Geology from your Sofa

December 2023 was our last issue

Content will remain accessible here but please remember that embedded links may not work as they are no longer being maintained.

The editors of GFYS Alison Barraclough and Janet Wright thank you for viewing the content which we hope you have enjoyed.
We would also like to thank all those who have contributed to GFYS. 


December 2023adopted by


on the theme:


The London Geodiversity Partnership has been working with a number of artists over the past few years and wishes to showcase the results

Web:  Email:


Gail Dickerson  - Artist who works with Painting, Sculpture and Film

  • Rockingham Anomaly: A project making artwork out of peat excavated from an anomaly at Elephant and Castle
  • Excavate: A project working with geological samples collected from five of Thames Tideway's recent shaft excavation sites along the Thames
  • Changing Land and Climate: The Wandsworth Climate Hub Exhibition and Geotrail
  • Demolition Precious Earth: An experimental documentary looking more closely at the materials heaped up on a building site after a demolition. Materials taken for granted in the buildings around us and removed from their natural origin. Capturing local demolitions, the piles of waste, and the extraction of the natural resources from around the world. Referencing the minerals in the Natural History Museum or the quarry, the mine that the raw materials or the objects seen on the rubble pile are made of.

Dee McLean (@deemcleanart) is an artist journeying through the places she is emotionally attached to and looking at the ways they are all intimately linked by the changing global climate. Her work in watercolour & mixed media reflects how beautiful and precious our ecosystems are, exploring the relationship between our landscapes and ourselves. After a career in medical & scientific illustration she has returned to painting & writing about these places.

My Places: While working on my painting and writing trilogy ‘My Places’, Hampstead Heath, London; Mandeville, Louisiana & Jasper, Alberta, I became fascinated by their geology. It was literally the bedrock of these three quite diverse areas. From the reservoirs that were built on Hampstead Heath, through the oil and gas exploration and development in coastal Louisiana to the wonderous mountains of Jasper which ultimately led to the creation of Jasper National Park. The following is a brief overview of this trilogy.

The Geology of Hampstead Heath: Having worked in medical & scientific education I am interested in how to explain complex scenarios in simple terms so that everyone can understand them. The following hopefully meets this criteria!

Paintings of Pebbles: These are the first paintings to come out of my exploration of all things geological! Flints from Lyme Regis and pebbles from the Bagshot sand on Hampstead Heath.

The Restoration of Branch Hill Pond: I was asked by Di Clements and the Redington Frognal Association to help put together a series of posters for an exhibition to explain the plans to reinstate the pond that John Constable often painted from the top of Hampstead Heath. The exhibition took place in Burgh House, Hampstead in 2022.


Maja Quille - Artist


Jeffrey Stephen Miller - Ceramic designer and material researcher

  • Isle of Sheppey: Jeffrey approached LGP because he wanted to obtain London Clay for his ceramic project. He sourced it from the Thames Tideway Tunnel and we recommended he visit the cliffs on the Isle of Sheppey to see the clay in situ. This is where he made most of this video.
  • Hoovering the Underground: Next step was to obtain iron oxide filings from the wheels of the tube trains for use as a glaze.
  • From the Underground, experimenting with firing London Clay and glazes. TFL are very enthusiastic about the project and have offered to give Jeffrey dust that they have collected ,and to help with firing tiles. They are also enthusiastic about using his tiles on an underground station.
  • The finished articles from this and other projects.

Online Courses

Having been inspired, why not have a go at creating your own rock art? This YouTube tutorial from Art in Context will help you. Art in Context is your holistic art encyclopedia. We offer you extensive information about the history of art, analyses of famous artworks, artist biopics, information on architecture, literature, photography, painting, and drawing.


Make your own paints from rocks! Fantastic ideas can be found here at Lost in Colours. Jyotsna is a a scientist and self-taught sustainable watercolour artist. Her creative process is deeply rooted in an endless journey of discovery, respecting, and deepening a connection with her local landscape.

Our Artists and their involvement with the London Geodiversity Partnership

Dee McLean attended an LGP Geotrail on Hampstead Heath for Heath Hands, of which she is a member. She asked for geological advice for the book she was writing and illustrating about Hampstead Heath. It Started On Hampstead Heath…, published in 2018. The book discusses climate change, particularly in relation to the Ponds Project. The LGP has since advised on geological aspects relating to other projects. In 2019 LGP became involved with the Redington Frognal Association who were planning to reinstate the Branch Hill Pond on Hampstead Heath, painted frequently by Constable. To communicate with local people they planned an Exhibition for early 2022 and LGP worked with Dee to create 13 panels. The exhibition was a great success and the pond was reinstated in August that year. Dee has joined the GA and continues her interest in geology by attending lectures and conferences and going on trips. She provided the design for the LGP GFYS contribution.

