PhD Student Becca Farnum at the London International Dive Show

King’s Water PhD researcher Becca Farnum attended the London International Dive Show 14-15 February to talk about the work of the Kuwait Dive Team, a volunteer organisation working to preserve and protect the marine environment of the Gulf.

DSC_0050Becca traveled to Kuwait in October 2014 in order to learn more about the Team and shadow their operations – where her research on environmental diplomacy took her under the sea for her first scuba dive!

IMG_1425The Team uses their salvage and rescue expertise to do people-to-people diplomacy. They asked Becca to present about their activities at the Show, encouraging tourist divers to volunteer to protect the marine environment they so enjoy exploring. Three of the Team’s volunteers came to London from Kuwait to share the Team’s message and forge partnerships with British conservation organisations. Becca and the Team’s Beach Cleanup Head led a session in the Scuba Youth Zone, teaching young attendees about the dangers of pollution in the water.

KDT LIDS - MCS Award Becca Youth Zone 2

Phenomenal People, Extraordinary Journeys

Phenomenal People Extraordinary Journeys

Join several King’s Water members for an exciting event on 7 March run by Intrepid Explorers in association with the Royal Geographical Society’s weekend of Field Techniques Workshops. The afternoon and evening of discovery will take place in the RGS Ondaatje Theatre, exploring just what extremes researchers go to in order to conduct field-based science.

Speakers include King’s Water’s own Kate Baker, a PhD student exploring habitat patterns of benthic macroinvertebrates in tropical streams in northern Borneo. Kate has a passion for travelling and rivers and is one of the founders and current seminar convenor of Intrepid Explorers, a platform to share experiences and learning from field research. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Jungle Panel member at RGS’s Explore event, and a trustee of Look East Wild Earth.

Mike Chadwick will speak as “A Professional Juggler”, reflecting on his experiences with King’s Water research “from the Lab and the Depths of London’s Urban Rivers to Working in the Tropics Whilst Raising a Family”.

Presenters also include external speakers such as polar explorer Felicity Aston, MBE. Speakers will share their adventures conducting research at a variety of levels from citizen science to professional scientist.

The “Phenomenal People, Extraordinary Journeys” afternoon event starts 2pm (programme here). A film screening on “Making the Unseen Seen” by the eXXpedition crew will take place at 6pm, followed by a panel discussion on “Becoming an #Explorista: Frontiers of Field Research”.  The evening will end with a chance to chat with the speakers in the bar over canapés.

For more information, see the Intrepid Explorers website and the Facebook event. Be sure to register online.

PhD Student Kris Chan speaks at Oxford

King’s Water PhD Student Kris Chan recently spoke at the University of Oxford as part of their “Natural Resources in Society ESRC Interdisciplinary Seminar Series for Graduate Students” programme.

Kris spoke about “Dams, Livelihoods and Ecology in Southeast Asia”, part of his doctoral work on “Environmental Impacts of Hydroelectric Dams in the Greater Mekong Subregion”. Kris is in his final year at King’s. He has just returned from fieldwork in Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, where he investigates the environmental impact of dams. Learn more about his research.

Kris Chan Oxford

Kris’ talk recounted his experiences on the ground, reflecting on the politics driving hydropower growth and often overlooked or underrepresented environmental impacts, particularly through livelihood changes. Kris also spoke with Oxford students about his experiences during fieldwork, particularly helpful for students considering research in politically difficult countries.



Professor Declan Conway on Water Security and Climate Change

Professor Declan Conway from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science gave a talk on ‘Water Security and Climate Change’ on 10 Feb 2015.

He captures his talk by saying: “I will first summarise the interactions between anthropogenic climate change and water security. The effects of climate change will have far reaching consequences for water resources across all dimensions of water security, particularly through changing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. I then review developments in research on climate change and water resources during the last three decades, tracing a shift of focus from climate impacts to broader management and policy concerns addressing the need for adaptation. During the last decade research effort has grown substantially and developed specific issues in more detail, often involving greater technical complexity. Key themes include: downscaling climate scenarios; attempts to characterize uncertainty; addressing the implications of uncertainty for decision-making; integrated assessments; and case studies coupling understanding of climate change impacts within a broader context of policy, management and decision-making. Reflecting on these themes suggests there has been a tendency to problematise the issue of climate change for water resources management, which has highlighted challenges, rather than identifying responses. I conclude by outlining several directions for future research.”

See also his chapter, ‘Securing Water in a Changing Climate’ in the edited book Water Security: Principles, Perspectives and Practices by Routledge.



More funding opportunities to study water at King’s Geography

King’s Water contributes expertise to three Masters programmes at the Geography Department:

MSc Aquatic Resources ManagementMSc Water: Science and Governance,  and MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Management

New funding opportunities are now available and those interested in applying are encouraged to read up on details.

For  the 272 bursaries worth £10,000 each for postgraduate taught students from widening participation backgrounds, see:

Professor Erik Swyngedouw on Liquid Power: Contested Hydro-Modernities in Twentieth-century Spain

The Geography department held the Environment, Politics and Development Research Group Annual Lecture this week with Professor Erik Swyngedouw from University of Manchester launching his latest book.

The 90 min lecture drawing on the book by MIT Press, Liquid Power: Contested Hydro-Modernities in Twentieth-century Spain, drew in a crowd of 75 people, from undergraduates, masters and PhD students and staff.

See some live tweets of this event here:



Talks with Visiting Professor Stephen Lintner

Students picked Visiting Professor Stephen Lintner’s brains this week during a session on ‘Careers in International Development: A Field of Professional Practice’.

Careers in international development are often of interest to individuals from a diversity of backgrounds given the opportunity they provide to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction. The presentation reviewrf the mandates of representative public and private sector organizations involved in international development, the scope and scale of their programs, and the general profiles of their staff. It addressed practical issues concerning how development organizations engage individuals to serve as staff, consultants and interns. The presentation focused on international development as a field of applied professional practice and the challenges presented with work in a non-academic setting.

Stephen F. Lintner is Visiting Professor of Geography at King’s College London and has over 35 years of worldwide experience in environment, infrastructure and water resources management. At King’s he focuses on three complementary themes: policies and procedures for management of environmental and social impacts and risks; assessment and management of transboundary freshwater, coastal and marine resources; and evaluation of historical processes of human modification of environmental systems. Lintner previously held leadership roles at the World Bank; his most recent position, from 2000 to 2014, was as Senior Technical Adviser, with global responsibilities. Prior to joining the World Bank, Lintner served in the United States Agency for International Development, United States Geological Survey and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (USA).


There will be two further seminars with Stephen:

Seminar 1

Thursday 5 February – 17.30 (Pyramid Room)

Stephen Lintner

Process in the evaluation and implementation of projects and programmes


Seminar 2

Monday 9 February – 18.00 (Pyramid Room) 

Panel discussion with Stephen Lintner and Chris Perry

Fifty years of water development and allocation: what could possibly go wrong