CCN News

Anna's reflections on working as an intern for the Catchment Change Network
added on 08 08 2012 by Clare Black
Now that I am coming towards the end of my summer of working in the Lancaster Environment Centre, I thought that I would write about my experiences leading Read more..

Now that I am coming towards the end of my summer of working in the Lancaster Environment Centre, I thought that I would write about my experiences leading up to and whilst working at the University. The reason for me searching out work experience over the summer was, although partly motivated by wanting to add to my CV (what student doesn’t when we’re terrified of the current job market!), also led by my worry that I might be bored over my 15 week summer holiday!

Initially I hadn’t considered contacting Lancaster University because I had assumed that I would be staying in London over the summer, during the break from studying a BA in Geography at Queen Mary, University of London. I first emailed Paul McKenna in LEC around April and was so excited when I got a reply saying that there was probably going to be plenty of things that I could help out with, in particular the Catchment Change Network International Conference.

Over the first four months of the year during which I sent out about 60 or 70 letters, emails and applications to organisations around London I must have had about half a dozen replies. Some seemed promising; I went to Canary Wharf to meet someone from a small NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) and was told that he would be in contact with me in May but I never heard anything afterwards. A couple of other small NGOs replied but the placements weren’t quite what I was looking for and the larger organisations didn’t have anything. I also was invited to an interview at the London Citizens office in Whitechapel and was offered an internship with the East End Trades Guild, but I felt that the cost of staying in London over the summer (particularly in the East End because of the Olympics) outweighed the benefits of the internship.

Despite it being unproductive this year, I have learnt lots of lessons in applying for internships around London that will help me for when I hope to look again in the future. It seems that to be considered for an internship or work experience in London it is a prerequisite that you have a degree. I guess that it isn’t that a degree is necessary for the level of work involved, but more that the organisations, charities and governmental departments can afford to take the crème-de-la-crème, especially if they aren’t obliged to pay the intern.

After meeting with my tutor at Queen Mary I decided that the skills I might gain from working in LEC – personally and on my CV – would be an asset for almost any career that I might choose, whereas the skills from working with the East End Trades Guild would also be extremely useful, but not necessarily something I couldn’t learn from my degree anyway.

I arranged to meet Marion Walker a few days after I arrived home from London – I was quite anxious to make a good first impression and show what I was capable of, but also quite nervous about the people I’d been emailing, all with PhDs next to my first year in an undergraduate degree! But I was very much reassured when I arrived and everyone was so welcoming that I quickly forgot that I was by far the least qualified in the office!

I got straight into helping Marion organise the annual Catchment Change Network (CCN) International Conference, held in the Management School; I was putting together the welcome packs and keeping up to date with spread-sheets which counted up how many people were coming etc. This was probably the most challenging aspect of working in LEC because there wasn’t any room for errors – documents had to be updated and efficiently named so that old copies weren’t deleted in case they were needed later, or that data wasn’t lost in saving new files. Tidying up the folders after the conference so information could be found easily in the future was also a mammoth task, but much easier without the pressing deadline and constant emails from delegates!

It was also my responsibility to collect and display a selection of posters, produced by visiting delegates, and academics and masters students from LEC, which were presented during a break from the programme of short lectures; it seemed to be quite successful as a discussion point and definitely got academics, students and those from the industry sector talking about recent research in areas related to the conference.

Paul, Anna, Marion and the Get-Out!

By the time the conference arrived we were pretty well organised so it ran fairly smoothly and it was really quite enjoyable. Listening to some of the talks was very interesting (if a little beyond me!) but I found the delegates surprisingly easy to talk to and, on the whole, not at all intimidating.

What I found most constructive in talking to them was listening to their experiences in the job market; ‘job security’ is not something to be taken for granted in the modern world of work, which is not what I expected in a highly-educated and skilled sector. Talking to more people employed within LEC helped me to understand more about how employment works within academia which I found was quite different to what I would expect in perhaps an independent organisation or industry; I definitely think this has been helpful in me thinking more about a career path for after I’ve graduated and partly as well what I might or might not study post-graduation.

After the Conference and the GLUE celebratory workshop that followed I was working on tying up all the loose ends from the past week (sorting expenses forms, creating final total numbers of delegates on each day etc.). Since then the work has shifted towards expanding CCN’s engagement with stakeholders, which has involved reviewing websites to see which features are more successful and looking into using social media as a tool to involve the public, as well as keeping those from industry and academia up-to-date. I’ve also begun helping with the administration of the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation’s PhD projects; processing project applications, sending out newsletters advertising PhDs two or three times a week and ‘manning’ the inbox to answer enquiries.

