In hardback this is literally a weighty tome. It has been travelling with me for some time as I have dipped into it, and I’m now pleased to lighten my load as I complete this review, and place it amongst my useful reference books.
Our annual membership survey not only collects quantitative responses, but also gives members a chance to provide written feedback on our membership services.
Once we've summarised the numerical results (see our Membership Survey report), the Project Office discusses the written comments in detail. As a member-driven organisation, our membership survey is a vital tool for addressing members' concerns, queries and suggestions.
In support of this year’s World Environment Day campaign, #BeatPlasticPollution, the IES ran a series of events in Bristol, London and Edinburgh showing the award-winning documentary, A Plastic Ocean. Each screening was followed by a panel debate exploring the scientific evidence behind this environmental issue and some of the potential unintended environmental impacts many proposed plastic alternatives and solutions could present.
In the first five months of 2018, the IES has already made as many formal consultation submissions as we did in the whole of last year. But no, this isn’t because we spent the autumn in a David Attenborough-induced trance, chain-watching Blue Planet II and lamenting not having done something about that great idea we had to set up a business selling reusable coffee cups five years ago.
Universities are facing increasing pressures to change the educational programmes they offer in order to make graduates fit for future citizenship and employment in the 21st Century. The impetus for radical re-purposing of universities comes from a complex array of contemporary issues, including societal, economic and environmental challenges as well as national and international policy change. Curriculum reform and innovation are beginning to take place in many universities in the UK and elsewhere in the world in response to such pressures and policy developments.
The principal element of my first degree, when ecology was still a relatively new subject, was entitled Ecosystems and Man and Mark Everard’s latest work provides a fascinating compendium of the intellectual revolution that has occurred over the decades since then. This book weaves the concepts of sustainability, biodiversity and ecosystem services, terms so familiar now but unheard in academia in my day, with what many of us are practising in our professional activities as we work with anthropically transformed ecosystems.
My review copy of the Routledge Handbook of Ecosystem Services landed on the doormat with quite a loud bump! At 630 pages, it is a Handbook for people with big hands.
The European Union (EU) is currently the topic on everybody’s lips in the UK. More specifically, the 23rd June’s referendum on whether the UK should remain a member. There has been much discussion about the potential implications of ‘Brexit’, ranging from the mundane to the sensational, but most would agree that outside of our own sector, the consequences for the environment haven’t broken through into mainstream debate.
The everyday – those familiar things which we take for granted without considering how they connect with, and depend on, nature. In his new book Mark Everard explores these connections and, along the way, provides a wealth of fascinating facts. Here ecology is interpreted broadly and the book provides thought-provoking historical, industrial, social and, on occasions, theological context.
Minerals are everywhere and impact on our environment in a host of complex and sometimes unexpected ways. But what exactly is environmental mineralogy? Helpfully, the introduction explains that this book considers systems containing minerals that constitute key elements of the global ecosystem including soils, sediments and atmospheric aerosols. As the repositories of chemical elements in the Earth's crust, minerals provide the elements that are essential for life and human development but are also linked with processes that can cause pollution and threaten ecosystems.