Bath Spa Geography team members work in partnership to develop a historical flood database for India's Kullu district
In autumn 2019, Bath Spa’s Rich Johnson (Reader in Physical Geography) and Esther Edwards (Research Fellow) engaged with international forums in the UK, India and Switzerland as part of the UGC-UKIERI funded research project ‘HiFlo-DAT’. The project, a bi-lateral (UK-India) collaboration, is currently developing a new database of historical flood events and rainfall conditions in the Kullu District of the Indian Himalaya since 1835, in order to track changing climate patterns in the area and increase disaster preparedness.
Working with Indian NGOs and government agencies, the project will bring tangible advances to Indian disaster risk reduction policy (DRR) and practice. An important underpinning element of the project is the development of a strong communal research ethos, where staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students all work together. At Bath Spa, Geography dissertation students Debra Edwards and Kieran King, and recent graduate alumni Victoria Phillips and Jessica Seviour have been key contributors.
Jess shares her reflections:
This experience has really helped me to learn new research skills as well as providing a taster to what my aspired future career could be like! HiFlo-DAT kept me motivated throughout writing my dissertation and has fuelled my future plans to undertake an MSc in Risk.
In October, in India, Rich and Esther were keynote speakers at the 13th IGU-India (International Geographical Union) Conference at the Central University of Haryana. They also convened the second ‘HiFLo-DAT workshop’ at the University of Delhi, which brought together academics, NGOs (e.g. IUCN) and government agencies (e.g. Kullu District Disaster management Authority).
The workshop discussed further particulars such as project dissemination, and upscaling approaches that will enable us to optimise the translation of science knowledge for both policy and practice stakeholders. In November, Rich and Esther were invited to the PAGES flood working group at the University of Geneva, contributing to a discussion of how to incorporate past flood records into global DRR frameworks for policy implementation.
For a more detailed overview of HiFlo-DAT project progress, the public lecture (hosted by the Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics, 23 October) can be seen on our Bath Spa Youtube Channel.
Comments welcome to Dr Rich Johnson (email@example.com).
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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