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Dr Julie Robson

Profile summary

  • Regional Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer, Staff Tutor
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences
  • j.robson

Professional biography

With a background in sedimentology, biostratigraphy, palynology, soil science and hydrogeology, my career to date has been broad and varied, spanning Earth and Environmental Science. After posts at the Universities of Bristol and Kingston upon Thames, I worked in industry as a geophysical analyst of well logs, a hydrogeologist in the waste management industry and as a consultant engineering geologist.

I joined the Open University initially in 1979 as a Residential School Tutor then built a portfolio teaching career across Access to final year undergraduate courses in the Earth and Environmental Science curriculum.

I am currently a Senior Lecturer and the Lead Staff Tutor for the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, based at the Open University's Edinburgh Office in Scotland.

Research interests

My core reserach interests centre around carbonate and clastic sedimentology and biostratigraphy, but my working life has broadened these into other areas including:

  • Hydrology of waste management sites and their  relationhsip to aquifers
  • Geohazards and their mitigation, with reference to site investigatiosn and landslides
  • Resource  use and acquisition, their effects on the environment

Teaching interests

I teach across the Earth and Environmental Science curriculum including; geohazards, field skills, general Environmental Science and Geology. Teaching contributions include project work, field skills, the nuclear legacy, multidisicplinary aspects of Rare Earth Element resources and their use, climate change and soil science.

Student support and the pedagogy of learning are two interests close to my heart and are reflected in numerous scholarship projects. I am the current co-lead on an eSTEeM project: “Online peer mentoring at scale: Benefits and impacts from a student buddy perspective” evaluating the experience of students who peer-mentor others in an asynchronous online environment. Other projects examined the impact of online tuition delivery on tutors and the use of mobile technologies in real-time, interactive field work teaching.

Impact and engagement

I regularly contribute to outreach and engagement events including;

Representing the Open Univiersity at the annual London Geological Society's Careers day and Science and the Parliament (organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry), both in Edinburgh. The latter aims to bring Scientific institutions together with policy makers to showcase their work on a targeted theme.

Glasgow Science Festsival  provides opportunities to take interactive Science activities to the public on thems such as "Sticks and Stones; from rocks to plants and the importance of soil.

I also regularly visit schools with outreach activities on rocks and fossils.

I am currently the lead organiser of a two-day Science Showcase event at Dynamic Earth Edinburgh in October 2019, which includes a series of talks,  activities and opportunities for the public to "Meet the scientists" involved with BBC co-productions.

SInce 2015 I have been an active member of the programme committee for the UK Horizons in STEM conference promoting all aspects of Science teaching, learning and pedagogy, as well as a regular contributor of talks and posters.

 

 

External collaborations

I am currently working with Scottish Natural Heritage particularly with the staff at Creag Meagaidh NNR to promote volunteering and work experience opportunities for our students.

I am the English Language Editorand a reviewer for the Journal "Geologia Croatica" a post I have held fro over 20 years during which time the impact and readership of the Journal has grown and flourished.

Publications

What drives student participation in online tutorials? (2017-02)
Hayley-Mirnar, Vikki; Halliwell, Catherine and Robson, Julie
In : HEA STEM Conference 2017 (1-2 Feb 2017, Manchester Conference Centre)
Evaluating remote access to fieldwork with interactive fieldcasts for distance learning students (2017)
Robson, Julie; Cooke, Julia; Wheeler, Philip; Maseyk, Kadmiel and Collins, Trevor
In : The 6th eSTEeM Annual Conference (25-26 Apr 2017, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes)