A specialist in the links between climate, glaciers and landscape is the latest appointment to the University of Cumbria’s geography programme, a subject he says ‘you learn through your feet.’
Dr Simon Carr says he was inspired to join the department during last years’ Explore NW event organised by the Royal Geographic Society and held at the Ambleside campus.
“My father was a keen walker and loved these hills, as I do,” Dr Carr, who’s delighted to be coming to Cumbria, said. “Geography explores some of the biggest challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. Where else can you study the landscape in a classroom in a morning and be out amongst it an hour later? One of the main attractions to me was the sheer potential that this programme offers, something very distinctive from any other geography degree in the UK or even globally.”
His fieldwork has taken him to Iceland, Svalbard and Switzerland as well as closer to home including work in Somerset to tackle flooding. He’s about to start a collaborative research project with Queen Mary University of London and Cambridge University which will look at the way saltmarshes, including those around Morecambe Bay, can make the UK coastline more resilient to sea-level rise arising from climate change.
Using X-Ray CT scanning equipment, the team will look at sediment structure of natural and reclaimed saltmarshes to try and determine means of preserving this globally vital habitat.
His appointment comes six months after the launch of the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA) based at the Ambleside campus.
“Simon is bringing 22 years’ experience of lecturing at a time when there is so much to think about and work to be done to develop geography as a subject at the University of Cumbria,” Dr Lois Mansfield, principal lecturer in forestry, conservation and geography at Ambleside, said. “The fact he’s research active means students will be able to make use of the work he’s involved in and actively contribute to the kind of studies that are making a difference in Cumbria, the UK and around the world.”