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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Geography undergraduate receives Royal Geographical Society award

Published: 29 April 2013

First year BSc Geography student Eleanore Heasley has been awarded a prestigious RGS bursary to support her work as a fieldwork apprentice studying monsoon floods in Cambodia this September.

Eleanore will be working with Professor Stephen Darby and Dr Julian Leyland from Geography & Environment at the University of Southampton. She will join a multi-national and multi-institutional team, led by Steve and Julian, who are working on Natural Environment Research Council funded project STELAR-S2S investigating the role of climatic fluctuations in driving the 'pulse' of sediment transfer through the world's largest rivers. The team are focusing in particular on the Mekong River in Cambodia.

Eleanore's role in the September fieldwork will include collecting a range of water and sediment samples to help with the team's efforts to quantify water and sediment discharges during the peak of the Mekong's annual monsoon flood. Eleanore said, "Taking part in this project will make a huge difference to me. I will learn how to conduct fieldwork and basic analysis, improve my technical skills and develop more wide ranging organisation and teamwork skills. It will be fascinating to see at first-hand how a large team of professional scientists work together in the field".

The RGS offer this bursary award to a limited number of first year geography students from across UK universities each year. Professor Steve Darby, the academic who will act as Eleanore's ‘mentor' during the fieldwork and who is lead investigator on the STELAR project noted "The RGS Fieldwork Apprenticeships scheme offers an excellent way to engage students in cutting edge research. Our team benefit from having another pair of hands in the field, but more importantly Eleanore will gain experience in a range of advanced techniques of flow and sediment transport monitoring. Eleanore won this award in the face of intense competition from students from across the UK and we are delighted that she will be joining our expedition later this year."

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