University Nature Trail unveiled
Here at the school of Bioscience we are involved in numerous initiatives that broaden our impact on the local community. This page is just a cross-section of some of the activities we have been engaged in over the recent months.
Each year the Mumbles Development Trust organises a beach clean-up linked to the nationwide campaign by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). We took part and collected several bin-bags full of rubbish!
The SEACAMS project celebrates International Day for Biodiversity with the National Waterfront Museum and Swansea Biodiversity Partnership. Visitors learn about the amazing marine and coastal habitats and species we have on our doorstep in Swansea, how they help us and how you can help protect them.
This year is the centenary of Alfred Russel Wallace’s death, and we are celebrating his life and scientific legacy. We are organising a poster competition for schools, and the results will be shown at the Swansea Museum in autumn. For further information, please contact Ruth Callaway firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nature Trail is an exciting initiative between the Sustainability Team and Bioscience Department which encourages staff, students and visitors to utilise the campus grounds to stretch their and get some fresh air, and to discover the diverse habitats and wildlife we have on our doorsteps.
The trail was officially opened by Welsh television naturalist Iolo Williams on 11th of March, who urged us all to use the trail as an opportunity to get away from our computers once in a while and refresh our minds and bodies by getting out into nature.
This year’s Cheltenham Science Festival was once again a huge success and continues to grow as one of the most influential platforms for science communication and public engagement.
The 6 day programme of events, workshops and activities was delivered by over 350 expert speakers from around the world and attracted thousands of visitors.
Amongst Swansea University’s contributing scientists was Dr Andrew King, Senior lecturer in Biosciences. Dr King took part in an event with BBC Bang Goes the Theory’s Liz Bonnin, which examined what we know about how intelligent and social animals are.
Dr Andrew King leads the SHOAL (Sociality, Heterogeneity, Organisation And Leadership) research group at Swansea University’s Department of Biosciences, which investigates collective animal behaviour in a variety of species and contexts.
"I chose Swansea University to study Biology after watching Andrew King speak at the Cheltenham Science Festival"
Dr Dan Forman has given a talk to U3A on Pollinators and Plants recently.
Dr Forman said "an important part of the remit of the Swansea Ecology Research Team is public engagement in science and knowledge transfer. We provide a number of talks annually to local authorities, specialist groups and schools on a wide diversity of subjects including applied ecology, animal behaviour and conservation, and the philosophy of science. Recent talks have focused on the role and value of pollinators in our environment, and have aimed to provide an understanding of how to best assist the conservation of these important animals by altering small scale gardening practises."
Feedback from participants who attended Dr Dan Forman’s talk include: “brilliant, best speaker we have ever had”, “I have learnt so much, I am going to make changes to my garden and please could I invite you to come back again.”
The Department of Biosciences’ Swansea Ecology Research Team (SERT) welcomed a group of students from the University of Northern Iowa Sustainability Capstone on 21 May 2014. The students were taken on a walk on campus based on the biodiversity trail. These walks provide an opportunity to highlight the diversity of life that surrounds us all, permit the free and frank exchange of ideas, and to discuss often challenging dilemmas with regards to the conservation of biodiversity and human behaviour. Read their blog to find out what they did: http://unisustainability.blogspot.co.uk/
The walk was part of the ongoing series of walks and talks that SERT provides for the University on themes relating to biodiversity, sustainability and conservation. Iowa students visit each year as part of an exchange programme between our two universities and were hosted by the University Sustainability Team.