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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Recognition for achievements in teaching and learning for two Ocean and Earth Scientists

Published: 31 May 2016

Two lecturers from Ocean and Earth Science have been honoured in this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Awards. Jörg Wiedenmann, Professor of Biological Oceanography, and Dr Rex Taylor, Associate Professor in Volcanic Geochemistry, will receive their awards at summer Graduation.

Jörg pioneered a new way of recapping past lecture material by inviting individual students to stand up and describe the material covered in their last session to their fellow undergraduates. “This encourages students to revise and summarise the key points of each topic and develop their presentational skills by addressing a large number of people,” he says. Jörg also introduced innovative assessment strategies and invites guest speakers to talk to the students about their careers and share their experiences following their time at University. Jörg is also strongly committed to educational outreach; in one example, the colourful display of fluorescent corals at the 2015 Southampton Boat Show, set up by him and his team fascinated thousands of visitors alike while introducing them to biomedical tools developed from these organisms.

Rex was honoured for establishing the Tenerife volcanological fieldcourse and designing a ‘virtual fieldwork’ web portal. This enables students to see high-resolution images of field geology on a range of scales from satellite, through outcrop and rock, down to microscopic. His original idea was to use this online tool to aid disabled students who were not able to benefit from ordinary field trips to areas of geological interest. It has now proved invaluable for all students to help them prepare for fieldwork and understand more about their discoveries when they are back in Southampton. “In just one example, the online material enhances the value to our students of our week-long study of the physical volcanology of Tenerife,” he explains. Over the years, Rex has helped more than 1,200 students make the most of their fieldwork at sites around the world.

The annual awards celebrate and reward creativity, passion and excellence by teaching staff throughout the year.

The 2016 winners can be found here.

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