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Transcript: GSD - Meet our team

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins: “So the approach that we take to teaching sustainability I think offers a really good grounding for students in all major aspects of sustainable development such as the social, political, the economic, and the environmental.”

Dr Alastair Smith: “I’m a hugely interdisciplinary academic, I’ve done training in history, politics, economics, anthropology, so I’ve really lived the interdisciplinary dream. And I suppose what excites me about teaching is the opportunity to guide students along their own journey through that interdisciplinary trajectory.”

Dr Jess Savage: “So my area of expertise is on the development of marine protected areas in Cambodia and coastal communities throughout South East Asia. The idea here is that we’re working together with local fishermen to find ways to protect the environment whilst still enabling them to fish, and working collaboratively towards a sustainable future.”

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins: “My research is into the politics and sociology of climate change, particularly in the Caribbean. This is a really important area as people in the Caribbean are on the front-lines of environmental harm, and yet they are the least responsible, and they have the least resources available to cope.”

Dr Alastair Smith: “In terms of my research, I’ve worked quite a lot with the sustainability of food and food supply chains. I’ve worked with small farmers in Malawi, I’ve worked on various islands thinking about island food security and sovereignty. A recent project was based in Columbia, looking at the production of cocoa leaf by small farmers. All this feeds into my current teaching, so I’m teaching on the Environmental Principles module where we’re looking at issues such as land-use change where my research ties in, and I’m also leading part of the Food module in second year where obviously my understanding of sustainability issues from my research can be brought into the classroom on a daily basis.”

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins: “My research into the sociology and politics of climate change in the Caribbean feeds into my teaching on the social aspects of sustainable development. We often don’t think about the social and political dimensions when we talk about sustainable development, and that’s partly why it’s so important that as part of our degree, we have a core module that’s entirely dedicated to teaching students about those social and political dimensions of sustainability.”

Dr Jess Savage: “I’m a really strong believer that the best place to learn isn’t always going to be a classroom. Thankfully, here at the University of Warwick, we’ve got some amazing natural habitats and I like to use those in place of a classroom and immerse students in these environments so that they can learn about ecological processes in the natural habitat.”

Dr Alastair Smith: “I’ve become really intensively interested in the quality of educational experiences, getting students actively engaged, helping them understand how to research policy briefings, how to pitch these ideas to decision-makers.”

Dr Jess Savage: “We’re training our students to be culturally aware, to be able to immerse themselves and to meet people and understand the drivers for global change that we’re currently experiencing. Ultimately, we’re empowering our students to engage actively with the sustainable development agenda, to help us flip the narrative in global change from negative to positive.”

“I’m Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins.”

“I’m Dr Jess Savage.”

“I’m Dr Alastair Smith.”

Dr Jess Savage: “And we teach GSD at the University of Warwick.”