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Iceland’s glacier landscape comes top in environment photo competition

Posted on 18 October 2016

To celebrate the opening of the University of York’s new Department of Environment Building and its season of public lectures, researchers opened a photography competition for staff and students with the aim of capturing some of the world’s most striking landscapes, animals, and global communities.

The winning entry went to Robin Hayward, now a graduate of the Department of Environment. His photograph depicts a view of the Sólheimajökull Glacier and surrounding landscape in South Iceland. 

Robin, who recieves a £50 Amazon voucher for his winning entry, describes his inspiration:

“Iceland is a fascinating country, full of sharp geological contrasts, and it was this contrast that I wanted to explore through photography during my trip to the Sólheimajökull Glacier.

“Glaciers are amongst the key indicators of a changing climate.  As global temperatures rise, the vast majority of glaciers are melting and getting smaller. This has implications for sea level, but in some parts of the world, glaciers are important sources of water for people's very existence, such as drinking water, crop-irrigation, and in some places the generation of hydro-electric power.   

“The four clear bands of this image - the sky, glacier, hills, and life (the sheep) represent the balance found in our natural environment. If you look closely you can also see a car being driven through the dirt, creating a dust cloud, which I felt was very fitting, given the impact that humans can have in disrupting the natural world.

“To me this photograph illustrates at least some of the beauty and complexity of our natural world. By integrating separate, contrasting landscapes with elements of movement and disruption, I hope others will see how interconnected environmental systems can be and that they may be inspired to study and get involved with conservation science.”

Other shortlisted entries for the competition are listed below:

The summit of Poon Hill in Nepal, revealing the Annapurna Range. Photo by Emily White.

A fallow deer at Bradgate Park, Leicestershire. Photo by Emily White.

A sailor brings in the fishing nets that have been helping to feed him and his family for generations in Rota, South of Spain. Photo by Helena Delgado Nordmann.

A lonesome sheep looks on over the hills of the Lake District. Photo taken by Helena Delgado Nordmann.

Iguazu waterfalls, Argentina. Photo by Zoe Clark.

Environment lectures

To celebrate the opening of the new Environment building, we're hosting four free public lectures:

  • Protecting ocean life in an era of rapid global change
    8 November
    Professor Callum Roberts
    More details
  • The importance of talking to You about environmental issues: insights from research on nuclear power, low carbon transitions and climate engineering
    15 November
    Dr Karen Parkhill
    More details
  • The planet and the public: communicating geo-environmental science to non-technical audiences
    22 November
    Professor Iain Stewart
    More details
  • Sustainability dilemmas: short-term political expediency versus long-term planetary exigency
    29 November
    Jonathon Porritt
    More details

Public lectures

We host dozens of public lectures every year, on subjects from vikings to nuclear power.