By Anna Sellars

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Beven awarded 2012 American Geophysical Union Horton Medal
added on 07 08 2012 by Clare Black
Keith Beven  (Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK) has been awarded the 2012 American Geophysical Union Horton Medal for outstanding Read more..

Keith Beven  (Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK) has been awarded the 2012 American Geophysical Union Horton Medal for outstanding contributions to hydrological research. The award will be presented at the Union Medal Ceremony in San Francisco in December.  This is one of the most prestigious awards for hydrological research, with this being only the second in Europe of the 27 previous awardees since 1976.

Keith on his birthday on the Rotthorn, Lake Brienz, Switzerland

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River Restoration Workshop Findings
added on 25 07 2012 by Clare Black
The JBA Trust held its first river restoration workshop at the University of Gloucestershire in May 2012. The event was well attended by a variety of restoration Read more..

The JBA Trust held its first river restoration workshop at the University of Gloucestershire in May 2012. The event was well attended by a variety of restoration practitioners ranging from Rivers Trusts to regulators and contractors.

 

The workshop sessions debated river naturalization, urban restoration, rivers and floodplains and barrier issues.

 

The results of the deliberations are now available on the JBA Trust website

 

These findings are invaluable to those seeking funding for river restoration, providing a justification for works and reviewing best practice whilst at the same time highlighting pitfalls in restoration design and the gaps in our knowledge linked to river restoration. Much of the information is also relevant to meeting the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.

 

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Catchment Science Centre launches website: deculverting urban rivers from around the world
added on 16 07 2012 by Clare Black
In response to the  on deculverting, a new website  has been launched by scientists from the Catchment Science Centre, Kroto Research Institute at Read more..

In response to the  on deculverting, a new website  has been launched by scientists from the Catchment Science Centre, Kroto Research Institute at the University of Sheffield providing case study details of deculverting/daylighting urban rivers from around the world.  Its aim is to spread awareness of this river restoration technique to practitioners and policy makers.

The website is aimed at those with an interest/working in environmental engineering, river restoration, urban design and landscape, SUDS, civil engineering, and social sciences. Researchers will also find it useful as it documents the projects’ goals and outcomes and links to more material. Everyone can easily add a new case study site, or submit corrections/improvements to the database.

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Land Use and Water Quality Conference Abstract Alert
added on 16 07 2012 by Clare Black
Abstract submission from July 2012. Abstract deadline:  20 October 2012 Objectives This conference aims to discuss the entire policy cycle for Read more..

Abstract submission from July 2012. Abstract deadline:  20 October 2012

Objectives
This conference aims to discuss the entire policy cycle for water quality improvement. This cycle includes problem recognition, formulation of technical options, the process of policy development, interaction with policy makers, stakeholders and pressure groups, policy implementation, monitoring and research. This conference also aims to intensify contacts, on the one hand, between scientists with a background in natural sciences and scientists with a background in social and economic sciences and, on the other hand, between scientists, water managers and policy makers. In short, the objectives are:
–  to provide forum for exchange of scientific knowledge, research on system knowledge, modelling and uncertainty;
–  to discuss the entire policy cycle for water quality improvement;
–  to intensify contacts (a) between soil/water related scientists, agro related scientists, social scientists, ecological scientists and economists, and (b) between scientists, water managers and policy makers.

Target groups and keywords
Target groups are scientists, managers and policy makers involved in the policy cycle for water quality improvement. It includes activities characterised by the following keywords: agronomy, agro-economics, agro-sociology, water management, water policy, hydrology, aquatic ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems, unsaturated zone, groundwater, surface waters, drinking water, monitoring, modelling, water quality, nutrients, agro-chemicals.

THEMES
Contributions are solicited according to the following themes, themes A through F.

A.. Increasing system knowledge: research to increase understanding and improving modelling of the hydro(geo)logical, geochemical and biochemical reality
B.. Impact of climate change and weather variability: assessment of effect on groundwater and surface water quality and distinguishing from effect of human behaviour
C.. Assessment of national policy: assessment of effects of programmes of measures on water quality on a regional and national scale
D.. Field research and data interpretation: research (monitoring and modelling) at plot and field scale for quantifying effects of farming practices and changes in land use
E.. Managing protected areas: use of monitoring and modelling to improve water quality for drinking water supply areas and habitat and species protection areas
F.. Decision-making and implementation: role of policy, stakeholder and science in decision-making, and social and economic incentives and constraints for implementation (carrots and sticks)

For topics relevant these themes we refer to http://www.luwq2013.nl/themes_and_topics.

FURTHER INFORMATION: please feel free to contact the Organising Committee:
– Dico Fraters, dico.fraters@rivm.nl
– Karel Kovar, karel.kovar@pbl.nl

More information is on http://www.luwq2013.nl/

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