Dr Tom Smith

Dr Tom Smith

Lecturer in Human Geography

School of Geography and Planning

Email:
smitht19@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
 +44 (0)29 2087 5778
Location:
2.82, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WT
Available for postgraduate supervision

I am a Human Geographer with broad interests in the geographies of children and young people, education, outdoor interactions, and international development. My current research interests and ongoing projects relate to:

  • The geographies of children, young people and educational spaces
  • Environmental and outdoor education
  • Work, employment, livelihoods and housing (particularly internationally)
  • Navigation and social interactions outdoors
  • Heritage interpretation in outdoor settings, and digital technology in heritage interpretation
  • Conservation, including sacred natural sites and witchcraft

Career

  • Lecturer, School of Planning and Geography, Cardiff University, 2015-present
  • Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, Sheffield University, 2014.
  • Teaching Associate, Department of Geography, Sheffield University, 2012-2014.
  • Lecturer (temporary), School of Social Justice and Inclusion, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, 2012.

Education and Qualifications

  • BA Geography, University of Southampton, 2004.
  • PCGE Secondary Education, Geography, University of Southampton, 2005.
  • MRes Human Geography, University of Glasgow, 2008.
  • PhD Geography, University of Glasgow, 2012.

Professional memberships

Fellow: The Royal Geographical Society, Affiliated with the Developing Areas Research Group, the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group and the Rural Geographies Research Group

