GlosGeog welcomes Dr Liam Saddington!


Well, it was off to Marling School in Stroud, Gloucestershire this afternoon, our hosts for GlosGeog‘s second speaker session of this academic year. How lucky we were to have the company of Dr Liam Saddington, Teaching Associate in Human Geography in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge. Liam is a political and environmental geographer, whose research focuses on the geopolitics of climate change concerning small island states and rising sea levels.  His work explores how the relationship between territory and statehood is being reimagined in low-lying atolls in light of rising sea levels. Having the facility to livestream and record this speaker session meant that our outreach was even greater; Key Stage 4 and 5 students and their teachers from 30 schools across the UK and two international schools were able to hear what Liam had to say.

I formally welcomed and introduced everyone, then handed over to Liam. He began by asking students a number of questions. e.g. Have countries disappeared before?; What is a country? and How do countries ‘begin’?. After reflecting upon this, Liam delivered his talk, entitled, ‘Sinking Islands: Resisting Climate Change in the South Pacific, which was divided into three main parts, namely sinking islands, adaptation and diplomacy. Liam spoke in-depth about some of the issues in understanding small island states as ‘sinking’ and how island communities are trying to adapt to climate change.  Finally, he led a group discussion considering what the futures for low-lying island communities might look like. 

Following his lecture, there was time for a Q&A session. Students in situ were forthcoming with questions, which Liam answered willingly and comprehensively. We also had a few questions posed via the chat feed, which were addressed to Liam by Marling School’s Head of Geography. We do aim to include our virtual audience as much as the real one.

Many thanks, Liam, for giving up your time today and also to Clare Johnson, Head of Geography at Marling School, and the technical team there for their excellent organisation and support.

I always enjoy hearing Liam speak and learn something new each time. I think both teachers and students engaging with the session found it to be both informative and worthwhile too. Some of their ‘concluding comments’ can be found below:

Really relevant to current affairs and engaging.

Thought-provoking – looking at a different perspective to climate change and some of the wider political issues.

Stimulating and thought-provoking.

Thought-provoking; informative; relevant.

Interesting synopticity with geography A level topics.

Why not join us for our next GlosGeog event on Friday 8th December 2023, from 11.00 am to 12.30 pm? Further details can be found below. Please note that the cost is just £50 per school thanks to financial assistance from GlosGeog.

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