Rhian H. Meara
The 2020 Katia and Maurice Krafft Award is awarded to Rhian H. Meara for her significant contributions to the dissemination of geography and Earth and environmental science topics to people with disabilities.
Rhian H. Meara is the recipient of the EGU Katia and Maurice Krafft Award for pioneering contributions in the development of geographical and geological terminology in British Sign Language (BSL) for disabled students.
Traditional training methods for Geography, Earth and Environmental Science subjects (GEES) often exclude those with physical and sensory disabilities. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can be particularly affected by this inequality. Meara has proactively sought to addresse this issue by approaching the Scottish Sensory Centre, which hosts the BSL Glossary. Jointly, they developed 175 new geographical and geological terms for inclusion in the glossary, which were accompanied by definitions and 42 explanatory videos.
Meara was also instrumental in securing funding to support the project. Since the completion of the scheme, she has ensured that the work reaches its target audience and beyond by presenting the glossary and its findings at outreach events and academic conferences, including at EGU General Assemblies.
Meara’s dedication and commitment have helped make GEES an inclusive discipline where deaf and hard-of-hearing students not only feel welcome, but can also participate fully. For her ongoing commitment to the broad dissemination of the Earth sciences, her contributions to science communication, and her dedication to making the Earth sciences accessible for, and inclusive of, a broad range of audiences, Rhian Meara warrants recognition from the EGU community with the 2020 EGU Katia and Maurice Krafft Award.