The summer of 2015 saw six more first year undergraduates being given the opportunity to take part in overseas research projects with academics from their universities through the Society’s Field Apprenticeship grants.
Part of the Society’s Learning and Leading programme, the Field Apprenticeship grants provide an opportunity for first year undergraduates, who otherwise would not be able, to get out in the field and enhance their fieldwork skills and knowledge. They also provide an opportunity for personal development.
James Linighan, an undergraduate at Newcastle University, was one of the six Field Apprentices and spent 24 days in Greenland working with Dr Rachel Carr, whose research focused on ‘evaluating the impact of proglacial lake and debris cover on ice loss from the Russell Glacier’. Using time-lapse photography and a terrestrial laser scanner, they collected data on the ice-calving at the front of the glacier and used ablation stakes to measure ice melt.
Another two Field Apprentices, Mairi Gilmour and Beth Hitchcock, at Glasgow University, travelled to Kenya with PhD student Helen Robinson to carry out research to enable the sub-surface modelling of the Menengai geothermal field. Their goal was to develop a model that can lead to more precise exploitation of geothermal energy in the Menengai field.
Mairi described her Field Apprenticeship as “the experience of a lifetime” and reported that she developed key skills and a greater understanding of the impact geology can have on communities. She said of her experience: “I found that one of the key aspects of fieldwork is not the extent of your knowledge, but how well you communicate with your fellow workers. Being able to put across your point clearly and confidently is one of the most important components of any work situation”.
There are six Field Apprenticeship grants available in 2016. The application deadline is 5pm on Friday 19th February.
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