Gail Dickerson approached the GA because she wanted to find out about the geology of Elephant & Castle where her studio is located. In particular, she wanted information about the small area known as the ‘Rockingham Anomaly’. LGP were delighted to work with Gail on this project as the London Borough of Southwark had suggested that we assess the Rockingham Anomaly as a potential Locally Interesting Geological Site (LIGS). Gail grinds up rocks to use as pigments for her artworks and she was keen to obtain the peat found beneath the housing estate in this area. She contacted LB Southwark for their permission to auger and we went with her and some local friends and proceeded to auger in a patch of the gardens. The result was successful: Gail obtained peat for her artworks and we were able to get an analysis of the peat and write a report. Gail comes out regularly with LGP on geotrails, recces and conservation days and collects samples for her artworks. In 2018 she mounted a display of her work in the Newington Gallery, Elephant & Castle and invited LGP to add a small exhibit about the local geology to accompany it.

Gail also became involved with the Thames Tideway project, initially by visiting the nearby Chambers Wharf site where she was given samples and later, with the geologist on the project, Tim Newman who was able to supply her with core samples from closer to where she lives, near Wandsworth. This prompted a second exhibition of her artworks, this time using pigments from the Thames Tideway rocks. Tim helped her display rocks from the core on the floor of the exhibition which was held in the Climate Hub in the shopping precinct. Again, she invited LGP to mount a display, this time related to Geology and Climate. On both occasions we ran a Geotrail in the area – the one in Wandsworth was Gail’s idea and was researched by her.

Maja Quille came to the London Geodiversity Partnership via the Angela Marmont Centre in the Natural History Museum (NHM) hoping to learn more about London Clay. She had obtained a quantity of it from MOLA’s work at a site in Southwark and been given a grant by Arts Council England (ACE) to experiment with it for artworks. Maja proceeded to undertake a huge amount of research about the London Clay, experimenting with firing temperatures and different glazes. Recently she has used it in community projects and has begun collaborating with a ceramicist and geoarchaeologists to explore geology on archeological excavations. She was offered clay cores from St. James’, used for teaching engineers, which was no longer required by NHM and so we were able to facilitate that she came to collect it. She is currently working with the clay and has been sharing it with other artists and students.

Jeffrey Stephen Miller also came to LGP via the Angela Marmont Centre as he was looking to acquire London Clay extracted from the tunnels for recent tube lines in order to repurpose it by creating tiles to be glazed by iron oxide-rich dust from train wheels grinding against steel tracks. In the end it was the clay from the Thames Tideway Tunnel that was repurposed. Jeffrey worked with Maja and Gail to collect the cores from a warehouse in Oxford that Tim Newman was happy to give them. Jeffrey has subsequently recreated tiles in typical Underground designs and hopes to be able to use them in one of the stations. Tfl have been very co-operative and offered him bags of the dust as well as the use of their tile manufacturers. His From the Underground project won the 2023 Maison/0 Green Trail Award.

Kathryn Maguire was involved with the LGP from January through to July 2023 while on a residency as artist working alongside the English Department in King’s College, London. She, too, was given the contact to LGP by the Angela Marmont Centre in NHM. Her aim for the project was to explore six materials; Silt, clay, mud, brick, copper, and fossils in the riverine and estuarine areas of the Thames and other places. With this in mind she came out with members of the LGP to visit London Clay exposures on the Isle of Sheppey in the Thames Estuary and upriver at Isleworth during a low tide. She brought the students to the Angela Marmont Centre to view rock samples and fossils from the Thames area, both from the LGP and AMC collections. At the end of the residency she ran a small conference and invited Gail and Jeffrey to speak about their projects. She returned to Ireland at the end of her residency. More about the project can be found on her website:

GFYS contains external sites linked to this website. The Geologists’ Association is not responsible for the contents of any such linked site or the items being promoted. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by the Geologists’ Association; they are offered for your convenience only.



adopted by


Celebrating its 75th Anniversary

on the theme:

Natural Resources of North Staffordshire
X: @NStaffsGA
Facebook: NorthStaffsGA


Youtube/podcast lecture(s)

Go back in time with the Brunner Mond Film Archive and join Brian Redhead for his 1978 BBC Home Ground programme looking at the:

The National Trust Midlands has produced several videos relating to the Bateman Gallery at Biddulph Grange Garden:

  • An introduction to the gallery
The Geological Gallery at Biddulph Grange Garden is a unique building that displays a Victorian understanding of geology alongside the Christian story of creation. Built between 1858 and 1862 the Gallery also formed the entrance to James Bateman historic garden. More information on the project can be found here.

