Dr Richard Jones

Student engagement

Name Dr Richard Jones
Email R.T.Jones@exeter.ac.uk
Position Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography
College

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Inspiring students through research

Richard Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography. As a keen researcher, Richard’s main research interests lie in paleo-environmental science, using natural archives, such as peat bogs, lake sediments and tree rings in order to help understand past and present climate change. In addition, Richard is now also researching into the topic of environmental pollution and the impact it can have on human health.

As an active researcher, Richard is keen to bring his research into the classroom to inspire and engage his students. As Richard explains:

“I’m just really, really enthusiastic…Thinking back to my time at university, there was nothing worse than a lecturer who just droned on, like monosyllabic…so I mean, my solution is just to be overly enthusiastic…[and if when] you lecture and teach and interact with students [and] you’re enthusiastic about your own topic…it’s going to be a big benefit”.

Engaging students through fieldwork

In addition, Richard also supports students whilst they are on fieldwork as part of the BSc Physical Geography course, visiting a range of destinations including Iceland, California and Brazil. Frequently the most popular module in terms of student feedback, as Richard points out, the fieldwork module provides as an invaluable opportunity for students to learn about key concepts first-hand and to develop their independent research skills.

“It’s a lot easier to talk about a feature…like a glacial feature, when you’re stood in front of a glacier, rather than kind of pointing to a diagram in a book [because] you [are actually] there. You know a lot of people working in the Amazon Rainforest and you can constantly talk about it, but it’s impossible to recreate the Amazon Rainforest in a lecture theatre. You can show some amazing videos, but actually getting out into the forest…the sounds, the smells, you can’t beat it really”.

 

Aim 1: Talented, Active, Engaged Students
To increase levels of proactive student engagement with their academic studies

Value of traditional and active learning techniques

"The lecture still has a very important place…"

Benefits of learning from leading researchers and practitioners

"One of the big appeals of Exeter...is that we now have some really high-profile people"

Developing students’ knowledge and research skills through fieldwork

"…[the fieldtrip] is a fundamental part of Geography..."