May 31, 2023 was a special day for us at the Edinburgh Earth Initiative! To celebrate the achievements of our Earth Fellows, we organised the Earth Fellows Showcase – an informal event at the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute’s Atrium, where the Earth Fellows and the key academic partners they collaborated with on the projects, came together over drinks and snacks to reflect on the incredible work they have done over the past few months.  

The Showcase also marked the official launch of the 2023 Earth Fellows Edit (curated by Izi Robe), a digital archive born out of the need to create a lasting and enduring platform for the Earth Fellows to showcase their work and contributions to collective climate knowledge creation and dissemination across the University and beyond. 

A picture of the 2023 Earth Fellows cohort posing in front of the ECCI building.

The Earth Fellows Edit revolves around the thirteen projects and activities that have epitomised the Edinburgh Earth Initiative’s climate convening efforts over the past few months, by situating the onus on student engagement and research.  

Here’s a quick sneak-peek into the Earth Fellows Edit… 

Chitra Sangtani (Advanced Earth Fellow), Dilli ki Sardi: A part of the Cool Infrastructures Project, the film is a nuanced and sensitive exploration of fire as a source of heating during Delhi’s often cruel winters. This is followed by Ki Tong and Eloise Bevan’s report on the ongoing ECERT workshop series they organise alongside Dr Arno Verhoeven, as a contribution to the Low Voltage Living Project.  

Charlegne Rambanapasi and Jauza Khaleel (Postgraduate Earth Fellows), Fossil Fuel.Ed:  They conducted extensive archival research as a part of the Fossil-Fuel.Ed project, and in specific, they write about their research into the endowment of the Chair of Mining post at The University of Edinburgh, and the cornerstone text Careers in Mining Engineering (1937). 

Marie-Louise Wöhrle, Sophie Scrimgeour, and Yi Liu (Advanced Earth Fellows), The Medical and Diagnostic Waste Project: The fourth section of the Edit documents their research on medical and diagnostic waste on the DiaDev project, a joint venture between Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University.  

Rebecca Grant and Martín del Valle Menendez (Advanced Earth Fellows), Assessing Climate Vulnerabilities: A powerful reflection on their research on the impacts of climate change in humanitarian contexts and the significant findings of their literature review exemplifies the Edinburgh Earth Initiative’s commitment to interdisciplinary research and collaboration.   

Natalie Meiklejohn (Postgraduate Earth Fellow), Climate and Sustainability Training: Her piece chronicles her active involvement in the development of Climate & Sustainability Training at The University of Edinburgh’s Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS).  

Sophie Zych-Watson (Postgraduate Earth Fellow), Funding Strategy – ICSN: Her reflective piece provides insights into her involvement with the International Campus Sustainability Network.  

Grace Garland and Talia Shoval (Advanced Earth Fellows), Climate Justice: Also fellows of the Centre for Ethics and Cultural Thought (CRITIQUE) and co-founders of their Environmental Working Group, highlight their work at the intersections of climate justice and the environment.  

Recent additions to the burgeoning Edinburgh Earth Initiative family – Advanced Earth Fellows Laura Higham, Saraswati Thapa, and Henry Myers – give a brief on their current work on the regeneration of The University of Edinburgh’s food system, cost-effective technology solutions to urban flooding on the campuses, and the implications of an increasingly warming world on the nature and function of work – respectively. 

Alys Daniels Creasey and Sarah Manning (Postgraduate Earth Fellows), Adapt.Ed: Writing of their association with the Centre for Adapting to Changing Environments (ACE) on the timely Adapt.Ed project, they speak of their experience of interviewing key academic actors from various disciplines, working on adaptation and its challenges across the University.  

Shivani Arulalan Pillai (Postgraduate Earth Fellow), Communications and Events: In her piece, she ruminates on her role and the challenges involved in communicating the climate crisis.  

During the Showcase, Johanna Holtan, the Director of Operations at the Edinburgh Earth Initiative, then reflected on the many triumphs of the Earth Fellows programme.  

Advanced Earth Fellow, Martín, in his address, called the Edinburgh Earth Initiative a “school” that provides a space “to develop skills that traditional courses cannot deliver,” and spoke of how his personal and professional endeavours were enriched by his interaction with people from other disciplines and cultural backgrounds as a part of the Earth Fellows programme. 

Building on Martín’s angle, Dr Arno Verhoeven, Lecturer in the School of Design at the Edinburgh College of Art and the academic partner on the Low Voltage Living Project, called the Earth Fellows Programme a “real success story,” and acknowledged the Edinburgh Earth Initiative’s role as a facilitator in creating this unique programme that enabled the coming together of students and academics from across disciplines. Dr Verhoeven underscored the importance of such platforms for academics, and how they empower them to venture beyond their disciplines and benefit from the perspectives that emerge as a result of interdisciplinary interactions.  

Read the 2023 Earth Fellows Edit here, and watch this space for updates!