  • Palaeontologist in the Gallery

    The ongoing restoration of the Geological Gallery at Biddulph Grange Garden is a varied project. Not only do fossils need to be conserved and the recesses in which they were formally displayed stabilised, but the Grade I listed building has also needed comprehensive restoration to stabilise it. This has included resolving major structural and damp issues as well as replacing original tiles and stonework.

The team at Time for Geography an open-access, dedicated video platform for geography and geoscience education have created an extensive range of videos covering both geography and geoscience. The geoscience topics cover subjects such as Plate Tectonics, Glaciation, Hazards, and Resource Management. NSSGA picked out:

Online Courses

FutureLearn is featuring a course from Luleå University of Technology on:

Virtual fieldtrips

Underground Explorers C9C take us on a trip to:

  • Chatterley Whitfield Colliery
    Chatterley Whitfield Colliery in Stoke on Trent was the largest mine working the North Staffordshire Coalfield and was the first colliery in 1937 to produce 1,000,000 tons of saleable coal in a year, follow us exploring its remains on an open day event from the Friends of Chatterley Whitfield Colliery.

Join David Webb on an underground assignment to Ecton Mines with archaeologist Dr John Barnett and mining engineer Len Kirkham. Commissioned by the Ecton Hill Field Studies Association. Shown at the NAMHO Conference 2009:

  • The Hollow Hill – The Story of The Ecton Mines
    Mining has taken place at Ecton since the Bronze Age, and this film takes us on a fascinating and informative tour of the underground remains of many once thriving metalliferous mines at Ecton. The film provides a detailed history from surviving records of the vast Clayton and Deep Ecton Mines and includes rare footage of East Ecton, Dutchman, Goodhope and Waterbank mines.

Then revisit the mines with the UNEXMIN project in:

  • May 2019

    The UNEXMIN team test its innovative solution to explore the flooded part of the Ecton mine.

  • and again in March 2022

    The technology developers and robot operators re-visited Ecton mine, for the second UNEXUP field work of the year. The purpose of the visit was to further explore the mine shafts here.

    The robot collected spatial data with sonars and lasers, which allowed the volumetric calculations of the mine chambers. In addition, it continuously measured water parameters such as pH, EC, temperature, oxygen fugacity and pressure of the water.
UX-1Neo dived in two shafts and explored parts of the mine workings that have been unknown for more than 150 years. Due to the crystal clear waters, high-resolution, 3D photogrammetric models were made.


Little Bins for Little Hands introduces geological subjects and associated activities in a fun and entertaining way for kids from 5 to 10 years old. Why not get your hand at the:

  • Edible Rock Cycle 

    Make your own tasty sedimentary rock to explore geology! Explore types of rocks and the rock cycle with this super easy-to-make, sedimentary rock bar snack.

North Staffordshire Group of the Geologists’ Association

The North Staffordshire Group of the Geologists’ Association (NSGGA) was founded in December 1948 on the initiative of John Myers, a well-known local Geology teacher. It organised a full programme of meetings for 1949 and was immediately recognised by GA Council (GA Circular 510; 21st February 1949). As such, it was the GA’s fourth Local Group (Sweeting, 1958 – The Geologists’ Association 1858-1958). A brief history of the Group is given in NSGGA Bulletin No. 125:

This year is our 75th anniversary and to celebrate, we plan to invite members and associates to an evening event in the William Smith Building at the University of Keele. A special feature of this event will be a talk on William Smith’s fossils by two contributors to the recently published book entitled “Strata – William Smith’s Geological Maps”. The book features the William Smith collection of fossils which the speakers have been responsible for curating in the Department of Palaeontology at the Natural History Museum.

Geographically the NSGGA covers both North Staffordshire but also South East Cheshire, and this is reflected in the ‘Virtual Fieldtrips’ section.

North Staffordshire has been blessed with a wealth of natural resources, coalfields, oil and gas, iron, copper, as well as building stones and aggregates.

The David B. Thompson Archive

As a tribute to the life and work of David B Thompson (1932 – 2013), the North Staffs Group of the Geologists’ Association and Earth Science Teachers’ Association have published a selection of the fieldwork notes and field teaching exercises David utilised during his time at Keele University. Many of the items within the archive are from a variety of published sources and some of the content incorporates the work of other authors.

