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Gilchrist Fieldwork Award
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Gilchrist Fieldwork Award

The Gilchrist Educational Trust offers an award of £15,000 to support original and challenging overseas fieldwork carried out by small teams of university academics and researchers.

The research should include a single field session of at least six weeks. There should be strong links with the host country and preferably the research should be of applied benefit to the host nation. 

The Award was created by the Gilchrist Educational Trust in 1990 and is judged in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).


22 February 2018. The award is run biennially in even years.


Gilchrist Fieldwork Award recipients

2016: Dr Farnon Ellwood (University of the West of England). How does converting tropical forest to oil palm affect ecosystem function?

2014: Dr Heidi Burdett (University of St Andrews). Past, present, future: determining the climate tolerance thresholds of Maldivian corals, and the impact this has on the nation’s natural capital

2012: Professor Stephen Darby (University of Southampton). Mud, Monsoons and the Mekong: Using Tonle Sap Lake Sediment Records to Derive a 5000 Year Record of the Asian Monsoon and its Impacts on Mekong River Flood Regimes

2010: The award was not given in 2010

2008: Dr Alun Hubbard (University of Wales Aberystwyth). An integrated field remote-sensing and modelling programme on Russell Glacier catchment of meltwater and basal glacial dynamic response

2006: Dr Neil Stuart (University of Edinburgh). Characterisation of the major vegetation assemblages found in the Rio Bravo savannas, radar and optical remote sensing

2004: Professor Andrew Warren (University of Oxford). The Dustiest Place on Earth: Measurement and Modelling of Dust Production and Transport in Northern Chad

2002: Dr Nick Branch (Royal Holloway, University of London). An examination of the long-term environmental history of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, Peru, since the end of the last glaciation (10,000 years ago)

2000: Professor Peter Smart (University of Bristol). Exploration of the nature, and hydrological, geochemical and microbiological behaviour of the extensive underwater cave systems (and associated aquifer) which extends some 10km inland from the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula

1998: Dr Piers Vitebsky (Scott Polar Institute, University of Cambridge). A study of recent social economic and environmental changes in the northern part of the Sakha Republic, north-eastern Siberia, particularly the isolated hunting and reindeer-herding communities in the Verkhoyansk mountain range

1997: Dr Peter Lovatt (University of Aberdeen). Geological mapping of the northern Clavering Island to improve understanding of the Caledonian fold belt and younger cover rocks on Clavering Island. The work contributed to extensive studies made by the Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme (CASP) during their East Greenland Project

1996: Dr Alistair Kirkbride (Lancaster University). The Chuja-Katun river system in the Altai mountains contains a legacy of large-scale fluvial landforms associated with cataclysmic flooding during the last glaciation and possibly before. This study documented the number, timing and magnitude of the catastrophic floods

1994: Dr David Nash (University of Brighton). A collaborative project between the universities of Brighton, Luton, Cape Town and Botswana to provide information on the past hydrology and dynamics of the Okavango Delta. A total of eight sediment cores were extracted and analysed from the field area

1992: Dr Tom Spencer (University of Cambridge). The expedition studied past environmental variability over geological time scales through topographic survey and fossil coral sampling in the Northern Cook Islands. Based on results derived from past and present environments, management strategies were outlined to prevent the deterioration of contemporary reef and lagoon environments in the northern Cook Islands, along with scenarios of future environmental change for the strategic planning needs of the Cook Islands Government

1990: Dr J A Briggs (University of Glasgow). Sustainable Agro-Ecological Development Potentials of Arid Environments Influenced by Groundwater Infiltration: A Study of the Wadi Allaqi Region, Southern Egypt. Research into the soil, water and vegetation resources of Wadi Allaqi, and the responses of the local Bedouin population to these resource opportunities were used to document the suitability of the Lake Nasser shorelands for managed and sustainable agricultural development

1990: Dr Sarah Metcalfe (Universities of Hull and Sheffield). A study of the Chihuahuan desert, northern Mexico since around 18,000 years BP, using cores of lake sediments. Present day diatoms, water quality and ecology were also collected

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