Polar Literacy Project

As science communicators and educators, it can be difficult to evaluate exactly what are the key messages to communicate.

The Polar Literacy Initiative (website: polar-ice.org) has done a great job in highlighting the seven key principles about polar regions that we should aim to communicate. These are the ‘big ideas’ that the general public should know about the Polar Regions.

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Funding from the Antarctic Science International Bursary

I am delighted to announce that I have been awarded funding from the Antarctic Science International Bursary to support some further development of educational resources on AntarcticGlaciers.

These funds will be used for website development and to support the production of more introductory resources. These educational resources will target students aged ~14 years, and will focus on Antarctica.

Thwaites Glacier

Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica, is of particular concern to scientists. Here, warm water is pushed up onto the continental shelf, where it flows along the bottom until it reaches the floating ice shelf in front of Thwaites Glacier.

Thwaites Glacier today is rapidly losing mass in response to changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions.

Thwaites Glacier
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Free Talk about teaching glaciers and glaciation in schools: Seds Online, 14th July

AntarcticGlaciers.org: a tool for teaching Glaciers and Glaciation to high school and college students”.

Dr Bethan Davies – Royal Holloway University of London

4 PM LONDON, Tuesday 14th July 2020

Information here: https://sedsonline.com/events/ . You must register (for free) with Seds Online to watch the webinar. The link will be available on the website 10 minutes before the start of the webinar. The webinar will be recorded and can be viewed later by registered users of Seds Online.

This talk targets teachers and college lecturers who will be delivering Glaciers and Glaciation as part of Geography or Geology at High School or College (post ~16 years). This could be as part of the UK A-Level syllabus, for example.

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Best practice in delivering online learning

The full implications of Covid-19 are still unknown, but it seems that it will be with us for a long while yet. Therefore, many university lecturers will be moving to online learning, some for the first time. I thought that it might be useful to compile some resources and best-practice suggestions to help us. Here are some of my thoughts on online delivery of courses.

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The Lectureship Interview

If you’re preparing for an interview at a university for a lectureship, good luck to you! The UK system tends to involve a presentation, often to the whole department, and then a panel interview with a few senior members of staff. This can be very daunting, but it does get easier with practice.

I’ve attended quite a few job talks, from both sides of the table. Here are some thoughts on how you should prepare for the talk and interview, and some typical questions you might be asked.

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What is the ice volume of Thwaites Glacier?

Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is currently the focus of a major scientific campaign. Why is Thwaites Glacier of so much interest, however? How much ice is there, and how much would sea levels rise if it all melted?

Thwaites Glacier is roughly the size of UK (176 x103 km2). The glacier terminus is nearly 120 km wide, and the bed of the glacier reaches to >1000 m below sea level. Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier together account for 3% of grounded ice-sheet area, but they receive 7% of Antarctica’s snowfall1.

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