The archive can be referenced at the following link :



The Roaches, Peak District, Staffordshire


adopted by

on the theme:
How the forming and breakup of Pangea has dominated 
the geology of Warwickshire


Youtube/podcast lecture(s)

Two WGCC evening lectures from:
1. Mike Benton OBE, FRS, FRSE on:

  • Dinosaurs: New Visions of a Lost World
    Mike brings some of his latest research on dinosaur appearance and evolution. Dinosaurs are not what you thought they were, or at least, they didn’t look like you think they did. Rapid advances in technology and astounding new fossil finds have changed the way we visualise dinosaurs forever. This talk builds on Prof Benton’s latest book ‘New visions of a lost World’, which is illustrated by acclaimed palaeoartist Bob Nicholls, to display the latest and most exciting dinosaur discoveries in vibrant colour.

2. Stuart Burley, Emeritus Professor of Keele University on:

Three podcasts from BBC Sounds -

1. The Life Scientific on:

  • Nick Fraser on Triassic Reptiles

    Nick regularly travels back in time (at least in his mind) to the Triassic, a crazily inventive period in our evolutionary history that started 250 million years ago. Wherever there are ancient Triassic creatures buried underground, Nick is never far behind; and his 'fossil first' approach to life has been richly rewarded…

2. In Our Time on:

  • Permian Triassic Boundary
    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Permian-Triassic boundary. 250 million years ago, in the Permian period of geological time, the most ferocious predators on earth were the Gorgonopsians. Up to ten feet in length, they had dog-like heads and huge sabre-like teeth. Mammals in appearance, their eyes were set in the side of their heads like reptiles…

3. Science in Action episode covering amongst other topics:

Also from BBC iPlayer:

  • Earth Series 1 - Inferno

    Chris Packman explores one of the darkest periods in Earths history: the worst mass extinction the planet has ever seen, when as much as 90% of all species died.

Online Courses

Coursera is featuring a course from the University of Colorado Boulder:

  • Deep Time: Discovering Ancient Earth - 3 hr/wk for 3 weeks available now
Ever since our ancestors ventured onto the African savanna, human beings have searched, explored, and wondered about the world. Nowadays, and certainly for most, science is the vehicle that takes us along a path towards understanding nature. It can bring us from sub-atomic realms to the most distant galaxies. Largely through the discipline of geology, science allows us to push back the mists of time and peer into a past measured in billions of years, and aptly referred to as “Deep Time.”

Virtual fieldtrips

Lead by the WGCC covering the following Triassic boundaries -

  • Lias:
    • The Hidden Wonders of Burton Dassett led by Norman Dutton
Burton Dassett Hills Country Park is a much loved place to spend recreation time. Walkers, cyclists and family groups with a picnic can enjoy the panoramic views and the sheltered hollows for playing and relaxing. Many are unaware of the industrial heritage and geological record that can be seen all around as revealed in this short video.
    • Blockley Brickpit led by Jon Radley & Ray Pratt
Located in the heart of the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, Northcot Bricks have been using the local Charmouth Mudstone in the production of facing bricks. This Brickpit is a site of numerous high quality fossils of significant scientific value.
  • Mid Triassic:
    • Helsby Fm., Warwick Castle, Warwick led by Jon Radley

      This is a geological education video recorded in the field discussing the Helsby sandstone, (aka Warwick sandstone), and its geological setting.
    • Helsby Fm., Guys Cliffe, Warwick - Stuart Burley

      A 31 minute geology educational video looking at the Helsby Sandsone at Guys Cliffe, Warwickshire. Stuart Burley describes how to make sense of sedimentary features in fluvial systems.
  • Lower Triassic:
    • Chester Fm, Roundberry Quarry, Warwickshire led by Ray Pratt

      This 20 minute geology educational video discusses the geological conditions that led to the deposition of the Chester Formation (Bunter Pebble Beds) here in Warwickshire.


Take a look at Voyager a free downloadable App from Google Play that enables you to travel back in time whilst you are out visiting well know geological locations in the Midlands. More routes are promised for the future so keep a look out!

Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group

Warwickshire geological Conservation Group was set up in 1990 with two aims;

  • To advance the public education of the significance of geology, and
  • To conserve the geological heritage of Warwickshire



adopted by

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary
on the theme:
The Geology of Cumbria


Youtube/podcast lecture(s)

Author Paul Gannon’s lecture introduces volcanic processes and the volcanic rocks of the Lake District and compares them to Snowdonia:

Then Dr Stuart Jones, Durham University explores some of the rocks forming the fringes of the Lake District by asking:

and then Sylvia Woodhead, Cumbria Geoconservation talks about the fringing limestones of the Carboniferous period, curtesy of the Friends of the Lake District:

Finally, have a look at what shaped the Lake District we see today with the Northern Geographer:

Virtual fieldtrips

Cumberland Geological Society’s John Rogers looks at the landscape and volcanic rocks in the northern Lakes.

The renowned author Ian Tyler gives a guided tour of the now closed Keswick Mining Museum and explains the history of mining in the Lake District:


To enthuse any budding young geologists take a look at BBC Bitesize:

Westmorland Geological Society

Westmorland Geological Society is based in Kendal the and is well placed to explore the geology of Cumbria including the Lake District National Park and the Westmorland Dales, part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The Society is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and is hosting the GA Annual Conference 2023 in Kendal on 22-24th September. The conference also coincides with the publication of a new two-volume field excursion guide to Cumbrian geology available from the GA: GA Shop | Geologists' Association (



GFYS Summer Geology Special

Summer Geology issue below
September’s edition is being adopted by
Westmorland Geological Society.
GFYS is now taking a short break until September

Youtube/podcast lecture(s)

GFYS recommends this summer listening from Geology Bites:

  • Bias in the Sedimentary Record
    How can we tell if the sedimentary record is good enough to make solid inferences about the geological past? Bruce Levell, a visiting professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford, discuses how we tell can if the sedimentary record is good enough to make solid inferences about the geological past.

Virtual fieldtrips

GeoLancashire (Lancashire RIGS Group/Lancashire Local Group of the GA) have put together a series of free geology walks. GFYS really like their Ribble Valley GeoTrails.

  • The Ribble way is a long-distance walk between the Lancashire coast and the Yorkshire Dales National Park largely following the course of the river Ribble. GFYS picked out:
  • Ribble Valley Geotrails Walk 1 Preston
    A circular walk between two river crossings in Preston, examining natural features and building stones.
  • Ribble Valley Geotrails Walk 3 Ribchester, 2014
    A circular walk in the vicinity of Ribchester, examining natural features including the river meanders and the erosion of part of the Roman fort.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) staff share some of their favourite sites of geological interest around the UK through their Postcard Geology. GFYS picked out:

Online Courses

Preparation for autumn
Worker's Educational Association (WEA) are offering a thought-provoking course
on -
  • Environment: How people have changed the landscape in Britain - 10 x 3hr
    sessions starting 3/10/23
    the course investigates the physical and economic development of the British
    landscape so that learners will improve their skills in interpretation and observation.
    It also describes the development of the familiar British landscape, meaning you'll
    able to describe the origins and purpose of its of key features, as well as identify
    Cost £80

Not an on-line course but essential summer reading.

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has set up a permanent
International Commission on Geoheritage (IGU) which has shared a link to a free
download of their booklet -

  • 100 Geological Heritage Sites
    This book of the First 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites is a 60th anniversary
    spectacular souvenir that the IUGS wants to share with the global community of
    geoscientists and with all people worldwide. This collaborative achievement is
    authored by 485 experts from more than 40 countries.
    Download and enjoy this incredible journey through some of the World's most
    significant Geological Heritage Sites. Share this link with your colleagues.


GFYS found this quirky YouTube video on a -

  • Geology 'holiday'
    Student Sapphire Wanmer says ‘a geology field-trip (also apparently known as a holiday) with my mum led to the writing of this song.’ Played at the University of Leicester Peter Colley Sylvester Bradley Society Geology Open Mic Night. Enjoy!

Have a great summer!


adopted by


A Local Group of the Geologists’ Association
Founded 1973 | Twitter @HHGeolSoc |

on the theme: Investigating Quaternary Landscapes

Harrow and Hillingdon are two London boroughs situated in the London Basin, close to the Chilterns. While glaciation in the form of ice sheets never reached our area, the local geology has been sculpted by Ice Age meltwaters and periglacial activity. We are left with a very complicated series of gravels across the region which have been exploited since Paleolithic times. As a result of natural events and human activity, few original deposits remain. Join us on our quest to understand our Quaternary Landscape from the comfort of your own sofa!

Stanmore Gravel Project
Find out what we are doing at Harrow Weald Geological SSSI. If you are interested in finding out more or getting involved, please email:


HHGS 1973-2023
Golden Anniversary Year 

Youtube/podcast lecture(s)

The Thames through Time, Geological Society Lecture
For understanding London’s gravels and the legacy of the River Thames, watch this fascinating lecture given by Prof Danielle Schreve at Burlington House in November 2011.

