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Published: 13/10/2008 16:46 

Lecture Celebrates Environmentalist's Work 

Wednesday October 22, TC001, Francis Close Hall, Swindon Road, Cheltenham, 5.30pm.

John Hunt

Way before it hit the headlines, Dr John Hunt had a passion for the study of climate change past and present, and the story of the world around us.

Bringing environmental issues to life through numerous newspaper and radio interviews locally and nationally, Dr Hunt’s expertise are wide ranging, from examining the impact of the CSG chemical explosion incident at Sandhurst, to researching layers of volcanic ash in ocean sediments. He is also a leading expert on tephrochronology, or the analysis of volcanic ash.

A familiar face in county life, he’s been president of Tewkesbury and District Friends of the Earth (1998-2005), chair of the Cheltenham Climate Change Forum, and a leading anti-road campaigner.

Dr Hunt, 43, retired last year following a serious stroke, and having joined the institution in 1993, the Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography’s enthusiastic contribution to the University of Gloucestershire is sorely missed by colleagues and students.

On Wednesday October 22 they’ll be celebrating his achievements with two research talks by Professors John Matthews and Alasdair Skelton, followed by a presentation to Dr Hunt.

“John had an exceptional and natural talent for teaching in the lecture room and in the field. His tremendous enthusiasm for his subject rubbed off onto his students. I’m expecting up to 100 people to attend, many of whom are ex-colleagues, but also more than 30 former students,” said friend and colleague David Milan, Senior Lecturer in Physical and Environmental Sciences.

“I’m convinced he’s had a big influence upon their perception and understanding of issues such as climate change, and also stimulated many to undertake research, or pursue careers in the general field of physical geography and environmental science. His work has seen him publish more than 30 papers on climate and past environmental change and lead numerous expeditions to Iceland, the Arctic and Atlantic Islands. The evening should be a fitting tribute to mark the achievements of a great academic.”

Prof John Matthews, from the University of Wales, will be presenting The Jotunheimen Research Expeditions 1970-2008 and Beyond. He was Dr Hunt’s lecturer when he studied in Cardiff. Dr Hunt’s fellow research student, Prof Alasdair Skelton, from the University of Stockholm, will be presenting Coupling of Seismic Activity and Groundwater Chemistry in Northern Iceland.

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.