News: Articles

Alumni news: Winter 2016-17

The final days of the Obama Presidency brought about a coincidental consensus between SoGE alumni and former staff, on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Last days of the Obama Administration...

Megan Ceronsky (Environmental Change & Management, 2003 Hertford) was on the Administration's Energy and Climate team, as Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to the President. The team supported the President's final paper in Science 'The Irreversible Momentum of Clean Energy', published on 9 January.

...and the beginning of a Solar Century

Only one week later Dr Jeremy Leggett (leader of the ECI's energy programme in the 1990s) was giving a powerful talk to a packed audience at the School on the same theme. In "Latest dispatch from the front lines of The Carbon War", Leggett argued that the global renewable energy revolution was now unstoppable and that change was happening much faster than even most experts had expected. Dr Leggett leads the widely-acclaimed Solar Century (having founded it in a Beaumont Street basement). The company's Solar Aid charity has supplied nearly 2 million Solar Lights to African users.

Sharing new visions of Capital at SoGE

Jeremy Leggett's talk was followed later in Hilary Term by one from David Harvey, Halford Mackinder Professor 1987-95. Now a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the University of New York, Harvey is one of the world's best known human geographers. To a jam-packed audience in the Halford Mackinder Lecture Theatre, Professor Harvey spoke about the dynamics and flows of international resources in Visualising Capital. In a typical tour de force of the spoken word Harvey used just 2 slides (one a diagram of the hydrological cycle, the other an insightful map of global capital movements).

Award winning graduates

Not be out done by these senior alumni, two of SoGE's newest alumni have picked up awards from the Royal Geographical Society. David Smith (BA 2013, Mansfield) received the 2016 Undergraduate dissertation prize from the RGS/IBG Transport Geography Research Group for his thesis on '"Working Mobilities": Labours, Movements and Moorings at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways'. Louise Williams (BA 2013, Jesus) was runner-up in 2016 RGS/IBG Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group Undergraduate Dissertation Prize with her dissertation, 'Childhood in Crisis? Young people performing liminal P/politics at Forest School'.

Growing international internships

Practical links between alumni and current students have taken a significant step forward this year through the School's Sustainability Internship Programme. We say thank you to the alumni who have been helping find internships for students from the School and across the University. Cambodia, Egypt, India, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland - as well as the UK - could be some of the international venues for aspiring participants. Now in its third year the programme is rapidly expanding with nearly 500 students signing up this year from more than 30 departments.

Recognition for global women in science

Finally, Peruvian Dr Norma Salinas (DPhil, 2006 Oriel) has received one of L'Oréal's Global "Women in Science" Awards for her work on the carbon cycle in Amazonian forests and the impacts that climate change will have on it. The award was created by the L'Oréal Foundation, Unesco and Concytec. Further recognition for Dr Salinas includes having the stunningly beautiful orchid Telipogon salinasiae named in her honour.


Further information



Barack Obama by White House/Maison Blanche (Pete Souza) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dr Jeremy Leggett at SoGE in January

RGS/IBG Transport research group

Recent graduates fared well in RGS/IBG awards

SoGE alumni are helping to find sustainability internships

Dr Norma Salinas

Dr Norma Salinas, winner of L'Oréal "Global Women in Science" award