From earthquakes to engineering – students take part in fourth Girls into Geoscience

Girls wanting to study the risks and causes associated with earthquakes and volcanoes and much more attended an event at the University of Plymouth.

The fourth annual Girls into Geoscience featured a range of talks and workshops led by women who have forged a successful career in geology and geophysical engineering.

There was also a field trip to Dartmoor, giving attendees an insight into the role geology is playing in an ever-changing landscape.

The event was organised by the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, which recently received an Athena SWAN Bronze award for its ongoing efforts to inspire female scientists.

The speakers at the event included several of the school’s female academics, alongside representatives from the British Geological Society, Shell and TerraDat Geophysics.

Dr Sarah Boulton, Lecturer in Neotectonics at the University, said:

“This is the biggest Girls into Geoscience yet, and each year we have been building the experience. We know from speaking to the girls that it cements their passion for the subject, showing them that there is a lot more to geology than simply studying rocks. They also get certificates for taking part, and can use them in their university applications which many of them will go on to make later this year.”

Around 80 students from across the UK signed up to take part in this year’s event, with the field trip on Monday 03 July and talks and workshops the following day. 

The talks were on: Communicating risk in volcanology: from stories... to knowledge... to action (Dr Anna Hicks, British Geological Survey); Environmental and engineering geophysics (Angharad Matthews, TerraDat); and A day in the life of an exploration geoscientist (Dr Hayley Allen, Plymouth graduate now working for Shell).

There were then workshops by University academics focused around: Faults in Google Earth (GIS) (Dr Sarah Boulton); Microfossils and climate (Dr Jodie Fisher); Palaeomagnetism and the continents (Dr Anita Di Chiara); Applied volcanology and hazards (Lara Mani).

Dr Jodie Fisher, co-organiser of the event, added:

“This event is a unique opportunity for girls to find out more about geoscience and where it could take them. As well as getting hands on experience both in the field and in the lab, with microscopes, rock samples and microfossils, they also have the opportunity to talk to real geoscientists about their careers, and find out what its really like to work in geoscience.”

Participants in the 2017 Girls into Geoscience event at the University of Plymouth

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Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN is a national Charter designed to advance the careers of women in STEMM.

The School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences holds a bronze Athena SWAN departmental award.

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