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Dr Kate Rawles

Dr Kate Rawles
Senior Lecturer

Professional Roles: Lecturer for Outdoor Studies – undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, programme leader for Greening Outdoor Practice postgraduate certificate, PhD examiner and supervisor.

Location: Ambleside

Telephone: 015394 30328

Email: kate.rawles@cumbria.ac.uk

Academic Profile

I currently teach a range of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels – most of which have an environmental content. I’m passionate about the positive role that outdoor leaders and practitioners could play in responding to major environmental challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Being in the outdoors is inspirational for many of us – I’m really interested in how we can harness this to address the very real threats that our outdoor environments now face. (Our postgraduate course Greening Outdoor Practice tackles this and other questions, and a number of our undergraduate courses do too.)

My original background is philosophy; particularly ethics and values, environmental and animal welfare issues, sustainability and the philosophy of nature conservation. I graduated with a first class honours degree in philosophy from Aberdeen University and went on to do a PhD in Environmental Ethics at Glasgow, with a Fulbright Travel Scholarship for an MA in Applied Ethics at Colorado State University in between. (Proximity to mountains is the common theme!)

I taught philosophy at Lancaster University for nine years, before leaving to go free-lance in 2000. In 2002, I won a major scholarship from NESTA to develop ‘Outdoor Philosophy’ - short courses that combine critical thinking about our relationship with the environment and our impacts on it, with inspirational experience of wild places. Their aim is to inspire and support more sustainable ways of living and working.

I joined Outdoor Studies as a half-time lecturer in 2004 – the ideal opportunity for me to combine my love of the outdoors with my academic interests, and to develop my outdoor skills in a professional context.

In my other half-time, as well as outdoor philosophy courses, I lecture for Surrey University on their Sustainable Development MSc, and I lecture and lead the ‘Ethics and Values’ theme for Forum for the Future’s Leadership and Sustainable Development MA. I am the academic director for Forum’s ‘Reconnections’ course - leadership, values and sustainable development - which I lead with the environmentalist, Jonathon Porritt. I’ve also been an invited contributor to Impact Development Training ‘open’ courses on leadership and sustainable development.


Professional bodies

I am a council member of the Food Ethics Council, an active member of the Adventure and Environmental Awareness Group and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. I’m also an honorary Vice-President of the Glasgow University Mountaineering Club.


Outdoor interests

I am a keen hill-walker, cyclist and sea-kayaker.

I’ve become increasingly interested in the potential for using adventurous journeys to communicate environmental issues.

In 2006, with the help of a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, I cycled 4500 miles from Texas to Alaska following the spine of the Rockies, exploring N.American attitudes to climate change. The Carbon Cycle trip has formed the basis for numerous slide shows, articles and a forthcoming book.


Current projects

I plan to (finally) finish the Carbon Cycle book this summer! (2011) The book aims to use the adventure bike ride as a way of communicating climate change issues to a wide audience.

I’m intrigued by the question of how we can use outdoor environments to explore questions about human nature relationships and values; and convinced that mainstream ‘modern’ values and worldviews need to change as part of our shift towards sustainable ways of living. I’m currently working on ways of developing a critically engaged position in relation to mainstream ‘unsustainable’ values, and of supporting environmental activists in their own thinking and action, through outdoor philosophy activities.

I’m working with the MLTE to develop workshops on climate change and biodiversity loss for Mountain Leaders, and with a wide range of outdoor providers to raise awareness of these issues - and the positive actions we can take to help tackle them.

I am co-leader of the ‘Natural Values’ project, with colleague Dr Chris Loynes – a Sustainable Development Commissions ‘Breakthroughs’ winner.

Recent Presentations/Media

2010 panellist for BBC World Tonight special on biodiversity, recorded London Zoo 15/10/10

2010 featured in ‘Climate Change in the Lake District; progress and challenges’ video for the Low-carbon Lake District Summit, National Park http://www.benbarden.co.uk/carbon/

2010, ‘Beef, Bread and water; ethical food in a warm and hungry world.’ Keynote speaker at Compassion in World Farming’s Peter Roberts Memorial Lecture. 20/9/10 http://www.ciwf.org.uk/news/factory_farming/beef_bread_and_water_lecture.aspx

2011 pre-recorded piece for BBC Woman’s Hour ‘pets in the bed’ item 18/2/11

2006-2010 ‘The Carbon Cycle’ slide show; numerous presentations at venues including RGS Northwest, Ayr, Glasgow, Edinburgh; Sedbergh festival of ideas; Lanternhouse International; Kendal Mountain Festival etc

Recent Publications

K.Rawles; (2011) “Natural Capital – solution or problem” editiorial analysis for Food Ethics Summer 2011 Vol 6 Issue 2 “Banking Biodiversity; Valuing or devaluing nature?”

