Remember the ‘olden days’ when we could go to the farm and work in groups with students? Here’s a dim distant record of a memory from February 2020!
This is our “Sustainable Livestock Production Systems” module where I teach grassland. We had a day at Nafferton Farm where the students spent half an hour each at a different ‘station’ learning about sustainable beef and dairy, pigs and feed, stewardship on the farm (I actually no longer remember if it is called ‘countryside’ or ‘environmental’ at the moment without looking it up – ELMS is ok!) and vegetative pasture grassland identification. This last bit was my bit of course and you can see the students fascinated (definitely) by ligules, stolons and patterns, shapes of leaf blades … Students made sustainability recommendations to James, the farm manger.
Freya Lance is the star performer here – it is so encouraging to hear our students recognising that they have to be responsible stewards of the land caring about the sustainability of the processes.
Credit to Hannah Davis for organising the day and to the marketing team for joining us, happily just made it before lockdown.
As we emerge from lockdown the farms should be a valuble resource and outdoor space where we can hopefully work on research projects – but nothing is guaranteed, of course
Was lovely to catch up with the MEnvs (Masters in Environmental Science) this week. I confess to finding some things about lockdown pleasant – and I don’t mean that as disrespect to those who are struggling, because I completely understand some people are – but I have enjoyed the peace and the family time. Also, not getting up as early as I used to is on my list of flippant positives. But – I was very sad not to meet up with the MEnvs for their talks, not to catch up with them properly or go for a celebratory drink afterwards or have lunch with the External Examiner… which leads me to remember Richard Payne who shared our presentations last year and his excited anticipation for his imminent Nanda Devi expedition https://www.york.ac.uk/environment/our-staff/richard-payne/ . You are missed, Richard. Our thoughts are still with his family. Back to our students, miss you too, but pleased to see you virtually at least. You all handled zoom with professionalism with talks on carbon budgeting on building sites and in business, water pollution in urban nature reserves, low tech environmental monitoring and grazing on bogs. See you at graduation everyone! I wonder if you will wear gowns …
The plan was to receive training and guidance on how to use your phone to produce a short video suitable for YouTube or Vimeo or wherever. To improve communication skills and employability. But the training happened – or didn’t happen – on the very first day of lockdown. Nevertheless, our versatile, enterprising students, armed with the PowerPoint and their inititives got their heads down to produce to a theme of their choice – aimed at audience of choice. Darren, Alastair and Theo, with different restrictions and access to outdoors, gave me permission to publish. Hope you like them.