Associate Member: Association of Heritage Interpretation

Speaking engagements

Conference Presentations and Organised Sessions

  • Smith, T. A. and Pitt, H. (2018) Session Convenors: Introducing Young People to 'Unfamiliar Landscapes', RGS-IBG 2018, Cardiff.
  • Smith, T. A. and Pitt, H. (2018) 'Beefed by a massive swan': Noticing and navigating in negotiating unfamiliar landscapes of youth, RGS-IBG 2018, Cardiff.
  • Smith, T. A. (2018) Technologies of access and activity in young people's perceptions of, and meaningful engagements with, landscape, RGS-IBG 2018, Cardiff.
  • Smith, T. A. (2018) Young people's engagement with nature, technologies and heritage in National Parks: Consequences for wellbeing and access, WISERD Annual Conference. 
  • Smith, T. A. and Pehkonen, S. (2018) How people talk about natural features when planning/setting orienteering courses for others' navigational pruposes, MOBSIN 8, Cardiff.
  • Smith, T. A., Jones, S. and Dunkely, R. A. (2018Using mobile evaluation methods to monitor visitor use of a heritage App 'in the wild': Walking with Romans in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Outdoor Recreation Network Conference: 'New Approaches to Monitoring Participation in Outdoor Research, Cardiff.
  • Dunkley, R. A. and Smith, T. A. (2018) Representations of identities within mobile applications that seek to interpret dissonant heritage, European Social Science History Conference, Queens University, Belfast.
  • Smith, T. A., Dunkley, R., Reeves, S. and Laurier, E. (2017Skilled navigation and the techniques of getting lost, HANS2 Workshop, Kuusamo, Finland.
  • Smith, T. A. (2017) The Chief and the Snake: Spiritual-Ecological-Political Assemblages of Sacred Site Protection, RGS-IBG 2017, London.
  • Dunkley, R. A. and Smith, T. A. (2017) Scales of childhood roaming within the ‘educational landscape’ of the National Park, RGS-IBG 2017, London.
  • Jones, S., Smith, T. A. and Dunkley, R. A. (2017Measuring our interaction with digital heritage apps 'in the wild', Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales, Digital Past Conference, Newport 
  • Smith, T. A. (2017) Invited Seminar Presentation: Apps Outdoors: Technology, interpretation, navigation and interaction when roaming in the wild, Digital Technology for Nature Interpretation, Centre for Nature Interpretation, Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Smith, T. A., Dunkely, R. A. and Welch, S. (2016) Invited Workshop Presentation: Cardiff University & Brecon Beacons National Park Authority – Collaborative Research and Evaluation, UK National Park Authorities Outreach and Educators Joint Workshop, Pembrokeshire.
  • Smith, T. A., Dunkley, R., Reeves, S. and Laurier, E. (2016) Invited Workshop Presentation: Walking with Romans’: Technology, nature, navigation and interaction in outdoor settings, HANS Workshop, Oulu, Finland
  • Smith, T. A., Dunkley, R. and Jones, S. (2016) Measuring our interactions with mobile device applications ‘in the wild’: Can they change visitor behaviour? Association of Heritage Interpretation Annual Conference, Belfast.
  • Dunkley, R. and Smith, T. A. (2016) Event Organiser - Evaluating the Outdoor Learning Experience Workshop, ESRC Funded Impact Workshop, Bute Park Education Centre, Cardiff (50 people).
  • Smith, T. A. and Dunkley, R. (2016) New frontiers or frustrating distractions? Using innovative technological methods to understand the role of Apps and mobile technologies in children and families interactions within the outdoors, RGS-IBG 2016, London.
  • Smith, T. A., Dunkley, R., and Jones, S. (2016) Invited Workshop Presentation: Interactions with mobile device applications ‘in the wild’: Can they change behaviour? Association of Heritage Interpretation and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority Workshop: Interpretation in Remote Landscapes, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Brecon and Trecastle.
  • Smith, T. A. (2016) Invited Discussion Panel: Project Wild Thing, Speaking on: Young People and Environmental Education, Cardiff SciSCREEN, Cardiff University.
  • Smith, T. A. and Dunkley, R. (2016) Roaming and nature, creativity and technology: experimenting with contrasting qualitative methodologies and impact in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Innovative Research Methods with Children and Young People Conference, School of Social Sciences, University of Cardiff.
  • Smith, T. A. and Dunkley, R. (2016) Roaming and nature, creativity and technology: experimenting with contrasting qualitative methodologies and impact in the Brecon Beacons National Park, South West Qualitative Research Symposium, University of Bath.
  • Sutherland, M., Stack, N., Smith, T. A., Tungaraza, F. (2016) Invited Seminar: Navigating the shifting terrain between policy and practice for gifted learners in Tanzania, Glasgow Centre for International Development, Glasgow University.
  • Dunkley, R. and Smith, T. A. (2015) At home in the Park: exploring resident young people’s interactions with nature within Brecon Beacons National Park, The Great Outdoors? Children, Young People and Families in Natural and Rural Spaces Conference, The University of Northampton.
  • Smith, T. A. (2015) Invited Presentation: Witchcraft, Spiritual Beliefs and Environmental Management in Tanzania, Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE) Seminar Series, Cardiff University.
  • Sutherland, M., Stack, N., Smith, T. A., Tungaraza, F. (2014) Contextualised Pedagogy for High Ability, 14th International European Council for High Ability Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • Smith, T. A. (2014) The student is not the fisherman: Temporal displacement of young people’s identities in Tanzania, Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth (CSCY) International Conference 2014. Sheffield.
  • Smith, T. A. (2014) – Session Convenor: Witchcraft, spiritual beliefs, and the co-production of development knowledges and practices in the Majority World, RGS-IBG 2014: Developing Areas Research Group (DARG) sponsored session, London
  • Twyman, C., Smith T. A. and Arnall, A. (2014) What is Carbon? Conceptualising carbon and carbon capabilities in the context of community-based sequestration projects in the global South  Green Economy in the South: Negotiating Environmental Governance, Prosperity and Development 2014, University of Dodma, Tanzania.
  • Smith, T. A. (2013) Invited Presentation: Local knowledges and witchcraft in urban and rural Tanzania, Sheffield Geography Department Human Geography Seminar Series 2013, Sheffield University
  • Smith, T. A. (2013) Invited Presentation: The dominant/marginal lives of young Tanzanians: Spaces of knowing at the intersection of Children's Geographies and Development Geography, Sheffield Institute for International Development Lecture Series 2013, Sheffield University
  • Smith, T. A. (2012) ‘Other’ childhoods: negotiating ethical terrain across borders, RGS-IBG 2012, London.
  • Smith, T. A. (2011) The origin of my research: thoughts on originality, RGS-IBG Postgraduate Conference 2011, Durham University
  • Smith, T. A. (2011) The student is not the fisherman, RGS Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group (GCYFRG) ‘Young People’s Identities’ Conference’ 2011, Plymouth University
  • Smith, T. A. (2010) Spaces of knowledge, participation and empowerment: young people as environmental actors in Tanzania, RGS-IBG 2010, London.

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2011

I currently teach on the undergraduate BSc Human Geography and postgraduate MSc International Planning and Development. I supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate dissertaion students and act as a personal tutor to students across these leves. This list includes modules are those that I currently teach:

Administrative Roles:

  • Deputy-Director: MSc International Planning and Development

Undergraduate Modules:

  • Researching Contemporary Issues In Tanzania - Module Leader (3rd year)
  • Geographies of the Developing World (3rd year)
  • Development and Underdevelopment  - Module Leader (2nd year)
  • The Global Countryside (1st year)

Postgraduate Modules:

  • Researching Spatial Planning and International Development

PhD Supervision:

  • Regan Doyle (Cardiff University) 2015-2018 (completed), Title: Slum economies: Spatial drivers of economic activity hubs in informal settlements - A case of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Principle supervisor – Professor Alison Brown.
  • Lucy Baker (Cardiff University) 2015-2018 (completed), Title: Scripting mobilities in sub-Saharan Africa: A case study of second-hand bicycle networks, Principle Supervisor – Dr Justin Spinney.
  • Rowenna Chartes (Cardiff University) 2016-, Title: Environmentalism in children: spatialised empathy, locality and activity. Principle Supervisor – Dr Kersty Hobson.