Early River Thames: The Iron Age and Before

This very interesting Gresham College Lecture by archaeologist Jon Cotton includes the geological setting and makes the connection between local geology and human pre-history.

Podcasts are a convenient way to learn by listening while you get on with other activities. Or when you go to bed!

Geology Bites – Podcast
The Geology Bites website showcases a series of audio interviews with cutting edge geologists. Of interest to us is part 2 of the interview with Martin Gibling of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The impact of recent ice ages on today’s rivers is discussed: Rivers in the Geological Record (part 2).

Online Courses

5-minute quiz! Test your knowledge of physical processes: erosion, transportation and deposition.

Fluvial Landscape Reconstruction from the Sedimentary Record
This free course is by Pennsylvania State University in collaboration with the Society for Sedimentary Geology.
Recordings of the webinar discussions for 6 lessons are available starting with Lesson 1: Introduction to river networks and the stratigraphic record

Virtual fieldtrips

Myron Cook, Bighorn Basin, Wyoming
This geology teacher lives close to the Badlands and has produced a series of videos with spectacular drone footage and simple explanations to help us interpret his local geology. While these links are not specific to Quaternary, we see evidence of the same processes in our own Quaternary landscape.

Nick Zentner, Central Washington University
You can join Nick Zentner on YouTube as he explores the spectacular geology of his local area and explains the story behind the Channeled Scablands. Nick started livestreaming in response to the first Covid lockdown and also made his Geology 101 lessons available for public viewing.


Earth Learning Idea
This website has an extensive range of teaching resources for geology / Earth Science. The simple demonstration we have selected uses Lego to show how to interpret sea level changes from a vertical sequence of sediments.

Harrow & Hillingdon Geological Society

2023 marks our 50th anniversary !

The Society was formed in May 1973 by a number of enthusiasts who had met at local evening classes. To celebrate this anniversary month we are showcasing our local geology and current research project. New this year are monthly Earth Discovery sessions held at Brunel University which are free and open to the public.

We meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each month on Zoom (and in person when feasible). Most Zoom meetings centre on an illustrated talk by an invited guest, some take the form of field reports and some include discussions on topics of interest to our members. All aspects of geology are covered and discussed.

We meet up socially at various locations across our area and enjoy a full programme of field trips further afield to sites of geological interest.

The Society welcomes new members from 16 years upwards, regardless of race or gender and whatever their knowledge of the subject.


adopted by

Berkshire Geoconservation Group

on the theme: Building Stones and Brick Making


Youtube/podcast lecture(s)

All building stones deteriorate over time and important buildings have to be conserved. Secrets in the Stone describes the work of the BGS Building Stones team in Edinburgh.

Brickmaking was a significant industry in Berkshire in previous centuries. These two videos contrast the pre-industrial method of brick making with the process used today:

Online Courses

  • Natural Construction Material - Stone
    This course, provided by ûdemy, comprises five short lectures (total time 31mins) available any time. You can watch the introductory video before enrolling for the rest of the course. Although an Indian course, with reference to stone sources in India, the description of the suitability of different rock types as building stones is relevant to all countries.

Virtual fieldtrips


Building stones are a way to study geology in the urban environment. The area around Cardiff city centre contains a variety of building stone, some local, some from further afield. See if you can find all the stone mentioned in this leaflet produced by the National Museum of Cardiff:


Donnington Castle Gatehouse -

local chalk and flint with later repairs in red brick

Berkshire Geoconservation Group

The Berkshire Geoconservation Group is an all-inclusive volunteer group, working with local authorities, landowners and the general public to safeguard special features of the landscape for future generations and to promote understanding of its geology and geodiversity. We designate Local Geological Sites (LGS), with two new ones being approved this year. The LGSs are mapped and described on our website and we have installed interpretation boards at some of them.

Membership is free and we have walks in most months of the year. Non-members are very welcome to join us. Details of our activities are on our website.


adopted by

Bath Geological Society

on the theme: Made in Stone: Bath and Petra, 2 world heritage sites


Youtube/podcast lecture(s)

Two lectures from the BGS and presented by Maurice Tucker.
First a lecture prepared for the 2019 GA Festival of Geology on:

  • Bath stone and William Smith 

    Maurice Tucker tells the story of William Smith, the Father of English Geology, and his time in Bath, when he operated a stone quarry.

