After nearly 15 years as Editor-in-Chief for our books series, Nick Robins decided to sign-off from his editing duties in 2021.
Under Nick’s careful stewardship we have seen our catalogue of books increase and, as well as helping to promote scientifi c excellence, the royalties from the series also provide a regular addition to IAH’s funds. Our ‘blue books’, or ‘International Contributions to Hydrogeology’, include monographs on sub-disciplines of hydrogeology as well as outlets for major international investigatory programmes and collections of papers within a broad theme of international interest. Our ‘green books’, or ‘Selected Papers’, are collections of papers from Congress and other meetings usually sponsored by IAH. Nick currently has one last book in his care that is going to be published in Spring 2022.
Many of you of course will know Nick from his long service with the British Geological Survey and with his work in Africa prior to this. The majority of his career was spent with the Survey, both in the UK, working largely on hard rock hydrogeology, including the UK high level radioactive waste disposal programme, and in Africa, the Middle East, Central America and the Caribbean. In more recent years he divided his time between the hydrology of European coastal dune wetlands and the crystalline basement rock aquifers of sub-Saharan Africa, working in association with SADC and the Government of Malawi.
You may know less of Nick’s work as an authority on ships and maritime history. Having spent his groundwater career in considering both technical and socio-political issues, he has also applied these skills to considering the social and political picture of shipping. His 25 books describe the evolution of a variety of nautical themes, ranging from tugs and tenders to excursion steamers and cruise ships.
We’re sure you will want to join all in the IAH Council, Executive and the Secretariat in wishing him ‘all the best’ in his future endeavours. This may include further additions to his own catalogue of publications, both those on groundwater and on maritime matters. It will undoubtedly include being the patron of a growing dynasty, though whether Nick’s grandchildren take up one of his interests remains to be seen (music seems to be a favourite activity, which was another of Nick’s pursuits, though from long ago…).
From a personal point of view, Nick was a major infl uence in my teenage years on my decision to study and pursue applied geology as a career, a decision I’ve never regretted. Thanks Nick!
A crossroad for IAH books
Nick feels that it is now time for important decisions to be taken about the future of IAH’s books and, with former Secretary General Bruce Misstear, he has considered possible options. In fact, IAH already took the diffi cult decision to cease publication of its green book series in 2017 and further changes are needed if publishing books is to remain viable. Although Nick is stepping aside, he is looking forward to helping in setting out a new approach and hopefully in IAH finding a new champion to take forward this important project. Look out for further announcements on this alongside our Forward Look 2 strategic process.