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Tree planting to celebrate PhD and Professional Doctorate graduations

Since October 2020, we have planted a tree for each graduating PhD and Professional Doctorate student at either of these two very important organisations:

The tree planting project, thought to be the first of its kind at a university in the UK, works closely with these two organisations, who represent the importance of both local and international partnerships to the University.

On 2 March 2022, we planted around 100 trees with our partner organisation, the Forest of Marston Vale. 

We are now working to explore how best to document the environmental benefits of the project.

"Planting trees is a popular route for sequestering carbon in order to mitigate climate change, but, as with all natural processes, it’s not straightforward. 

The OU Graduate School is not, like many, just assuming you can put a tree in the ground and it will capture carbon from the air; we intend to measure its effectiveness. 

We will monitor above-ground growth and changes in the soil, so together we can give a full picture of how the trees are performing. 

We plan to sustain the monitoring over many years to give a timeline of carbon drawdown that will inform debates around how best to mitigate climate change."

Professor David Gowing

This is both a way of us congratulating and marking each student’s admirable success and of showing our commitment to climate action, a cause that is central to the future direction of the OU and very important us and to many PG researchers.

Vegetarian catering

The Graduate School’s environmental stance is illustrated by our vegetarian catering policy – all Graduate School free catered events will consist of vegetarian and vegan options. Our reason for this stance is the impact the meat industry is having on our planet. We hope to reframe the expectation that any shared community meal needs to involve meat.

Contact us

Please get in touch for research-degree-related issues by phoning 01908 653806 or sending an email.

Email Research Degrees Team

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