Irish Geomorphology Workshop 2014

Some thoughts on the Geomorphology workshop submitted by E&PSP Ph.D. Candidates Ankit Verma & Lauren McKeown

Members attending the November 2014 Irish Geomorphology Workshop in Galway

The second Irish Geomorphology scientific workshop was held over two days (November 6 – 7, 2014) in the National University of Ireland, Galway. It was attended by four Ph.D students of Trinity College, Dublin – Ankit Verma, Lauren Mc Keown, Niamh Cullen and William Tengwen Long and two Trinity Professors – Dr. Gayle McGlynn and Dr. Mary Bourke. Niamh, Tengwen and Dr. Bourke presented their research at this workshop.

What is the IGGy Workshop?

The Irish Geomorphology group conducts an annual workshop in various geomorphological research sub-areas. This workshop provides a platform for young postgraduate students to learn important skills in geomorphology and receive career guidance from experts in the field. The workshop also provides opportunities to researchers to present their results and share ideas with the community. The very first workshop was held in February, 2014 in the Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin.

Why did we attend this workshop?

The IGGy workshop is designed for early stage postgraduate students. It is an excellent opportunity to meet and engage with other researchers in the field. This workshop gives the student a chance to discover currently active research in sub-divisions of geomorphology outside of their own and to communicate with colleagues regarding various projects. We attended with the primary aim of learning more about what is going on in the field and who is behind some work we may have heard about. In particular, we each got the invaluable opportunity to be inspired by the work of our colleagues in Ireland. As it happened, one of us happened upon a new technique that could be very useful when applied to our future research…exciting!

Workshop Day 1

The first day of the workshop was a focus on Career guidance in the fields of geography and geomorphology, given by the experts. The first session involved career avenues, CV building, and managing one’s presence on social media. We came to know about the benefits of having an internet presence on sites such as LinkedIn. Following this, Prof. Devoy talked about emerging research trends in geomorphology. Dr. Fabio Sacchetti introduced INFOMAR and elaborated on opportunities in Marine Science at the Marine Institute. Finally, experts such as Dr. Bourke, Dr. Farrell and Prof. Devoy discussed the Do’s and Do not’s in Ph.D life. Students were invited to participate in the discussion and some of the Masters students present at the workshop were able to query Ph.D students about the benefits and difficulties in taking on a Ph.D.

Workshop Day 2

The second day of the Workshop was held at the very accommodating venue; Galway’s Westwood House Hotel. On the second day, our workshop took on the form of a conference. This was divided into three sessions. All the sessions were attended by postgraduate students and professors alike. It was a highly valuable experience to come across different research areas in the same subject, regardless of whether a sub-division of geomorphology related very strongly to our individual projects or not. As early stage researchers, we were all introduced to modern research methodologies currently used in geography. Two students also presented posters at the workshop and we were invited to question them on their work.

We would definitely recommend this workshop to anybody doing research in geomorphology or geography. It offers a great chance to interact with people in the field and keep up to date with research currently conducted in Ireland. The Irish Geomorphology group epitomised the fantastic hospitality associated with this country, with excellent arrangements for food and accommodation. We all thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to discuss topics raised on the first day in the informal and relaxed setting of the conference dinner. Combining this with wonderful organisation in terms of planning out the schedule of discussions, we were able to maximise our understanding of active Irish research in Geography and Geomorphology. We will most certainly be attending the workshop next year and would urge anyone who may be considering getting involved to do so.

 The next workshop will be held on November 2015. Register here to attend!

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