Girls encouraged to consider careers in geoscience

Schoolgirls from across the UK will be travelling to Plymouth University for two days of activities designed to inspire the next generation of earth scientists.

Girls into Geoscience has been running for three years, giving A-level students an insight into the possibilities available to them in the Earth Sciences.

This year, 89 pupils from 26 schools will be taking part in the event, which includes a field trip to Dartmoor followed by a day of hands on workshops, seminars from inspiring female geoscientists, and the opportunity to tour the outstanding student and research facilities at the University.

The event has attracted students nationally, with attendees from South West schools and from Essex, Hampshire, London, Wales and Yorkshire.

Dr Jodie Fisher, Technician in the School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences at Plymouth University, and part of the Girls into Geoscience Team, said:

“People often tend to think of geology as being a male dominated environment, but this doesn’t have to be the case. The idea behind Girls into Geoscience is to showcase the opportunities available to women in geosciences today, both at university and in industry, and to encourage young women to consider it as a career. It is a chance for them to meet women working in the field, to explore more about what doing an earth science degree entails, and to appreciate the full range of careers that a degree in geosciences can lead to.”

The event on July 3rd and 4th complements the University’s Athena SWAN award, which recognises its commitment to promote academic careers from women in STEMM subjects.

It is designed for Year 12 students just finishing their first year of A levels and starting to think about university options and applications.

With an exciting programme, this year sees presentations from women in the geosciences industry, including Claire Jennings from Aquageo talking about Geophysics and seismic acquisition, and Kathryn Hadler, from Grinding Solutions and Imperial College, London, discussing Mineral Processing. Dr Michelle Harris, Lecturer in Earth Sciences at Plymouth University, will also talk on Hydrothermal circulation and ocean drilling.

These talks will be followed by a series of workshops on geographic information systems (GIS), microfossils and climate, reconstructing geological time and planetary geology, giving the girls the opportunity to get hands on with geological material, and a flavour of what it’s like to study geology at University.

For the first time, there will also be a field trip to look at the unique geology of Dartmoor at Great Staple Tor and Burrator Quarry.

Dr Sarah Boulton, Lecturer in Neotectonics and part of the Girls into Geoscience Team, added:

“Fieldwork is an essential part of any undergraduate earth science degrees and many careers, but can be daunting for students who have never had the opportunity to go on a field trip. This taster day aims to show that fieldwork is fun and accessible for all and with the added opportunity to stay in halls, the girls are able to get a real taster experience, not just of geology, but of university life.”

Earth sciences at Plymouth

The fantastic surrounding geology makes Plymouth the perfect place to study Earth sciences.

Formally accredited by the Geological Society of London, our courses provide a supportive atmosphere resulting in outstanding student feedback.