Homecoming geographer hopes to inspire Devon’s youngsters

A Devonshire geographer has returned to his home county to join a growing team of climate change and sustainability researchers at the University of Exeter.

Clive Sabel, Associate Professor in Human Geography, grew up near the South Hams village of Holbeton. Inspired by his geography teachers at Ivybridge Community College and a love of the Dartmoor countryside he has established a successful career in environmental research.

Clive left Devon to study at the Universities of Lancaster and Edinburgh and has subsequently worked all over the world, including California, Sweden and New Zealand. He returned to the UK to work for Imperial College London and joined the University of Exeter in September 2009.

Clive is an expert in Geographic Information Science, an important mapping and analysis technology. GIS allows us to take complex data and view, understand, question, interpret, and visualise it in many ways that reveals relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps. Clive’s work helps identify geographic ‘hot spots’ for diseases, which can help medics and policy-makers tackle their root causes. At Exeter he hopes to use this expertise to help understand how climate change and global warming is affecting human health.

Clive is also keen to inspire Devon’s youngsters to consider higher education, particularly those who might not traditionally consider university, by sharing his enthusiasm for his subject and his love of learning. He said: “I was very lucky to have had such supportive family and encouraging teachers at school. It’s important to remember that not everyone has these advantages early in life.” Widening participation at Exeter, and particularly within Geography is high on the school’s agenda.

Date: 15 November 2009

Read more University News