Talbot Heath

Dorset GA Conference 2015

School Trip

Talbot Heath’s Dorset GA - Inspiring a new generation of Geographers

The Dorset Geographical Association’s November lecture held at Bournemouth University was attended by 160 sixth formers from a variety of local schools. Students were treated to an evening of inspirational talks from two leading academics and one brave sixth form student.

Kitty Appleby, from Canford School, pulled no punches with her hard hitting talk on Desertification. The assembled audience listened attentively to her presentation which focused rather unusually on the role of goats in this hazard. Students certainly have an interesting addition to their A2 “Biodiversity Under Threat” unit of work and much to consider with regards to the apparently not-so-humble goat!

Dr Susanna Jenkins, Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, then provided the audience with a fascinating overview of her work as a Volcanologist in SE Asia. After a quick revision of the key features of Plate Tectonics, she astounded those present with dramatic footage of pyroclastic flows and challenged all to be more critical of the images presented by the media. Dr Jenkins’ first-hand accounts of recent volcanic activity at Mt Merapi in Indonesia will help the sixth formers when it comes to their future investigation of hazard mitigation and factors influencing vulnerability.

The evening was brought to a close by Dr Emma Roe from the University of Southampton, who asked all those in attendance to consider whether “Ethical Consumerism” creates a market for animal welfare friendly meat products or whether the typical consumer is not sufficiently aware of the information available to them when making their purchasing decisions. Interaction between our speaker and the audience soon established that most of us did not know where our food came from or whether ethical considerations had a role in the production of our food. It was certainly “food for thought.”

Helen Chapleo

Head of Humanities Talbot Heath

Secretary of the Dorset GA

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