Earth Photo

A shortlist of 50 exceptional photographs and four films that document the Earth in all its diversity, focussing on four themes - people, nature, place and changing forests.

Mountain treasures from the RGS-IBG and Mountain Heritage archives - Eugene Rae

Archivist Eugene Rae will select some unique artefacts from the Society's Collections and will be joined by one of the Mountain Heritage Trust curators.

A walk through contrasting landscapes - Professor Kathryn Monk

A short walk from the marshy remnant of the Somerset Levels, up to Repton's 18th century landscaped Blaise Castle Estate, and its secret garden.

WOW - Women of the World Festival Thinkin

We are delighted to be hosting a Thinkin at the Society. 

Wilderness Festival

Join us for a day of talks, debates, and conversations exploring how and why we see planet Earth the way we do.

Earth Photo exhibition guided tour for members

Join us for a special introduction to the Society’s Earth Photo 2019 exhibition, which will include a guided walk-through the exhibition and a focus on the category winners from this year’s competition. 

Treasure from dust: the geology of John Ruskin - Howard Hull

Join us to celebrate the launch of a new permanent display about Ruskin's geology, with a talk by the exhibition curator. 

Summer drinks reception

Summer drinks reception with open garden visit at Hutton in the Forest.
 

Camera trapping for wildlife conservation

This two-day workshop is for university students intending to carryout biological surveys using camera trapping techniques as part of a field research project.

Annual International Conference 2019

The perfect opportunity to find out about the latest geographical research while networking with over 1,800 delegates from around the world.

Assessment literacy and academic standards in geography

A practical workshop exploring assessment and feedback literacy and academic standards in geography.

Geocomputation with R – free workshop and reproducible map competition

This event, sponsored by the Quantitative Methods Research Group and led by Dr. Robin Lovelace, will bring together data, maps and (soon-to-be) R enthusiasts to learn a bit more about Robin's latest book, “Geocomputation in R”. The only things you need to bring are your laptop and a positive attitude to learn!

Africa's forgotten frontiers: the Sahel - Reza Pakravan

Taking the audience on a breathtaking journey across the continent, filmmaker Reza Pakravan will share stories of the tense frontiers, enduring traditions and ordinary people living where climate change has hit hardest: the Sahel. 
 

An East African 'Little and Large' - Lance Gregory and Steve Oliver

Two talks, one on trawling for copepods on Lake Tanganyika and the other on teaching adventure on the shores of Lake Victoria. Optional supper. 

Landlines

Landlines is an art exhibition curated by, and showcasing artists from, The Wilderness Art Collective, a non-profit group of creatives, artists, explorers and environmentalists whose work discusses the natural world.

Photo credit: Eva Ullrich 

Clough Head and Wainwright - Tim Foster

An ascent and circuit of Clough Head with reference to Alfred Wainwright.

A day at Burrington Ham - Les Davies MBE

Les takes us to Burrington Ham on the north side of the Mendip Hills to talk about the future management of this highly important landscape steeped in history.

Fieldwork skills for GCSE and A Level geography teachers

A weekend course for teachers to improve their skills in providing high quality ‘first hand’ outdoor fieldwork and focusing on preparing students for the non-examined assessment (NEA) component of A Level geography.

The British Society for Geomorphology Annual Meeting 2019

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the British Society for Geomorphology (BSG) will be held at the University of Sheffield.

On View: The Wilderness Collective exhibition: an artist’s impression

Luke M Walker explains the creative process behind his work, illustrated by his preparatory sketches and inspirational items from the Collections.

Enormous eruptions - Steve Sparks

Part of the School of Ocean and Environmental Sciences' series on Volcanoes—all you need to know! More details to be announced here nearer the event. 

Eye in the sky - Matthew Blackett

From the safety of space, the most dangerous natural events in the world can be monitored using satellites which orbit the Earth. Come and hear from Matthew Blackett as he discusses how such monitoring can prevent major disasters and help save lives.

The geopolitics of the energy transition - Professor Mike Bradshaw

Join Michael Bradshaw and a panel of experts as they discuss current and possible future trends in energy consumption and the issues associated with the UK’s low-carbon energy transition.

Subject knowledge update: Borders, Brexit and Trump

Dr Simon Oakes will present a workshop for A Level teachers.

Expedition & wilderness medicine: an introduction

A workshop for health care professionals who wish to practice expedition or wilderness medicine. Open to all medical professionals, doctors, nurses and early career wilderness medics.

