Keen Abbey Geographers were left in no doubt that “geography is everywhere” following a fascinating talk by Alice Jones-Evans of geographical information systems experts ESRI UK. Quoting the saying: “everything that happens, happens somewhere in space and time” Alice explained the value of Geographers to employers and society.
Alice began by recalling her own school days, where geography field trips were a highlight and falling in the river was her speciality. Between Lower and Upper Sixth she travelled to Norway with the British Exploring Society to do fieldwork for six weeks where she varied her routine by falling into a crevasse, and fell in love with Geography at the same time.
After a masters in Geography at Edinburgh University Alice started work for DEFRA where one of her first projects involved the containment of the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak. A fascinating career has ensued, bring the benefits of realtime geographical information to diverse organisations, helping the UK Hydrographic organisation track acts of piracy; sending ships to potential wreckage sites for flight MH370; reducing crime with South Yorkshire Police and helping RSA analyse insurance risk.
Alice concluded by highlighting the important work done by charity www.Mapaction.org, which provides real time mapping information and data analysis in disaster areas, enabling humanitarian decision-makers to make better decisions and send relief to the right place. As she said: “it’s amazing what a map can do.”