Geology from your Sofa

The Geologists’ Association may not be able to invite you to attend lectures and field trips at the moment, but we are looking at ways for you to still enjoy geology, virtually through online courses and field trips using the links below.

Plus our Lecture schedule is restarting with the Halstead Lecture given by Kevin Wong.

GFYS Survey Results confirm that we are providing you with new content at the right time. So we will continue to send your updates on a bi-monthly basis. Thank you to everyone who completed the survey.


Latest Additions updated 5th June 2020

YouTube and Podcast Lectures

Good news! GA lectures restart with the Halstead Lecture given by Kevin Wong (2019 prize winner). We are working hard to finalise a schedule of virtual lectures whilst government restrictions remain in place. Watch this space!

The Scottish Geology Trust has a very comprehensive website with some superb Online Resources (you are asked to consider giving a small donation to the Trust). These include stepping back in time with Geowalks explaining the geological highlights of Islay, Jura and Colonsay by Angus Miller.

Oxford Geoheritage Virtual Conference
Following this excellent event, that was held 25-29 May 2020, an extended talk by Dr Jack Mathews (a member of the organising committee) entitled Don’t walk on the rocks! explores the increasingly important field of geoconservation.

More YouTube and Podcast Lectures

Online Courses:

City Lit are offering an introductory short online course entitled:
Exploring rocks, minerals and fossils – 2 sessions over 2 weeks starting on 28/06/20 led Charles Clarke (MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology from UCL) who will also explain the geology of some of the building stones used in London.Various pricing levels are available.

More Online Courses

Virtual Field trips:

Harrow & Hillingdon Geological Society is busy preparing downloadable guides to describe their local geology. The Building Stones Guide to Pinner is the first guide available & is well worth a look.

virtual-geology.info
Do visit this website maintained by Dr Roger Suthren. It includes regional geology tours of NE England and many areas of Europe. A recent addition is the geology of the Eastern French Pyrenees & foreland basin which provides further information on the localities described in the article ‘Classic localities explained: The Eastern French Pyrenees from Mountain Belt to Foreland Basin’ by Dorothy Satterfield, Hugh Rollinson and Roger Suthren, published in Geology Today (available at discount to GA members).

More Virtual Field trips

GeoFun:

GA Magazine Crosswords – Win a GA Guide of your choice!
If you are interested in crosswords with a geological theme then six back issues of the GA Magazine include puzzles. Just look out for the crossword symbol.

A seventh puzzle was planned but unfortunately the clues were lost! So we thought it might be fun to have a competition whereby you can suggest what the clues might have been. The winner will be the first person to send us a complete set of geologically themed clues – the more imaginative the better! The solutions can be found here. Happy puzzling!

The Lapworth Museum of Geology have some excellent ideas for primary school teachers and home educators at Activities to Try at Home. These include:
– making a simple erupting volcano
– colouring in sheets of a Dimorphodon
dinosaurs fighting
mineral wordsearch.

More GeoFun


Free geology lectures and podcasts:

Good news! GA lectures restart with the Halstead Lecture given by Kevin Wong (2019 prize winner). We are working hard to finalise a schedule of virtual lectures whilst government restrictions remain in place. Watch this space!

The Scottish Geology Trusthas a very comprehensive website with some superb Online Resources (you are asked to consider giving a small donation to the Trust). These include stepping back in time with Geowalks explaining the geological highlights of Islay, Jura and Colonsay by Angus Miller.

Oxford Geoheritage Virtual Conference
Following this excellent event, that was held 25-29 May 2020, an extended talk by Dr Jack Mathews (a member of the organising committee) entitled Don’t walk on the rocks! explores the increasingly important field of geoconservation.

Geologists’ Association Student Symposium 2020
If you haven’t already seen this GASS2020 has been replaced with three outstanding talks given by GASS prize winners between 2017-2019 and Iain Stewart’s Keynote lecture from 2018. You can view these talks on YouTube. GASS will be back on Friday 14 May 2021.

Natural History Museum
Nature Live Online delivers live talks with NHM scientists on Tuesdays at 12.00 and Fridays at 10.30 am (BST). It is possible to ask questions in real-time during the talk by going to the video on YouTube and typing your question into the chat box.

  • Volcanoes – 10:30 on the 12th June covering causes of volcanic eruptions, reasons for volcanic locations and eruption prediction.

Once aired, you can rewatch talks on NHM’s Nature Live playlist on YouTube. These include:

  • Back to the Future – How fossils can help predict the future
  • Is water on Mars? – Scientists have found exciting evidence for liquid water on Mars. What does this mean for the search for life there?

The NHM also has great resources for the younger geologist. See our new GeoFun section for details.