Trees from around the world - Professor David Skydmore and Rhoderic Taylor

This fascinating arboretum, created by Sir Bernard Lovell FRS, comprises trees from around the world including two national collections. The tour will describe its history and significance to biogeography.
 

Fieldwork skills for GCSE and A Level geography teachers

This weekend course offers teachers the opportunity to improve their skills in providing high quality ‘first hand’ outdoor fieldwork and will focus on preparing students for the non-examined assessment (NEA) component of the A Level geography qualification.

Kinver Edge: landscape and conservation - field visit

This walk, guided by Mick Grove and Ian Dixson, will examine the heath and woodland habitats of the Edge. 

Explorer: humanitarians of the Amazon - Dr John Hemming

The Brazilian Villas Boas brothers, RGS gold-medallists for remarkable explorations, used their fame to champion indigenous peoples, change attitudes to them, and protect their rainforests.

Belfast Harbour Estate: past, present and future - Graeme Johnston

Graeme is the Property and Place Director of the Belfast Harbour Estate, and his talk will cover many different aspects of its day-to-day operations.

Ascending Afghanistan - Hanifa Yousoufi, Marina LeGree, and Sandro Gromen-Hayes

Hanifa and Marina share Hanifa's journey to become the first Afghan woman to summit Mt Noshaq (24,580'), and explore what it takes to be a female mountaineer in Afghanistan. 

Plate tectonics update - Pat Wilson

Global hazards can be explained by understanding the recent movements of tectonic plates in places such as New Zealand and Hawaii.

Citizen input into geography - Judit Varga

The ubiquitous use of mobile devices means that citizens can gather information like never before. But can what they contribute be geographically valuable? 

Super-volcano eruptions and the future volcanic threat - Professor Bill McGuire

The 1815 Tambora eruption was the largest of modern times, but pales into insignificance in comparison with the biggest of all volcanic blasts. These so-called super-eruptions have the potential to have a catastrophic impact on our civilisation. 

A land-sea expedition to the remote fjords of Chile - Dr Rachel Smedley

Join Dr Rachel Smedley as she talks about this 2-week land-sea expedition around the remote fjords of South West Chile.

 

Palm oil: the controversy and the complexity - Katie Major

The world's most widely used vegetable oil has profound environmental and social impacts. It has provoked heated debate and emotive campaigns. We will explore the complexities of the industry, along with some possible solutions.
 

Jan Baalsrud: we die alone - Ivar Hellberg OBE

The extraordinary survival story of Jan Baalsrud who fought for the Norwegian Resistance during WW2. He was wounded then buried alive in the snow and survived.

BS 8848 Compliance workshop

British Standard 8848 specifies operational requirements for providers of overseas ventures. This workshop will assist those using the standard to benchmark existing safety management systems within their own organisations.
 

The Flipflopi expedition and the plastic revolution - Ben Morrison

A talk about a boat, brightly coloured and made entirely out of plastic, collected from Kenyan beaches, taking the message of a plastic revolution from Africa to the rest of the world.
 

New to teaching in Geography, Earth and Environmental Science

A one day workshop for postgraduate students and other non-permanent academic staff / associates who are involved in teaching and supporting student learning specifically in the Geography, Earth and Environmental Science (GEES) disciplines. 

Future challenges in the urban environment

Presentations and discussions on change, challenges and scenarios for cities and towns in Britain and China, followed by a choice of guided walks around central Leeds. 
 

Forest of Dean: geology and industry - Dave Green

A day looking at old red sandstone and carboniferous geology.

Kings of the Yukon - Adam Weymouth

Adam Weymouth tells the story of canoeing 2,000 miles down the Yukon River, investigating how the king salmon's decline is impacting on the many communities and ecosystems that depend on it for survival.

Be Inspired: Bloody ivory: artistic endeavour to endangered species

David Hogg demonstrates how the investigation of an ivory casket, held at the V&A, leads to fundamental questions on the ivory trade and the future of African and Asian elephants. 

Campi Flegrei: Italy’s restless giant - Wim Degruyter

Part of the School of Ocean and Environmental Sciences' series on Volcanoes—all you need to know! More details to be announced here nearer the event. 
 

How we damage nature and what we might do about it - Professor Andrew Church

This lecture will consider what we all might do to limit the damaging impacts of human society on nature. 

A guided walk of Spike Island

A tour focused on the changes in the local landscape and environment of Spike Island.


 

Isaac Newton and The Haven-Finding Art - Professor Simon Schaffer

Join us for the annual E.G.R. Taylor lecture by Professor Simon Schaffer. 

