Geology for Global Development

Disaster Risk Reduction

From Our Archives: Guest Blogs (2)

blogWe’ve gone back even further into our archives (back to our old blog site in fact!) to bring you some brilliant guest blogs written by students and professionals on topics ranging from water to ocean nutrients! 

**Hydrogeology/Water and Sanitation

Donald John MacAllister – Groundwater Use and Challenges in South Asia

Christopher Barry – Water of Life Project – Safe Drinking Water in Burkina Faso

Geraint Burrows – Hydrogeologists Without Borders

Richard Boak – The Importance of Groundwater Monitoring

**Development and Natural Resources

Rosalie Tostevin – Is there blood in your mobile?

Louisa Fearn – Rethinking development in the age of scarcity and uncertainty

Dr D Vasudevan – Some thoughts on Agrogeology

**Disaster Risk Reduction

Claire Fyson – Earthquake Education in Central Asia


Jonathan Stone – The Social Geologist

Rosalie Tostevin – Ocean Nutrients: Geoscientists have the right balance

Laura Rose Wilson – Attachment with the Geological Survey of the Solomon Islands

Upcoming GfGD Events/Deadlines

GfGD at a recent careers event in Cambridge. (Credit: Sedgwick Club, Cambridge)

GfGD at a recent careers event in Cambridge. (Credit: Sedgwick Club, Cambridge)

Over the past few weeks GfGD Oxford have hosted a seminar (read more here) and we’ve spoken to students in Cambridge at a careers event. Below are some important dates, including more events and placement and conference funding deadlines! 

Thursday 28th November 2013

GfGD Leeds – “Eating an elephant: disaster risk reduction and the role of science (and scientists)”

GfGD Leeds will be welcoming Dr Susanne Sargeant (Seismic Hazard Analyst at the British Geological Survey and Advisor to GfGD). Susanne will be presenting a talk with the intriguing title “Eating an elephant: disaster risk reduction and the role of science (and scientists).” She will draw on her extensive field experience of improving resilience to natural hazards (particularly seismic) in the developing world. Thursday 28th November, 6pm, L8 Seminar Rooms.

LSE Guest Lecture – “Typhoon Haiyan: Natural Disaster, Act of God, or Human-Induced Catastrophe”

GfGD Director, Joel Gill, will be giving this talk at the London School of Economics Development Society. The talk will examine this devastating event as a function of natural hazard and human vulnerability, highlighting the importance of disaster risk reduction within any development work. The talk will start shortly after 5pm in Lincoln’s Inn Field, Ground Floor, Room 15.

Friday 29th November 2013

SRK Guest Talk – Geology for Global Development – Equipping young geologists to make a long term contribution to International Development

GfGD Director, Joel Gill, will be talking to staff at SRK consulting about our work, the vision we have, and the range of projects we are currently undertaking.

EGU Young Scientists’ Funding Deadline

Financial support to attend EGU 2014 is available for young scientists and those from low-income backgrounds – the deadline for abstracts with financial support is 29 November 2013 –

Friday 6th December 2013

GfGD Research Placement Deadline

See our blog post from last week for more information on these short-term placements – deadline midday 6th December!


If your university group is hosting any events, please email us with the details, so we can post them on our blog and Facebook page. We’d also love to see photos and get a review of any events for our blog.

Dialogues for Disaster Anticipation and Resilience – Your Help Needed!!

Following a recent discussion with staff at the Humanitarian Futures Programme, an independent policy research initiative based at King’s College London, an important opportunity emerged for YOU to support one of their programmes.

The ‘Dialogues for Disaster Anticipation and Resilience’ project is designed to bridge the gap between those who make science and those who use science to make decisions… Scientific learning and technological innovation hold tremendous opportunities for strengthening capacities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future crises. Yet unlocking this disaster risk reduction potential remains dependent on developing approaches which support effective dialogue between ‘those who make science’ and ‘those who use science to make decisions’. Only through sustained two-way dialogue will those with ‘humanitarian’ responsibilities know what questions to ask of emerging science and technology, and those with scientific and technical expertise be able to understand how their learning can better inform specific humanitarian decision making processes and contexts. “ 

The dialogues project, therefore, is a toolkit and practical guide to share emerging learning about those approaches which can support effective dialogue and appropriate application of scientific and technological learning to promote resilience to a range of potential future risks.”


On the dialogues website (available here – you can search for information based on dialogue type (accessing information, understanding information, or supporting appropriate application), search by risk type (earthquakes, hurricanes etc) or search by discipline (hydrology, seismology etc). These searches come up with a series of case studies, in which a knowledge exchange process is outlined and its impact assessed. On each of these case studies you can add your comments and suggestions. You can also submit general thoughts after looking at these case studies via their online survey.

We would love GfGD members to get involved in supporting this project – by looking at some of the case studies and adding any comments that you may have. You could gather in a small group and talk through the tool and 1-2 case studies together. If you are based at KCL, Southampton, Sussex, UCL, Reading, Liverpool or Portsmouth – there will be opportunities to attend facilitated trials of this system (all times, locations to be confirmed). Keep an eye on the blog for further information and updates!

Dealing with Disasters / 4th Conference of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management

This week (4-6th September 2013) a major conference is talking place at Northumbria University in Newcastle, with a focus on disaster risk reduction and disaster management. The conference, Dealing with Disasters Conference / 4th Conference of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management, will explore the theme ‘From Opportunity to Action: Bridging the Gap between Disaster Reduction and Development through Science(s), Technology and People Centred Actions.’

Some of the topics covered at the event will include:

  • Engaging demographic difference and change in disaster and development,
  • Developing public-private-civil societal-academic partnerships to improve Disaster Risk Reduction knowledge sharing
    and decision making,
  • The risk governance, scientific advisors, science and policy interface,
  • Education, communication, and development in disaster risk reduction,
  • Cities, risk and infrastructure technologies,
  • Disaster education, learning and response.

The conference will be a fascinating opportunity to hear from a range of stakeholders – both science and non-science, development practitioners, policy makers and others. We will be tweeting from the event (check out and and writing up some of the key sessions on the GfGD blog afterwards.