Research and Teaching facilities
The Geography Department houses a wide variety of facilities catering for a range of subject areas. Students studying Geography at Royal Holloway gain ‘hands on’ experience of these facilities under the supervision of experienced technical staff.
The Geospatial and Visual Methods Laboratory (GVML), opened in 2014, is a dedicated postgraduate computing facility consisting of top of the range Macs and PCs with Geographical Information Systems (GIS), advanced cartographic and image handling packages and audio-visual editing software for the analysis of qualitative data. These facilities are managed by the department’s dedicated IT technician who is available to advise on IT related issues and for trouble shooting. The department’s Graphics Technician is available to advise on the use of cartographic software (ArcMap, Digimap etc) and GIS. Undergraduate students are permitted to use the GVML if their chosen dissertation requires the use of specialist software not available elsewhere on campus.
The Humphries Graphics Suite houses specialist large format printing and encapsulating services (from A4 to A0 size). The facility is managed by the department’s Graphics Technician who can advise on the use of graphics software for producing diagrams, data displays and artwork for publication.
The department has a number of scientific laboratories located across three separate buildings allowing for the study of a wide range of subjects within physical geography. The majority of our group practicals take place in our large Teaching Laboratory. Our main research themes are reflected in the more specialist facilities we possess.
The Munro Fox Teaching Laboratory
Initiated under the Green Impact environmental accreditation scheme the department endeavours to reduce the environmental impact of the laboratories in the following ways:
Responsible energy usage: keeping fume cupboard sashes down where possible, switching off lights, ovens, hotplates, drying cabinets and extraction systems when not required.
Water conservation/recycling: our water stills use reverse osmosis to purify water. This is instead of distillation - a more energy intensive method to achieve the same result. We do not use water for cooling purposes minimising our throughput although we do use a lot of water for sieving – this can be minimised by not leaving the taps running during the sieving process.
Equipment reuse/recycling: We will always offer our unused equipment to other laboratories, research groups and /or departments, where possible, before disposing of it.
Consumables reuse/recycling: where we can, we will reuse or recycle. Our containers will always be reused for waste disposal or decanting. Those that are returned with waste chemical disposals, once decontaminated are recycled. We collect all of our polypropylene tubes (strictly, only those that have contained water and no chemicals) to place in the recycling bins.
Electrical equipment recycling: All redundant electrical items will be recycled under the College WEEE waste scheme.
The Geography Laboratories were successful in achieving the Green Impact Gold award in 2013 for the energy saving and recycling measures implemented in the laboratories.