we visited Shapwick Heath wetland, part of the Somerset Levels close to Glastonbury.
The University of Brighton team are busy not just enjoying these spaces, but are also beginning the many fieldwork interviews that will help us really understand what these wetland spaces mean to so many different users. Read More →
One of the many joys of working on the WetlandLIFE project has been the chance to meet, talk with and spend time with a wide variety of people who cherish these very special landscapes. In particular the ‘sense of place’ fieldwork that we are collectively undertaking explores the various ways in which these wetlands engender a very special relationship between site users and the wetlands themselves. Talking with these different users has helped the research team really appreciate the particular, and often unseen, characteristics of these spaces.