Power geometries and prioritizing place in climate change migration - Dr Helen Adams

Emotional bonds to place are an important explanation of why people remain in situ under negative climate change impacts. 

In search of the grey ghost: a Himalayan adventure - Mike Edgecombe

Mike will give an account of his quest to see one of these beautiful creatures deep within the high mountains of northern India.

New to teaching in Geography, Earth and Environmental Science

A one day workshop for postgraduate students and other non-permanent academic staff / associates who are involved in teaching and supporting student learning specifically in the Geography, Earth and Environmental Science (GEES) disciplines. 

Our world from above: the story of aerial photography - Eamonn McCabe and Gemma Padley

Photographer Eamonn McCabe and writer Gemma Padley discuss how aerial photography has been used as a tool to record and study our changing world.

Marine-ice-sheet instability and the future of the Antarctic ice sheet - Professor Hilmar Gudmundsson

Professor Hilmar Gudmundsson will review the marine-ice-sheet instability hypothesis and discuss the impact of ice shelves. 

Slovenia: a connection with the outdoors - Richard Matthews

Hear about Richard's trek along the Slovenia Mountain Trail. A 600km trail capturing more than just mountains and scenery, but a place of understanding.

 

Inseparable Ireland? Peter Villiers

Why is the Irish border still a major issue for us all, British and Irish alike? 

Slovenia: a connection with the outdoors - Richard Matthews

Hear about Richard's trek along the Slovenia Mountain Trail. A 600km trail capturing more than just mountains and scenery, but a place of understanding.
 

Slovenia: a connection with the outdoors - Richard Matthews

Hear about Richard's trek along the Slovenia Mountain Trail. A 600km trail capturing more than just mountains and scenery, but a place of understanding.

Collections film evening

View a selection of short films from our globe-spanning collection showcasing a unique record of 20th-century life on Earth, includes Q+A.

First Descent - Dr Lucy Woodall, Sheena Talma and Oliver Steeds

The Nekton team reveal the discoveries from ‘First Descent: Seychelles’ in their bid to help conserve 30% of the Seychelles' vast ocean territory.

Be Inspired: The spell of far Arabia - Alexander Maitland

Alexander tells the fascinating story of Wilfred Thesiger’s classic book, and the inspirations and preparations for Thesiger’s exploration of the Empty Quarter and surrounding deserts.

Darkness on the edge of town: the story of Liverpool’s Albert Dock - John Flamson OBE

It is 35 years since the first phase of the refurbishment of the Grade 1 listed Albert Dock complex was completed and this once private, derelict dockland was opened to the public.

Evolution and mass extinction - Professor Mike Bowman

Mike will discuss the history of life, exploring fossils and what they can tell us about geological time and ancient environments.

Digital geographies - Professor Mark Graham

Far from being a space de-tethered from the material world, the Internet has a real-world geography. Mark explores why digital geographies matter, and how we can build more equitable digital futures.

Mapping escapes during World War II - Barbara Bond

Barbara investigates MI9’s wartime escape and evasion mapping programme, including how maps were smuggled to prisoners and how they helped orchestrate some of the most famous escapes in history.

TIBET: Sacred landscapes by Tashi Lhunpo Monks - David Spicer, Georgina Cranston & Kelkhang Rinpoche

Meander through images of this sacred landscape to arrive at the heart of the exhibition where Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery create a Sand Mandala throughout the week.

The city of tomorrow

Join our panel to examine and discuss alternative visions of urban futures. 

Mapping escapes during World War II - Barbara Bond

Barbara investigates MI9’s wartime escape and evasion mapping programme, including how maps were smuggled to prisoners and how they helped orchestrate some of the most famous escapes in history.
 

The Sargasso Sea: a suitable case for conservation? - Professor Howard Roe

The ecology and threats faced by the Sargasso Sea are discussed in this talk, together with ongoing conservation efforts.

Travels in Africa and Asia - Eric Woods

Eric’s illustrated talk will draw on his considerable experience of travel for work and pleasure in some of the most intriguing and interesting countries.
 

African realities - Zeinab Badawi and Dr Nick Wescott

International broadcaster Zeinab Badawi and Nick Westcott of the Royal African Society explore how we need to look in unexpected places to discover Africa's contemporary reality.

Geographic information and sustainability - Professor Andy Tatem

With basic geographic data lacking in many low income countries, Andy explores how cell phone and satellite technologies offer new ways to help achieve and monitor the Sustainable Development Goals.