Current Research:

Re-conceptualising Young People’s Engagement with Nature and Outdoor Educational Spaces. With Dr Hannah Pitt (PLACE, Cardiff University) and Dr Ria Dunkley (Glasgow University)and external partners: the Somali Community Parent’s Association (SOCOPA) Leicester, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Canal and Rivers Trust, Bute Park Education Centre. This work, through partnerships with a range of outdoor learning organisations, compares qualitative and ethnographic data from a range of outdoor learning and education initiatives that attempt, in various ways, to engage children and young people with nature. It is broadly focused on environmental skills, young people's interpretations of various landscapes, and efforts to engage those from diverse backgrounds in outdoor spaces.

Employment and Livelihood Impacts of Low-Income Housing Construction in Developing Cities. With Professor Alison Brown (Cardiff University), and principle project partners Reall (Real Equality for All). This project explores the currently under-reported livelihood impacts on low-income urban dwellers of moving into new or improved dwellings, and the employment impacts of low-income home building on the complex formal and informal supply chain. This research compares housing schemes in Kenya and the Philippines 

Navigation, Technology, Heritage and Interaction ‘in the Wild’ With Dr Ria Dunkley (Glasgow University), Dr Eric Laurier (Edinburgh University), Dr Stuart Reeves (Nottingham University), and external partners: The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. This research explores how interaction is done outdoors, with a particular emphasis on navigation of outdoor, wild environments, use of mobile digital technologies, and interactions with heritage in outdoor settings.

Environmental Conservation, Sacred Natural Sites and Witchcraft. This work brings together two strands of my ongoing research, which concern the role of spiritual ontologies in local environmental relations in Tanzania, and how ‘new’ knowledges (such as Carbon sequestration) are understood by communities in the global South as they become part of local development interventions in environmental management. 

Research Grants:

  • 2018-2019: Improved low-income housing programme design in the global South: Impacts on employment and livelihoods, Dr T.A. Smith (PI) and Professor A. Brown (Co-I), HEFCW GCRF Fellowship (£33,511).
  • 2017-2018: Leicester Young Ecology Adventurers Evaluation, Dr H. Pitt (PI) and Dr T. A. Smith (Co-I), Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) via Somali Community Parent’s Association (SOCOPA) (£8,500).
  • 2016: Developing a new employment impact measurement for direct and indirect livelihood opportunities created from the Real Equality for All (Reall) Community-Led Infrastructure Funding Facility (CLIFF) Programme of affordable house building in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr T. A. Smith (PI) and Professor A. Brown (Co-I), Real Equity for All (Reall) (£4,735).
  • 2016: Building evaluative capacity amongst outdoor learning practitioners: Enhancing understanding of user experience through sharing place-based research methods, Dr R.A. Dunkley (PI) and Dr T. A. Smith (Co-I), ESRC Impact Accelerator Award (£3,000).
  • 2013: Volunteers and Young People in the Global South, Dr Tom Smith (PI), ESRC Festival of Social Sciences Grant (£1,334).
  • 2013-2014: Sheffield University Foreign Research and Travel Grant, Dr T.A. Smith (£1,500).
  • 2009-2010: Journal of Urban Studies Overseas Research Grant, Dr T.A. Smith (£1500).
  • 2008-2009: Royal Scottish Geographical Society Small Research Grant, Dr T.A. Smith (£500).
  • 2007-2011: Journal of Urban Studies Research Scholarship for MRes and PhD, Dr T.A. Smith (£50,000).

I am interested in supervising PhD students in any of the following areas: 

  • The geographies of children, young people and educational spaces
  • Environmental and outdoor education
  • Work, employment, livelihoods and housing with an international focus
  • Studies of social interaction, particularly in outdoor settings
  • Heritage interpretation 
  • Navigation and outdoor skills
  • Environmental conservation, including sacred natural sites and witchcraft

Past projects

Completed PhD Students

  • Regan Doyle (Cardiff University) 2015-2018 (completed), Title: Slum economies: Spatial drivers of economic activity hubs in informal settlements - A case of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Principle supervisor – Professor Alison Brown.
  • Lucy Baker (Cardiff University) 2015-2018 (completed), Title: Scripting mobilities in sub-Saharan Africa: A case study of second-hand bicycle networks, Principle Supervisor – Dr Justin Spinney.