Geography (SEED) Lab Tour

Geography (SEED) tours at the Arthur Lewis building were a huge success, thanks to John Moore for leading them.

Fidel Peacock “I was really impressed by the lengths with which John and his colleagues at the Geography Labs went to accommodate us. To start, we had a freebie (LED light keychain) commemorating 125 years (1892-2017) of Geography at Manchester.  Not only could we observe as many of the different equipment and facilities they had but we also learned about the breadth of their applications. First, we were shown how soil and water samples were taken, the various equipment they took on fieldtrips (such as a CO2-measuring chamber) and the different types of tree pollens under a microscope.

One of the topical projects involved looking at microbeads – the variety of sizes, colour and quantity, across different commercially available products. We were then shown state-of-the-art equipment, only a handful in the country, which made possible to automate the study and analysis of soil samples. They also had mass spectrometry machines to achieve greater sensitivity. We then went on to learn about a computational project involving data from different satellites and how they were being used to curate geographical locations.

Lastly, we walked across to the basement of the Humanities Bridgeford St. building where the workshop for architect students was housed. We had the chance to speak and listen to architect students about their latest projects as well as the workshop technicians about how they supported the students’ visions. Besides all the equipment you would expect with model making, they also had a 3D printer which could be really handy for anyone in the University.

All in all, this was a very well-planned, thought out and executed tour. There was a good balance of show and tell and all the designated people at each station articulated their stations with confidence, passion and a touch of humour. I would really hope they would be running the tour again in the future and highly recommend others to get themselves onto this tour!

Virtual Vivarium: Community Festival

Gail Millin-Chalabi – GIS and Remote Sensing Officer for the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) led the Virtual Vivarium stand for the Community Festival on 17 June 2017 at Manchester Museum.

She was supported by the dedicated help of MSc Geographical Information Science students Judith Angwech, Zhadra Taibassarova and Sandaru Weerasinghe from the Geography department.

The event provided an excellent opportunity for the Geography postgraduate students to showcase to the general public the Virtual Vivarium Google Earth app and Fabulous Frogs augmented reality app (see below photographs). The stand which ran for four hours was well attended with over 75 visitors from a variety of different age groups.

The Virtual Vivarium team would like to thank Peter Leigh – Multimedia Technician (SEED) for installing the Blippar augmented reality app onto several iPads in readiness for this public engagement event.

Virtual Vivarium Team – Community Festival, Manchester Museum, 17 June 2017. Top left photo from left to right: Gail (SEED Technical Team), Sandaru (Geography PGT student), Zhadra (Geography  PGT student) and Judith (Geography  PGT student).