The GeoModels
Provide access to a wide variety of sandbox modelling of common and the not so common geological and geomorphological features. GFYS recommends –

Liam Herringshaw has an extensive FossilHub website. The most recent post is Chalking with Dinosaurs, part 4 which was a live event during GeoWeek 2020. There is information about the rocks and fossils of Jurassic North Yorkshire, descriptions of some of the fossil footprints that have been found there, and ,using some pavement chalk on Dr Herringshaw’s driveway, an explanation how to make and interrupt your own dinosaur trackways.

GASS2020
Whilst the GA cannot host GASS2020 as planned today we think it appropriate to celebrate past events by sharing some of the outstanding talks that went on to win prizes at GASS2019 -17, as well as Iain Stewart’s Keynote lecture from 2018. Click here to view.

The Geological Society
A range of YouTube topics covered by the public lectures from 2019 and previous years. Included the superb Plate Tectonic Stories Competition performed by the Royal Ballet School Year 9, (13-14 year old students) and ‘Quicquid sub terra est’ – Whatever is under the Earth.

The University of Oxford
A series of podcasts between recorded between 2010 and 2016 are available. Subjects covered range from range from Hot stuff, how volcanoes work to Understanding fracking for shale gas.

Oxford Geoheritage Virtual Conference
This looks like being a fascinating series of talks, hosted by the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The conference will take place each day 25-29 May between 14:00 and 17:00 including a short break. There will be opportunities to ask questions.
https://www.oxgvc.co.uk/about.html

Portsmouth University and the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland are hosting a virtual Metamorphic Studies Group Research in Progress meeting on the 27th and 28th May. The meeting will focus on the newest exciting developments in Metamorphic Geology. More details and registration details can be found at: https://metamorphicstudiesgroup.wordpress.com/meetings/2020-msg-rip-virtual-meeting/ or https://www.minersoc.org/msg-rip-virtual-2020.html

Geology lectures available for a small fee:

Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group
May 13 Zoom Talk: Fracked or Fiction? By Martin Carruthers.
This lecture is free to members of the WGCS, and £2 for non-member visitors and guests.
https://www.wgcg.co.uk/virtual-wgcg/

GeoWalks by Angus Miller is offering live on-line talks using Zoom.
The lectures series is due to end in late April but Angus is offering to repeat earlier lectures if there is sufficient demand.

  • Geology of the Northern Isles – Friday 24 April @ 4pm
    examining the Shetland and Orkney archipelagos, and their unique geology and geomorphology.
  • City of Fire: the volcanic history of Edinburgh – Sunday 26 April @ 7pm

Online Courses

City Lit are offering an introductory short online course entitled:
Exploring rocks, minerals and fossils – 2 sessions over 2 weeks starting on 28/06/20led Charles Clarke (MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology from UCL) who will also explain the geology of some of the building stones used in London.Various pricing levels are available.

Earth Learning Idea
Combining the formidable experience and knowledge of Chris King, Peter Kennett and Elizabeth Devon, Earth Learning Ideas provides a wealth of teaching ideas. Some of these provide an excellent opportunity to refresh and develop your geological skills, such as the Virtual Rock Kit which guides you through a variety of rocks, including thin sections and outcrops. There are also some fun activity for children – see our new GeoFun section for details.

The excellent FutureLearn, partners a number of universities and other organisations to offer excellent online courses and degrees  Most of the courses are free and offered for a limited period.

Earth science related courses can be found by clicking on the Subjects, the selecting Science, Engineering & Maths.  This will bring up a selection of topic boxes including Earth Science.

Examples of the current courses include:

  • Exploring Our Ocean Start date: 20th April
    This course looks at the half of the world which is covered by deep ocean, and how humans affect these areas.
  • Causes of Climate Change – Start date: 30th April
    Learn about the physical processes of global climate variation in order to understand the causes of climate change. N.B. It is possible to join this course after the start date.
  • Beneath the BlueStart date: 29th June
    This course investigates the importance of the seafloor and introduces ocean science and the importance of marine sediment.
  • Extreme Geological Events – start anytime with free access for 5 weeks. Discover how such events have shaped Earth and the challenges of future events.
  • New FutureLearn Courses:
    • MoonsThis six-week course explores the many moons of the Solar System. Find out what makes each moon special and the probability of sending humans returning to our Moon.
    • Atmospheric Chemistry: Planets and Life Beyond Earth – A short two-week course exploring the extraordinary world of atmospheric chemistry. It covers the planetary atmospheres of our solar system and beyond, and considers the possibility of life beyond Earth.

