Prize winning graduates praise the “creative teaching”, “fieldwork opportunities” and ‘friendly atmosphere” at the Lancaster Environment Centre. 

Sarah Fell, who won the Chancellor’s Medal for the best performance in her faculty, said:

“The teaching is very creative and connected to the real world, for instance using external industrial partners to do lectures.” 

Sarah (MSc in Ecology and Conservation) was one of more than 100 postgraduate and PhD students graduating from the Lancaster Environment Centre this December. She is now working as a Land Management and Construction Advisor for Natural England.

 A passion for volcanoe

James Farquharson (MSc Volcanology and Geological Hazards), won the best dissertation prize for his use of 3D imaging techniques and modeling to investigate the flow of a rare form of lava at the Puyehue Cordon-Caulle volcano in Chile.

James, who came to Lancaster because it is one of the few places in the UK where he could follow his passion to study volcanoes, said: “There is a good mix of practical and theoretical work. The students are a great bunch, all very enthusiastic and everyone who teaches you is involved in doing research themselves.”

Dr Hugh Tuffen, one of James’ supervisors, said James had done “a fantastic job to put all the data together into a really cohesive and useful report which offers new insights into obsidian lavas.”

Hugh, who has recently published a paper on the Chilean lava in Nature Communications, said James’ work in this area surpassed his own and hoped that it too would be published soon. 

James is now continuing to follow his passion by doing a PhD in Strasbourg.  

From Masters to employment

LEC’s final prizewinner, Sarah Underhill, won the industry dissertation prize for her work with the Ribble Rivers Trust evaluating the effectiveness of river restoration schemes. 

Sarah (MSc Sustainable Water Management) valued LEC’s close involvement with river catchment science sites locally and enjoyed the opportunities to work out in the field.  

The course was really good and it has helped me get a good job”, said Sarah, who has started work on the Anglian Water graduate management programme where she is putting her learning into practice.  

Find out more about postgraduate study at the Lancaster Environment Centre