Lunchtime talk on Western Sahara

Nick Brooks is giving a short (30 minute) talk about Western Sahara and the work of the Western Sahara Project on Thursday 25 April at a lunchtime in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (scva.org.uk) at UEA, to accompany a small photographic exhibition on the work of the Western Sahara Project. The talk is informal and aimed at the public. Details of the talk are given below, and directions here.

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Climate, culture and colonisation in Western Sahara – the past 10,000 years.

At the next SCVA lunchtime talk on Thursday 25 April, Dr Nick Brooks will talk about the archaeology of Western Sahara, and how it relates to changes in climate over the past 10,000 years, during which time the Sahara underwent a transition from humid Savannah to arid desert. Nick will talk about evidence for past environmental change in the Sahara, aspects of the archaeological record including rock art and ‘megalithic’ monuments, and how changes in climate and environment affected the way prehistoric people lived in the desert. He will also discuss the challenges of working in a conflict zone whose post-colonial status is still unresolved. The talk will draw on fieldwork conducted as part of the UEA’s Western Sahara Project, which Nick co-directs with Dr Joanne Clarke.

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About Nick Brooks

Nick Brooks is Director of Garama 3C Ltd, a small consulting firm specialising in climate change and development. Garama offers consultancy and training services to government, multilateral organisations, NGOs and the private sector, with a focus on mainstreaming climate change adaptation into decision-making and planning. with a background in climate science (see www.garama.co.uk and garama-training.com for more details). After graduating with a degree in Geophysics from Edinburgh University in 1993, and a brief postgraduate role at the UK Met Office, Nick completed a PhD on drought in the Sahel at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit in 1999. He subsequently undertook postdoctoral work at the University of Reading, using remote sensing and field surveys to identify archaeological sites and indicators of past environmental change in the Libyan Sahara. Nick then moved back to UEA, where he worked as a researcher on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. In 2005 Nick became an independent consultant, working on climate change adaptation and related issues with a variety of clients including UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, IUCN, the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In 2012 Nick established Garama 3C Ltd, continuing his work with DFID and AfDB, working with new clients, and developing Garama's climate change training courses. Nick continues to be active in research, working with colleagues at UEA and elsewhere on human responses to past climate change. This work focuses on adaptation during the Middle Holocene Climatic Transition, from around 6400-5000 years ago. Nick established the Western Sahara Project, and is a co-director of the project with Joanne Clarke at UEA. The Western Sahara Project examines the transition to aridity in the disputed, non-self governing territory of Western Sahara, through an archaeological and palaeoenvironmental lens.
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