Udemy – Geology: Earth Science for Everyone

This is a crash-course in geology! It covers basic but intriguing topics such the beginnings of the Earth, James Hutton and unconformities, including a virtual field trip, and some of Kelvin’s theories. The course is free but a fee is payable for question and answer facilities and a completion certificate. https://www.udemy.com/course/geology-earth-science-for-everyone/

Class Central’s aim is to make online education work for everyone. Through this portal you can find courses; review courses you’ve taken (and read other people’s reviews); follow universities, subjects and courses to receive personalised updates; and also plan and track your learning. One course from the Delft Institute of Technology that caught our eye was:

Geoscience – the Earth and its resources – self-paced, start anytime. A six week course covering a wide range of geological topics.

Coursera operates in a similar way to FutureLearn but courses are available for longer periods.

Our Earth is a course designed by the University of Manchester and involves examining how the air, water, land, and life formed and how they have interacted over the last 4.5 billion years.


Virtual field trips

Harrow & Hillingdon Geological Society is busy preparing downloadable guides to describe their local geology. The Building Stones Guide to Pinner is the first guide available & is well worth a look.

virtual-geology.info
Do visit this website maintained by Dr Roger Suthren. It includes regional geology tours of NE England and many areas of Europe. A recent addition is the geology of the Eastern French Pyrenees & foreland basin which provides further information on the localities described in the article ‘Classic localities explained: The Eastern French Pyrenees from Mountain Belt to Foreland Basin’ by Dorothy Satterfield, Hugh Rollinson and Roger Suthren, published in Geology Today (available at discount to GA members).

South Wales Group
The Group produces its own publications to cater for a range of geological ability. These include country-wide field guides, geological booklets and guided walks leaflets to local areas of interest.

Some walks are available in English and Welsh, and are well described and illustrated. The GFYS team particularly enjoyed the Porthcawl (English version) and Porthcawl (Welsh Version). We also can recommend the walk to the Head of the Clydach Gorge.

During your visit the South Wales Group’s website do have a look at the other content, which includes newsletters and details of past conferences

Mow Cop Quarry and Tramways. This consists of a short video of an expedition under the southern end of Mow Cop quarry, following the former tramway line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsO1qU_JzUY&feature=youtu.be
There is some additional interesting information about the millstones from Mow Cop available at http://www.mangeolassoc.org.uk/millstones.htm

The Devonshire Association’s website includes a geology section. The history, interests and the importance of Devon’s geology by Malcolm Hart has recently been added. This provides a tour of some of Devon’s most significant geology, considers aspects of climate change and people who explored and recorded Devon’s geology.

Sir Henry De La Beche and Richard Owen
https://devonassoc.org.uk/devoninfo/geology-section-history-interests-and-the-importance-of-devons-geology-2020/

Cambridge Geological Society have produced some excellent leaflets giving details of walks around Cambridgeshire Geosites. Details of the walks can be found at http://www.fenedgetrail.org/overview/walks and additional information about the area’s geology are available at http://www.fenedgetrail.org/overview/thelandscape

Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
A superb way to explore the varied geology of Cumbria. The link leads to a map of the county with red and green pins marking geological sites. Clicking on the pins accesses basic information but many sites also include data sheets and information leaflets – enough for hours of geology.

London Geodiversity Partnership
Follow the drop-down menu under Publications and click on Information Boards and Leaflets. This provides a fascinating insight into the geology of some important London locations including Highgate Woods.

Nick Zentner has developed a very comprehensive website of USA based field trips, two-minute video clips and geologically themed helicopter flights.

A huge range of field trips, talks, two-minute clips and helicopter flights. Some have sub titles. For example, the Columns of the Giants, California is an interesting expedition with some clear and detailed explanations.


GeoFun

GA Magazine Crosswords – Win a GA Guide of your choice!
If you are interested in crosswords with a geological theme then six back issues of the GA Magazine include puzzles. Just look out for the crossword symbol.

A seventh puzzle was planned but unfortunately the clues were lost! So we thought it might be fun to have a competition whereby you can suggest what the clues might have been. The winner will be the first person to send us a complete set of geologically themed clues – the more imaginative the better! The solutions can be found here. Happy puzzling!

The Lapworth Museum of Geology have some excellent ideas for primary school teachers and home educators at Activities to Try at Home. These include:
– making a simple erupting volcano
– colouring in sheets of a Dimorphodon
dinosaurs fighting
mineral wordsearch.

Natural History Museum
For home-educators, the NHM have some wonderful ideas at Try this at home. Including Dippy on tour resources for Dino fans ages 4-7. Try out – Activity 13: Walk like a dinosaur – make your own dinosaur feet

Mole Valley Geological Society have put together the first two of the MVGS Geo Quizzes, with more to follow. A good test of your knowledge!

Saffron Walden Museum has been putting online games and activities relating to their collections. One challenge is a fossil jigsaw where it is possible to change the number of pieces to make it harder or easier and when you complete the puzzle you get a report on how long it took you!

Earth Learning Idea
If you know anyone who is home educating their children at the moment, do look at the extensive collection of Children’s Fun Activities.


Stay Safe