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Robin Garton BSc Geography

The Glacier Trust

Robin Garton's Photo

Hi, I'm Robin Garton and I studied BSc Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.

Throughout my BSc course the University staff was generous with its support as were my fellow students, despite the fact that I was nearly three times their age.

After a 40 year career as a specialist art dealer, I became hooked on glaciology. This developed into a concern as to how communities living at altitude might adapt to hazards posed by climate change. It was suggested that my concerns would not help anybody unless I became better educated and that took me to the Geography School at Southampton University. Throughout my BSc course the University staff was generous with its support as were my fellow students, despite the fact that I was nearly three times their age.

After graduating at age 61, I tried to find voluntary work with NGOs concerned with climate change. However, in discussion with various organisations it became apparent that there is frequently a gulf between the practices of Physical and Human Geography. Thus, even where climate change science is available to NGOs, there is frequently a lack of capacity to implement adaptation strategies. Alternatively, where NGOs have strong local roots, they may not have the scientific backup with which to advance community projects.

It was through the unstinting help and contacts provided by the Southampton GeoData Institute that I was able set up an organisation called The Glacier Trust, whose purpose is to listen to the needs of communities being adversely affected and help provide the means for a solution. It places strong emphasis on community capacity building by supporting local postgraduate education.

The Glacier Trust works to enable communities living at altitude to adapt to climate change. It seeks both to strengthen the relationship between science and the community through education and training and to develop the means by which experience and skills can be shared and translated between communities.

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