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 world’s mountain ‘water towers’ are melting, putting 1.9 billion people at risk

Water tower of the Andes. Lynn Johnson/National Geographic

Bethan Davies, Royal Holloway

The year 2019 concludes a decade of exceptional heat, and is on track to be the second or third warmest year on record. While the global average temperature teeters on 1.1°C above the pre-industrial record, the world’s glaciers are in stark retreat.

In high mountain areas, the steady trickle of melting snow in spring has nourished people for generations. Today, 1.9 billion people – or 22% of the world’s population – live downstream of snowpacks and glaciers and depend on them as their main source of drinking water. These icy and snowbound mountain regions could be considered water towers, which provide a regular supply of water for drinking, irrigation and power generation, and provide a life-saving buffer during droughts.

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Book review: The Continent of Antarctica (Julian Dowdeswell and Michael Hambrey, Papadakis, 2018)

The Continent of Antarctica. Julian Dowdeswell and Michael Hambrey.

Antarctica was the last continent to be discovered and explored, and is sensitive and vulnerable to climate change. It is relevant to all of us, since it can influence ocean currents and sea levels. The history of the continent, both geological and human, is fascinating, with heroic attempts to map and explore the continent.

In The Continent of Antarctica, Julian Dowdeswell and Michael Hambrey provide an in-depth overview of the continent of Antarctica, covering the geography and evolution of Antarctica, its people and exploration, and its future. This book, aimed at the interested non-expert reader, is beautifully illustrated with photographs by the authors and provides a detailed introduction to readers illustrated in the Antarctic continent. Throughout the book, personal stories and reflections from the two careers of the authors in Antarctica are used to highlight and enrich key points, and make it engaging throughout.

The language is accessible, but the content is carefully and thoroughly researched. The book is strongly grounded in science, but there are sections on human interaction with Antarctica and geopolitics. Both authors are talented photographers who have been working in Antarctica for decades, with many field seasons between them. This has resulted in a rich archive of photography, used throughout the book. Continue reading

Improvements to AntarcticGlaciers.org

Here at AntarcticGlaciers.org we have been busy making many updates to the website. We are particularly keen to update the website to bring it in to line with the reformed A-Level syllabus, and also to update and rewrite some of the older content, and improve the website as a resource to promote public understanding of glaciers and climate change.

Since AntarcticGlaciers.org was founded 6.5 years ago, we have undergone substantial improvements and learned a lot over the years. This outreach endeavour, motivated by a desire to publicly communicate the risks that climate change and rising sea levels pose to our world’s glaciers and ice sheets, has evolved into one of the premier sites on this subject. This website aims to inspire both interested adults and also young people and school children with geology and geomorphology, and specifically targets teachers to supply them with engaging, original content that they can use in lesson planning.

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