Be Inspired: Africa at the crossroads: from Maputo to Mogadishu

Our speakers consider how reframing and re-contextualising post-colonial histories through photography and archival activation may promote remembering, dialogue and reconciliation in East Africa.

Geographic information and sustainability - Professor Andy Tatem

With basic geographic data lacking in many low income countries, Andy explores how cell phone and satellite technologies offer new ways to help achieve and monitor the Sustainable Development Goals.

50,000 years of land use change and human impact in South East Asia - Professor Chris Hunt

Most people think that tropical forests were virtually unaffected by human activity until recent times, but they were actually the first humanly impacted environments on Earth.

Geography in action: the charities using geography to change lives on the ground

"Everything happens somewhere" will be brought to life in this illustrated conversation demonstrating the power of geography to save and transform lives, working through such charities as MapAction and Addressing the Unaddressed. 

Be Inspired: The Royal Geographical Society explorer’s watches

From the Arctic to the Antarctic via the Sahara and the Central Lakes of Africa, these watches were used by almost all the well-known explorers of the period including Joseph Thomson, Ernest Shackleton and Col. P Fawcett.

The future of the Mendip Hills AONB - Jim Hardcastle

The talk will be an insight into the good, the bad and the alarming future of this very special protected landscape. 

MapAction: geographic support for humanitarian decision making - Roy Wood

This talk describes how MapAction deploys rapid response geographic support to natural disasters and other humanitarian situations.

Everest on film

Join us for an evening which celebrates the films and film-makers who brought us the first dramatic moving images of Mount Everest.

A journey through Ethiopia

Hear our experts discuss the country’s history, culture and landscapes. 

Carbon doesn’t cause climate change, you do - Dr Josh Dean

From the Arctic to the tropics, this lecture will cover research frontiers in carbon cycling and climate change in the natural environment.

The moral geography of the Arctic - Dr Anthony Speca

This talk will uncover the moral dimensions of the Arctic and challenge us to think afresh about this fascinating part of the world.

Portraits of No Man’s Land - Dr Alasdair Pinkerton, Dr Noam Lesham and Elliot Graves

No man’s lands are proliferating in today's turbulent world. Using digital archives and immersive technology, Alasdair, Noam and Elliot explore the stories of places that remain locked behind barbed wire and minefields.

Building a volcano - Jon Blundy

Part of the School of Ocean and Environmental Sciences' series on Volcanoes—all you need to know! More details to be announced here nearer the event. 

Annual regional dinner - Professor Joe Smith

Join the North West regional committee to celebrate another successful year for the region.
 

The historical background to Boko Haram - John Hare OBE

John's talk will place the current conflict in northern Nigeria in its historical context.  

The Start Bay problem - Dr Richard Porter

A case study of coastal erosion and deposition and its impact on the human environment in and around Start Bay.

Guerilla geographies - Daniel Raven-Ellison

Giving examples of radical, alternative and creative public geographies, Daniel will explain what guerrilla geography is, why it's important and how it's at the heart of the movement he started to make London the world's first National Park City.
 

On the road with 'the Watches' - Gillian Burke

Gillian takes us behind-the-scenes on one of the nation's favourite wildlife shows, to discover Britain's natural spectacles, hidden gems, and surprising oases of hope. 

On the road with 'the Watches' - Gillian Burke

Gillian takes us behind-the-scenes on one of the nation's favourite wildlife shows, to discover Britain's natural spectacles, hidden gems, and surprising oases of hope.

The discovery of Antarctica and Antarctica today - Dame Jane Francis, Jane Rumble and Camilla Nichol

Marking 200 years since the discovery of land in Antarctica three speakers will consider Antarctica’s history and its unique status as a continent reserved for peace and science.

Ponds and carbon: is small beautiful or dangerous? Dr Mike Jeffries

This talk will explore the possibilities and perils of how ponds fit in the carbon cycle.

Africa's forgotten frontiers: the Sahel - Reza Pakravan

Taking the audience on a breathtaking journey across the continent, filmmaker Reza Pakravan will share stories of the tense frontiers, enduring traditions and ordinary people living where climate change has hit hardest: the Sahel.

GIS Day in partnership with Esri UK

Join us for GIS Day 2019, in partnership with Esri UK. School groups will be shown how they can use ArcGIS in the classroom. 

Rivers - Chaz Powell

Chaz discusses the beginning of his wildest journey and the mission to walk Africa's rivers in the battle against wildlife crime.

