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Profile: Dr Julie Robson

Dr Julie Robson

The Open University, School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences

Dr Julie Robson is a Senior Lecturer and Earth and Environmental Science Staff Tutor in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, The Open University in Scotland.

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

Julie 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.

She is 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

Julie's core research interests centre around carbonate and clastic sedimentology and biostratigraphy, but her 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 investigations and landslides.

- Resource  use and acquisition, their effects on the environment.

Teaching interests

Julie teaches 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, multidisciplinary 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 her heart and are reflected in numerous scholarship projects. She is 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

Julie regularly contributes to outreach and engagement events including;

Representing the Open University 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 Festival  provides opportunities to take interactive Science activities to the public on themes such as "Sticks and Stones; from rocks to plants and the importance of soil.

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

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

Since 2015, Julie has 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

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

International links

Julie is the English Language Editor and a reviewer for the Journal "Geologia Croatica"  a post she has held for over 20 years during which time the impact and readership of the Journal has grown and flourished.

Dr Julie Robson's activities

Browse 2 OpenLearn items Dr Julie Robson has worked on