The legacy of a water pioneer

W. Mike Edmunds was a giant of his field: his influence continues to endure.

On 2 November, the Oxford Water Network, in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, hosted the 2nd W. Mike Edmunds Memorial Lecture at Christ Church. Mike was an eminent hydrogeologist and dearly missed faculty member of Oxford University’s School of Geography and the Environment.

Speaker, Dr Abi Stone, who began her career in hydrogeology as a postdoc under Mike, drew from their past collaboration. Dr Stone outlined how pore moisture within sand dunes can be used to provide a record of past climate in drylands. You can find out more about this research in a blog Dr Stone wrote for this website last year.

Last week, the Hydrogeology Journal published a profile of Mike’s professional life entitled ‘Professor W Mike Edmunds: a pioneer in applied hydrogeochemistry and champion of international collaboration’. This article captures the impressive breadth and impact of Mike’s career, touching upon his trace element geochemistry, arid zone hydrology/palaeohydrology, and work translating science into policy.

Mike left behind a remarkable body of work, with research undertaken across the globe. His son Paul recently began the process of mapping this research. This effort has now grown into, an open collaboration platform to georeference environmental research. The website will launch soon and Paul is seeking feedback on the initiative. Following the lecture, he gave a brief overview of the and invited those present to contribute.

He’d like to extend this invitation to the broader Oxford Water Network. If you are able to help, get in touch with Paul directly.

Below is short message from Paul:

We are currently auto-georeferencing and uploading links to openly available online abstracts/full articles/papers, via Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic Research, ResearchGate etc.

However, we realise that there will be vast amounts of information not searchable, or even available online, but perhaps sitting in silos which are less accessible.

We are now keen to develop partnerships with research institutions and relevant public bodies and individuals who could help to feed back into the application.

To register interest please get in touch – I would love to hear from you.

At this time we would be keen to:

  • Receive any general feedback / suggestions for the project.
  • Receive any links to existing groundwater / water resource research databases, either online / offline which could benefit from being mapped.
  • We would also like to include project databases in the long-term so also happy to receive feedback on this.
  • Hear from any students & researchers who may be interested on working on the project.

I hope to be able to share the first version of the website by the end of December so please register your interest by sending me an email and I will update you as soon as its available.

Best regards,

Paul Edmunds

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