Lancaster Environment Centre student wins Chancellor’s Medal for exceptional merit

Oliver King holding an award standing next to Professor Andy Schofield
Lancaster University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andy Schofield, with LEC graduate Oliver King

A Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) student has been awarded the Chancellor’s Medal at this year’s winter graduation ceremony.

Oliver King, 21, was presented with the award at the ceremony on December 13, after receiving his First-Class BSc Honours Geography degree in July.

The Chancellor’s Medal is presented to only a handful of students across Lancaster University who have shown exceptional merit in their field.

Oliver has also received several other awards during his time at LEC, but said he was particularly proud of receiving the university-wide Chancellor’s Medal.

Oliver, from Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, said: “My time at LEC, and in Lancaster overall, has been amazing!

“Some highlights for me were the LEC.316 field course to Croatia with Suzi Ilic, which was a really interesting trip and a nice end to the degree, and learning about GIS from Duncan Whyatt, which is how I got really interested in using GIS and Earth Observation data for geography.”

Oliver has also separately received three internal prizes from LEC, the first for best overall BSc Hons performance, the second for best undergraduate performance by a student reading for a degree in geography, and the third for best BSc Hons dissertation.

This was for his dissertation that investigated four glaciers in Greenland using satellite Earth observation, titled ‘Recent Changes in Ice Dynamics at Upernavik Isstrøm, NW Greenland’.

The dissertation was supervised by Prof Mal McMillian.

His dissertation has also been nominated for two national Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) prizes - the overall Alfred Steers Dissertation Prize - for best undergraduate dissertation in a UK geography department, and the specific Climate Change Research Group (CCRG) Undergraduate Dissertation Prize, for the best undergraduate dissertation based on original research in any area of climate change research.

“I couldn’t be happier about all of the awards I’ve received, but I’m particularly proud of receiving the university-wide Chancellor’s Medal which feels like a huge achievement,” Oliver said.

“It feels extremely rewarding to be recognised for the hard work that I put into the degree!”

Prof Duncan Whyatt, from LEC, said: “To achieve such high and sustained levels of success across the many different modules taught across LEC is testament indeed to Oliver’s passion for study and commitment to producing work to the highest possible standard.

“Congratulations, Oliver!”

Since completing his exams, Oliver has been working with Duncan, Prof Carly Stevens, and Dr Ce Zhang on research that uses deep learning techniques to measure the spread of an invasive species that is problematic for farmers.

He is currently working towards an MSc in Earth Observation at the University of Edinburgh and intends to continue in academia and complete his PhD.

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