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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Professor Michael Clark - 1940-2014

Published: 1 May 2014

Mike Clark, Emeritus Professor of Geography, and the former Director of the GeoData Institute sadly passed away on Friday 11 April.

Mike joined Southampton University in 1959 as an undergraduate and completed postgraduate studies at Southampton in 1965.  He went on to become Professor within the Department in environmental management (specifically in water resources and coastal zone management).  Mike was a distinguished, innovative, motivating and much-loved teacher of 1000's of undergraduates and supported some 20 PhD students in his years as an academic. Mike's commitment to applied and multi-disciplinary research led to the founding of the GeoData Institute of which he was Deputy Director from 1988 and Director for 18 years from 1992-2010. He served as Director for Centre of Environmental Sciences, 1994-1995, and was Director of the University Centre for AIDS Research from 2003-2006.

His long-standing interest in effective communication between technical specialists and public was reflected in his directorship of the media production group, Envision Resources Ltd. He was Director of Teaching Media Services at the University and Chair of the British Universities Film and Video Council from 1985-2005. This interest in stakeholder engagement in environmental decision making and coastal management led to his post as chair of the Solent Forum (South Coast Stakeholder Partnership).
Retiring in 2005 Mike continued to work with the University up until last month, visiting Ethiopia with the Food and Agriculture Organisation and working in Kenya with the International Institute for Environment and Development at the end of March. I am sure Mike will be remembered by many for his common sense, intellect and integrity. Above all Mike was a truly inspirational speaker, able to engage and rouse an audience and with a rare talent to communicate and synthesise.

A memorial service for Mike took place at Romsey Abbey last Friday and was attended by a large and diverse congregation. The event was a celebration of Mike's remarkable life and his academic contributions that spanned the globe.

Charitable donations can be made to Cancer Research or a Just Giving page has been set up for sponsorship of Aids Alliance in remembrance of Mike.


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