Welcome to the Walker Update, bringing you up to speed with the latest developments from the Walker Institute and the wider climate science field.

Partnering: Combatting neglected tropical diseases.  

We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Sightsavers, the international charity working to eliminate avoidable blindness and promote the rights of people with disabilities. We are looking forward to supporting policy makers and practitioners in addressing neglected tropical diseases more effectively against the backdrop of a changing climate and would be happy to speak with additional partners to engage in this work.  More on our blog here.

New University of Reading MSc Course

The Climate Change and Artificial Intelligence MSc starting later this year will include a complementary combination of disciplines – drawing expertise from the Department of Meteorology, Department of Computer Science, the Walker Institute and the triple-accredited Henley Business School – to offer the first, and currently only, postgraduate course of its kind in the UKMore on our blog here.

Capacity Building

The Walker Academy, the capacity development arm of the Walker Institute, is hosting PhD students from UK universities for Climate Resilience Evidence Synthesis Training (CREST).  CREST provides practical, real-world experience in the synthesis of information from across sectors to inform decision-making for climate resilience.  Course speakers are drawn from across the Walker Institute international network.  More on this and other courses on our Walker Academy pages.

Knowledge Exchange: Seasonal forecasts and extreme heat. Carbon Brief article

Walker Institute PhD candidate, Chloe Brimicombe, also a visiting scientist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, has written a guest post for the Carbon Brief award-winning website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate and energy policy. Chloe’s article explains the importance of seasonal forecasting in predicting extreme heat events.

Get Involved: Global Climate Ambassadors Programme

Early career researchers are invited to join us for a one-day workshop run by Climate Outreach on Friday 10 June. The workshop aims to equip those in climate research with the skills needed for public engagement and seeks to widen the diversity of spokespeople: elevating under-represented groups. Please contact Konstantina to enrol k.pratta@reading.ac.uk, and do ensure that students sign up soon!

Coming up: Tackling climate risks to the historic environment

Alongside Historic England, the National Trust and the Global Climate Heritage Network, we are holding a ‘Cultural Heritage: Climate Hazards, Risks and Adaptation Roundtable’ from 19-20 May at the Greenlands campus, Henley Business School. We will consider how to jointly develop a causal network linking climate change scenarios to understand the impact of management decisions on building resilience for historic environments.

Bridging Worlds: University of Reading Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Walker Director Professor Ros Cornforth was on the expert panel for the 31 March – 1 April University of Reading conference at the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development.  Wide ranging topics included agriculture, agri-science, agri-innovation, climate change, climate justice, sustainability, trade and development, sustainable irrigation, and water resource management, with a focus on representing voices from the Global South. The Conference was generously sponsored by Corteva Agriscience.

University of Reading Supporter Appreciation Event

Professor Ros Cornforth and climate researcher Jessica Underwood met and discussed the work of the Walker Institute with a wide range of supporters and donors on 19 March.  Hosted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Parveen Yaqoob, the event showcased how support has helped the University’s groundbreaking climate research.  More here.

What happened across the world this week?

Please click on this link to access the Global Hazards Weekly Bulletin produced by Prof Virginia Murray and her team at PHE, and archived by Prof Richard Allan. It contains a weekly summary of global hazards, including recent developments of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The previous bulletin can be found here.

All the best!

The Walker Institute Team