Oxford students learn about environmental issues on their doorstep

University of Oxford PhD students on a field trip to the Cotswolds learn about local land and water use issues

Image: University of Oxford PhD students on a field trip to the Cotswolds

Twenty-two Oxford PhD students in Environmental Research visited the nearby Cotswolds area on 15 October to hear about local issues in land and water use from organisations and individuals working in the area. These included a model farmer, an educator for an environmental charity on woodlands and a local activist group working against the pollution of the river. The students also experienced citizen science in testing the Evenlode river for the European project Drinkable Rivers.

The initiative was run in connection with the Oxford Pop-Up Science Shop at Oxford University, which is seeking ways to develop closer connections between the university and local communities and provide opportunities for researchers and research students to be inspired by real life issues on their doorstep.

Following the field visit, the students were offered a four hour workshop on ways to establish their own connections outside of academia. This has resulted in numerous ideas on reaching out to a wide range of organisations such as agricultural robotics developers, the angling society, environmental campaigning organisations, and specific trade unions. 

The students’ input and evaluation will feed into a follow up training session on societal challenges and/or a rerun in 2020.

More information about the Oxford Pop-Up Science Shop can be found at  https://www.mpls.ox.ac.uk/science-shop