Photo credit: Charles Powell

Africa's forgotten frontiers: the Sahel - Reza Pakravan

Taking the audience on a breathtaking journey across the continent, filmmaker Reza Pakravan will share stories of the tense frontiers, enduring traditions and ordinary people living where climate change has hit hardest: the Sahel. 

GIS Day in partnership with Esri UK

Join us for GIS Day 2019, in partnership with Esri UK. School groups will be shown how they can use ArcGIS in the classroom. 

Veolia energy recovery facility field visit

A walking tour of Veolia’s state-of-the-art recycling and energy recovery facility. 

A Traveller’s Life: Eric Newby

A first opportunity to see original archive material, photographs and artefacts from the Society’s newly accessioned Eric Newby Collection.

One day as a tiger - John Porter

John Porter discusses his revelatory and poignant award-winning memoir of his friend and mountaineer Alex MacIntyre.

School Member Lecture: Gentrification: London and beyond - Professor Loretta Lees

Loretta's research focuses on the challenges of gentrification, including the displacement of people as a result of council estate renewal and the impact that gentrification can have on people. Is regeneration urban renewal or social cleansing?

Digital geographies - Professor Mark Graham

Far from being a space de-tethered from the material world, the internet has a very real geography. Mark explores why digital geographies matter, and how we can build more equitable digital futures. 

Africa's forgotten frontiers: the Sahel - Reza Pakravan

Taking the audience on a breathtaking journey across the continent, filmmaker Reza Pakravan will share stories of the tense frontiers, enduring traditions and ordinary people living where climate change has hit hardest: the Sahel. 

Africa's forgotten frontiers: the Sahel - Reza Pakravan

Taking the audience on a breathtaking journey across the continent, filmmaker Reza Pakravan will share stories of the tense frontiers, enduring traditions and ordinary people living where climate change has hit hardest: the Sahel.

Geographical lates: COP25 climate talks

Get face-to-face with experts through our talks, debates, panel discussions and roundtables, and embrace some Chilean culture.

70 years of National Parks in Britain - John King

The lecture will investigate some of the UK's 15 National Parks, concentrating on the geological background and processes which moulded the landscapes along with the role tourism plays.

The Crossing: a photographic meditation on the Atlantic Ocean - Marissa Roth

Between 2015 - 2019, award winning photographer Marissa Roth made seven transatlantic crossings on the Queen Mary II, resulting in a poetic photographic study of what it means to cross an ocean. 

Christmas social

Christmas Social with a lovely four course meal which will include four mini talks about the speakers' favourite place after each course.

Christmas quiz

Come one and all to test your general and geographical knowledge at a festive quiz!

Off-site safety management

A must for those involved in planned visits in the UK or overseas, this course looks at the safety management issues involved in planning, managing and evaluating local visits, fieldtrips, residentials and exchanges.

Educational visits coordinator training

A full day workshop that supports Educational Visits Coordinators (EVCs) in their roles by covering the legal and practical procedures required of their position.

EVC update workshop- December

This course gives EVCs at all schools the opportunity to look into current material in more depth and share good practice with other EVCs.

Tall oaks from little acorns grow… - Dr Andrew Hacket-Pain

This talk focuses on recent work on the dynamics of “masting”. This is a fascinating reproductive strategy found in many perennial plants, in which plants switch between years of bumper and lean seed crops, rather than producing seeds and fruits regularly every year.

Our Planet children's lecture

Join us for the Society’s annual Children’s lecture!

From city to sea: microplastics in UK rivers - Professor Jamie Woodward

Research on microplastics has largely focused on the oceans, but what is the contribution from our rivers? 

Dealing with disease: evaluating responses in the developing world - Dr Gill Miller

This talk explores the challenges facing global and local stakeholders in dealing with disease in the developing world. 

The secrets of Vulcan: the hidden world of underwater volcanoes - Chris Macleod

Part of the School of Ocean and Environmental Sciences series on Volcanoes—all you need to know! More details to be announced here nearer the event. 

The two Sudans - Christopher Peskett

Chris will describe the important work of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in both Sudan and South Sudan and the link between landscape, climate, tribal politics, religion and health.

The Lower Mekong: water, Watts and war - Jim Holmes

Jim has spent 30 years documenting humanitarian work worldwide with a focus on the individuals and communities affected. His lecture follows one of the world’s mightiest rivers as it flows through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and out to sea.

Geographical journeys: microlectures

An evening packed with tales of adventure and discovery to entertain and inspire.