Featured module: GEOL5001

Earth science has arguably never been important as it is today. Understanding the history of our planet and how it works provides essential knowledge and wisdom on how to meet many of Society’s most acute planetary challenges. 

Action over global climate change is shifting humanity from a fossil-fuel past towards a low-carbon future, ushering in an energy transition that promises to transform modern living across the globe. That transition will see more than 70% of its population living in cities, the long-term sustainability of which will require sound geo-environmental understanding of the urban subsurface and wise assessment of geohazard threats. Around the world, geologists in universities and industry are being expected to shed light not only on the distant past but also on the foreseeable future. 

Research provides the basis of critical geoscientific thinking, which in turn is vital to wise planetary decision making. Geoscientists are interdisciplinary investigators, drawing from across the natural sciences to offer an integrated whole-planet perspective. To do that, we operate across a range of scales and are trained in a suite of specialised problem-solving skills, including data analytics. In interpreting our planet’s dynamic past, we wrestle with ambiguity – making inferences despite an incompleteness of data, lack of experimental control, and changes occurring too gradually for direct observation or measurement – in much the same way that we confront an uncertain future. 

Geoscience Frontiers supports you in building your critical skillset by guiding you through the planning of an Earth science research project. A taught programme of lectures, seminars and practicals combines training in the presentation and communication of Earth science information to both technical and non-technical audiences with advisor-led guidance on research methodologies, project design and management, and scientific ethics. External experts provide academic and industry perspectives on current issues in pure and applied Earth science and insights on how to convey the fundamental importance of geoscience to society. 

Examples of student work

Topics covered:

  • developing your geoscience research toolkit
  • the principles and practices of geoscience communication
  • writing and presenting technical geoscience
  • writing and presenting science for non-technical audiences
  • geoethics and ethical research practice
  • designing, planning and managing geoscience research.

Courses where this module is featured: