King’s Water welcomed a new cohort of undergraduate geography and postgraduate Water: Science and Governance students to King’s College London last week. In this post, new King’s Water member Rebecca Peters reflects on her first week at King’s.
Induction week for the King’s College Water: Science and Governance MSc students began with Aquatic Science on Monday afternoon. In anticipation of several days of fieldwork in Preston Montford Field Studies Center next week, Dr. Mike Chadwick used our first class meeting for introductions and to show us the lab. My peers are all interesting people from around the world including Hong Kong and Canada with a range of water related interests, from WASH to environmental conservation. After weeks of communicating over our group webpage, meeting in person and putting personalities to names was great.
The rest of induction week included important sessions on campus resources, the student union, interfaith opportunities, sexual assault prevention, research centers, and the nuances of the Geography Department. Hearing from Dr. Nick Clifford, Head of Department, served as an excellent reminder of the status of KCL in the international research community and its highly ranked place among elite universities producing critical insights into environmental processes, climate change, and urban development.
My initial impressions of the Water MSc program, intimate with just twelve students, are informed by the broad backgrounds from which we each arrived at KCL. We include a coffee shop entrepreneur, several fresh out of undergrad Geography students interested in both environmental management and social aspects of water, a mid-career professional from Kazakhstan, and a couple of students passionate about watershed data collection. I see my peers all drawn to KCL’s unparalleled faculty, investment in postgraduate education and pedagogy, and ample opportunities for practical application of our academic studies.
Some meetings were program specific, but having the opportunity to speak with the other Physical Geography postgraduates demonstrated the diversity of students attracted to KCL. As we each introduced ourselves, some twenty countries and over sixty undergraduate degrees were represented. Geography is also one of the largest programs in the university and in the UK, which means ample opportunities to meet engaging people from a variety of experiences. Building community amongst ourselves over the year with this diversity is one of the facets of the program of which I am most looking forward.
To my pleasant surprise, administrative tasks during the week such as getting an ID and signing up for the gym were smoothly facilitated by the presence of friendly King’s staffers around main buildings. Having a peer who just finished his undergraduate degree at KCL for Geography in my program is also an advantage to navigate the wide-spread city campus, as well as to learn the best spots on and around campus for cheap eats and nice views (stay tuned on the blog for more on this!).
Overall, induction week was a fabulous welcome to KCL, the Geography Department, and the specifics of the MSc Water program. Getting to meet my peers, bonding over the frustration of figuring out Keats (the online class registration system), and wandering around the lab was a great start for the year to come. Looking forward to sharing more about this exciting year as it progresses!
About the Author
Rebecca Peters is a 2014 Marshall Scholar currently a Water Science and Governance MSc candidate at KCL. She recently completed an MSc in Poverty and Economic Development at the University of Manchester focused on land use change, water governance, and irrigated agriculture in South Africa. Her previous research in Bolivia and Mexico as a Berkeley Law Human Rights Fellow and Blum Center for Developing Economies Fellow included peri-urban water access and rural sanitation issues. In the future, she will dedicate her life to public service and academic leadership related to water justice.