UWE Global Water Security Programme students attend undergraduate conference

Debbie Smith (far left) and Molly Byrne (far right) at BCUR.
(Photo: Patrick O’Flynn)

Two students who took part in the UWE Global Water Security Project in 2015 have presented their research at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Molly Byrne, who investigated rainwater harvesting in rural Kenya, and Debbie Smith, who looked at farming intensity and water quality along the Komati River in Swaziland, are third year Geography students at the University of the West of England. They conducted their primary research in Africa in the summer of 2015 on placements with Kenya Rainwater Association and RMI Outgrower Development respectively.

Molly said the experience of attending BCUR was “amazing.” Debbie added: “I had a great time, learnt so much and met some great people, not only from different universities but people from UWE who I had not known before. My presentation went well and Molly’s was brilliant – we both filled the lecture rooms we were in. It was a lot of fun.”

Dr Jennifer Hill, Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Management at UWE said: “Participation in BCUR, as well as being an immensely enjoyable experience for participating students, develops their graduate competencies and self-efficacy. Students possessing such skills, knowledge and dispositions are enabled to go beyond the confines of the familiar knowledge bases of their disciplines to apply themselves productively to whatever they encounter in the dynamic, uncertain and insecure world beyond education.”

Molly and Debbie’s attendance at BCUR was sponsored by the International Water Security Network. They were part of a team of 19 UWE students who travelled to the conference.