Secondly a lecture on:

Also the story of a stone mason featured on Daytime ITV in December 2014 :

Virtual fieldtrips

Visit a Bath stone mine in Wiltshire:

  • Extracting Bath stone: Park Lane Mine, Corsham, Wiltshire

    A short video from Blockstone Ltd of the Park Lane Bath stone 'Room & Pillar' Mining. This mine is some 30 m below ground with pillars 7 m x 7 m pillars and roadways 7 m wide. The roof is bolted for support and safety. Blocks up to 10 tons are sawn from the face, trimmed up underground and stored for shipping to production plants around the country.

There are several items on YouTube under “Bath stone mines” which can easily be located and watched. However, access to these mines is mostly prohibited on grounds of health and safety, and being on private land. Many underground quarries are unsafe, dangerous places and should not be entered.

For more information relating to Bath stone and Pennant stone visit the BGS website.

If you are looking for something to tempt you outside then why not take a look at the trails that the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution (BRLSI) have put together in their BRLSI’s Bath Discovery Trails App. The Railway Leviathan Trail is featured in the GeoFun section below. You’ll find four varied trails here, all about 4 km in length & estimated to take about 2 hours to complete.


Take a look at what was swimming in Bath during the Jurassic with the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution (BRLSI):

  • Ancient Crocodiles: Meet monsters from our distant past

    The BRLSI has a large and important fossil collection that includes some fine examples of ancient crocodiles. Here the Institution’s Collections Manager, Matt Williams, introduces a selection of them including the so-called “Railway Leviathan”, uncovered during the digging of a railway cutting in the Victorian era.

    You can discover this and other fossils by downloading the BRLSI’s Bath Discovery Trails App & rediscover a lost world, here in Bath. This trail brings to life extinct species from a time before human beings and explains how the industrialisation of Bath’s landscape in the nineteenth century unearthed long lost creatures that once roamed the land and swam in the seas where Bath now stands—and how BRLSI was crucial in preserving that prehistoric past. At the end of this trail you will be able to view the skull of a Jurassic steneosaurus, just one of BRLSI’s many fossils. Take some snacks as the trail is 4 km long & could take you up to 2 hrs to complete!

Bath Geological Society

Bath Geological Society is an active and flourishing organisation whose ages range from 17 to 90. Our membership includes every type of geologist from recreational fossil-hunters to academic and professional geologists. We hold monthly lectures on the first Thursday of every month except January and August. We organise field meetings to visit geological sites, including an annual conservation trip when we help The Wildlife Trust to clear a local geological trail at Brown’s Folly SSSI. We produce our own Journal once a year and this contains a variety of articles from many of our members.

Meetings are usually held at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRSLI), 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN, 7:30pm on the first Thursday of every month, except January and August. Occasionally meetings may be held over Zoom.

The Bath Geological Society was founded in 1970, in 2020 we were preparing to celebrate our 50th anniversary when Covid-19 brought our plans to an abrupt end. We finally celebrated it in 2022!


adopted by

Hertfordshire Geological Society

on the theme: Hertfordshire past & present


Youtube/podcast lecture(s)

Join Dr Haydon Bailey as he talks about

then Dr Ilias Karapanos (Affinity Water) brings us right up to the present with his talk on

and finally we’ve included Keith Hoffmeister’s (Chiltern Society)
 regular update on HS2 progress thru the Chilterns. 
As the tunnel starts in Hertfordshire HGS feels we have a claim on the tunnel!Keith has kept a photo diary of the project ever since it started and has access to regular plane flights along the route, hence the excellent aerial shots. It’s an excellent record with a lot of Chalk geo-engineering visible.

Online Courses

If you would like to learn more about Chalk aquifers then OpenLearn has a free course on Groundwater; 10 hrs of study, available now

Virtual fieldtrips

Dr Liam Gallagher takes us to Water End SSSI where the informally termed Water End ‘estate’ (11.3 hectare) is a biological and geological site of 
Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) near Welham Green, Hertfordshire. 
It contains at least 17 swallow holes of varying size - the only ones in chalk which are a permanent feature of the landscape.

Clive Maton takes us to Little Heath Pit SSSI to tell us about the history and geology of the site, plus the ongoing geoconservation.

Travel to Castle Hill, Berkhamsted with Nick Pierpoint 
to see a wonderful example of Hertfordshire Puddingstone.


Learn how to make & eat your own 
“Hertfordshire Puddingstone” 
with a fun recipe courtesy of Lisa Violino of Knolita Cooks. How does it compare to the Puddingstone at Castle Hill?


