A young girl examines a pot of soil

Children’s geographies researcher joins inclusive leadership for public engagement programme

Katie Parsons, a Research Fellow in Children’s Geographies has been awarded a place on the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement with Research Programme.

Young people taking part in the hedgehunters project

The programme aims to support environmental researchers to become inclusive leaders by developing their knowledge and expertise around diversity, equality and inclusion in public engagement, research and leadership skills.

Katie has over 25 years’ experience of working with children and young people in the social, youth and education sectors. Recently, she has worked on a variety of projects in the UK and internationally to help intergenerational communities understand and adapt to environmental and climate related disasters. These projects engage communities located in areas that are particularly impacted by climate change including Vietnam’s Red River Catchment, one of the most at risk catchments globally, and the East Yorkshire Holderness coast which has some of the most rapidly eroding coastline in the world. Another example, HedgeHunters, saw young people involved in the project create a citizen science app and educate future climate champions in the benefits of hedgerows.

Katie said: “I am delighted to have been awarded a place on the NERC Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement with Research. One of my many passions is to enable children, young people and communities to understand how the world around them works, by breaking down the barriers and access to that knowledge. This award will give me the opportunity to embark on a transformative journey together will the public to make meaning impacts that matter to them, by opening up engagement within the academic walls.”

The Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement with Research Programme is run by the University of Bath's Public Engagement Unit and public engagement consultancy Gurukula over 2024 funded by the NERC. Further information is available online.