K.Rawles; (2010) “A Copernican Revolution in Ethics” in Kathleen Dean Moore & Michael Nelson eds For all time: The world’s moral obligation to the future Trinity University Press, San Antonio

K.Rawles; (2010) “Developing ethical, sustainable and compassionate food policies” in Joyce d’Silva and John Webster eds The Meat Crisis; Developing More Sustainable Production and Consumption Earthscan

K.Rawles; (2010) “Copenhagen, nature conservation and few REDD herrings” Ecos

K.Rawles; (2009) “Has Fish had its Chips?” contribution in Food Ethics; the magazine of the Food Ethics Council Spring 2009, Vol 4, Issue 1 p28

K.Rawles;(2009) “Changing direction” Resurgence November/December 2009 pp38-42. Written in response to Nicholas Stern; (2009) A blueprint for a safer planet; how to manage climate change and create a new era of progress and prosperity The Bodley Head, London.

K.Rawles; (2009) “Is animal welfare a luxury we can afford in the changing agricultural environment?” invited presentation for AWSELVA conference (April 2009), published in Awselva Journal Vol.13 No.2 pp3-6 [Animal welfare, science, ethics and law veterinary association]

K.Rawles; (2009) “Midgely, Mary” J.Baird Callicott and Robert Frodeman eds Encyclopaedia of environmental ethics and philosophy Gale Cengage Learning, Detroit

K.Rawles; (2009) “Technofix is not enough” The Resource Magazine Jan/Feb, Number 45

K.Rawles; (2008) “Environmental ethics and animal welfare: reforging a necessary alliance” in Marian Stamp Dawkins & Roland Bonney ed The Future of Animal Farming; renewing the ancient contract (Blackwell Publishing)

K.Rawles; (2008) “One woman and her bike” The Environmentalist  6th October, Issue 65

K.Rawles; (2008) interview with Chris Green on 1st May “Technology Alone Won’t Solve Climate Change” The Independent: Education: Against the Grainhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/higher/against-the-grain-technology-alone-wont-solve-climate-change-818380.html

K.Rawles; (2008) “Why the climate change debate has gone wrong” posted by Greenbang.com on 27th March

K.Rawles; (2008) “Climate change debate needs refocusing” posted by Future Energies Magazine on 10th March

K.Rawles; (2007) “Love a duck! Emotion, animals and environmental ethics” in Hon-Lam Li and Anthony Leung eds New Essays in Applied Ethics: Animal rights, Personhood and the Ethics of Killing.  (Palgrave Macmillan)

K.Rawles; (2007) “Working equines and the environment” in Anne Pearson et al ed The Fifth International Colloquium on Working Equines: The Future for Working Equines The Donkey Sanctuary

K.Rawles; (2007) “Animals versus the environment: is animal welfare a luxury in the fight against climate change?” in Food Ethics Volume 2, Issue 4

K.Rawles; (2006) “Mary Midgley” in S.Kumar and F.Whitefield eds Visionaries of the 20th Century, a Resurgence Anthology (Green Books) pp62-63

K.Rawles; (2006) “Vociferous World” Review of Graham Harvey; Animism: Respecting the Living World (Hurst and Company, 2005) in Resurgence September/October 2006, 40 year celebratory edition

K.Rawles; (2006) “Sustainable development and animal welfare: the neglected dimension” in J.Turner and Joyce D’Silva eds Animals, ethics and trade; the challenge of animal sentience (Earthscan) pp208-216

K.Rawles; (2006) “The Carbon Cycle” Positive News Autumn/Winter edition

K.Rawles; (2006) “The Carbon Cycle” Values into Action: building on good practice in the outdoors AEA Group conference report, October 2006

K.Rawles; (2005) "Mary Midgley: Philosophy, Wisdom and Seeing the Big Picture" Resurgence Spring pp 42-43. Reproduced in Visionaries (above)

K.Rawles; (2004) “Biological Diversity and Conservation Policy” in M.Oksanen and J.Pietarinen eds Philosophy and Biodiversity (Cambridge University Press)

K.Rawles; (2004) "Negotiating Animal Rights" Channel 4 website, Science - Science and Society http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/S/science/society/animalrights.html

E.Brady, A.Holland and K.Rawles; (2004) "Walking the Talk: Philosophy of Conservation on the Isle of Rum" in Worldviews special edition on teaching environmental ethics, ed Clare Palmer pp280-297