I have been a professional mountain walks leader and have climbed and backpacked in Britain, Canada, USA, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, the Italian Dolomites and the Alps. I graduated from Edinburgh University in geology and worked as an expedition science leader in Botswana and the Yukon, as a field studies tutor teaching geology and geography, and for the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).
As the university expeditions advisor for the Royal Geographical Society, I advised countless expeditions, helping to ensure they raised funds, were safe, and achieved their objectives. While at the RGS I fell off a mountain in winter and self rescued with broken legs. I wrote an expedition planning guide for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, and the latest edition is available via my expedition planning page. I have been a leader on two expeditions for the British (Schools) Exploring Society.
I have worked as a ranger in the Grand Canyon National Park, and on a biodiversity survey of Montserrat as the volcanic eruptions started. I was the Director of Studies for Edinburgh University’s Global Environmental Change international summer school and have produced environmental resources for the National Trust for Scotland.
I was for many years a lecturer in environmental sustainability for the University of Glasgow and tutored for the University of the West of Scotland at their Dumfries Campus. I have had many articles published in national journals and have contributed to Radio 4's Excess Baggage travel programme. In 2010 I was part of an expedition in the Pacific conducting seafloor research, and in 2013 participated in a Geological Society of America expedition to Antarctica.
I am a university tutor on environmental sustainability and energy courses. I am also an earth science field studies guide for the Bay of Naples volcanic area (including Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius) and Iceland. I combine this with freelance public speaking and lecturing around the world.
I am a Member of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and in 2012 was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for my public communication of geographical subjects. I have recently been appointed president of the Guildford Travel Club.
Me (back), receiving my honorary fellowship. The president of the RSGS, Professor Iain Stewart, is on the right.