Hertfordshire Geological Society

Hertfordshire Geological Society is a friendly and enthusiastic group for all those amateurs and professionals interested in the Earth Sciences. Our year round and wide-ranging programme of lectures, field meetings and workshops will appeal to those who wish to discover more about the earth and its rocks, minerals and fossils.

Contact details:


Micraster cortestudinarium
Photo by Janet Wright


adopted by

Reading Geological Society

on the theme: Geological Time


Youtube/podcast lecture(s)

Cambridge Earth Science Library has a fascinating animation of:

BBC Sounds: Our Time has a podcast on:

  • The Geological Formation of Britain

    where Melvyn Bragg and guests Richard Corfield, Jane Francis and Sanjeev Gupta discuss the geological formation of Britain.

When this was broadcasted, Richard Corfield was Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University; Jane Francis Professor of Palaeoclimatology at the University of Leeds and Sanjeev Gupta was a Royal Society-Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow at Imperial College London).

Geology Bites is a fantastic collection of conversations about geology with researchers making key contributions to our understanding of the Earth and the Solar System. RGS have picked out:

  • The Evolution of Minerals

    Bob Hazen, Senior Staff Scientist at the Earth and Planets Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution for Science and Professor of Earth Sciences at George Mason University, discuses the formation of minerals. During the course of Earth history, new types of rock have appeared as the Earth cooled and plates formed and started to move and interact. The different rock types reflect the particular assemblage that composed them. But what about the minerals themselves?

Online Courses

The University of Colorado Boulder has a course on:

  • Deep Time: Discovering an Ancient Earth - 4 week free course available now

    Ever since our ancestors ventured onto the African savanna, human beings have searched, explored, and wondered about the world. Largely through the discipline of geology, science allows us to push back the mists of time and peer into a past measured in billions of years, and aptly referred to as ‘Deep Time.’

    The last two weeks of this course focus on the geology of North America.


Course provider Dr Alan Lester’s research includes paleomagnetism, stable-isotopes, trace-elements, and radiometric dating to understanding the origin and evolution of the Rocky Mountains.

Virtual fieldtrips

Travel up the stratigraphical column with the RGS As we were unable to go on field meetings in 2020, the RGS created this video for the GA Virtual Festival of Geology. It was compiled using photographs from RGS field trips over many years; all photographs being taken by members on the trip. The video starts in the Precambrian and works its way up through the stratigraphical column explaining the geology that was seen at the time.

The RGS was accompanied by a new friend on this virtual trip and we hope that you will join us too!


The Extinction Game

  • An exciting and fast-moving geological game for up to six players. Suitable for ages six to sixty plus. Learn about the geological time periods, fossils and mass extinctions and try to avoid becoming an extinction victim!

Reading Geological Society

Reading Geological Society is a friendly and enthusiastic group for all those amateurs and professionals interested in the Earth Sciences. Our year round and wide-ranging programme of lectures, field meetings and workshops will appeal to those who wish to discover more about the earth and its rocks, minerals and fossils. We have a series of outreach initiatives, and run Schoolrocks! in conjunction with the Geologists' Association.

Contact details:


Hurley Chalk Pit

Free geology lectures and podcasts

Anthöny Pain, a YouTube content creator GFYS a has featured before, takes us to:

The Backpacker’s Guide To Prehistory: S2 E3: The Palaeogene
Join host David Mountain as he ventures into the tropical world of the Palaeogene, 66-23 million years ago. If you’re looking for volatile climates, volcanic activity and some of the most remarkable mammals to have ever walked the Earth, then the Palaeogene could be the perfect getaway!
Providing the travel advice for this podcast are two Palaeogene experts, Dr Monica Carvalho, a palaeobotanist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Dr Sergi López-Torres, a palaeontologist at the University of Warsaw.

The Backpacker’s Guide to Prehistory has a series of Podcasts on YouTube which gives top travel tips for time travellers. A highly enjoyable & informative series which covers:

  • S1 E2: The Devonian
    David Mountain travels back to the Devonian period, 419-359 million years ago. In this weird world of giant fungi and armour-plated fish, what creatures should you look out for? Where should you pitch your tent? And should you really take a dip in Devonian waters? Providing the answers are two Devonian experts: Dr Sandy Hetherington, a palaeobotanist at the University of Edinburgh, and Dr Alice Clement, a palaeontologist at Flinders University.

BBC Sounds In Our Time discusses

  • The Late Devonian Extinction
    originally broadcast on BBC R4 on 11 March 2021, Melvyn Bragg and guests, Mike Benton, David Bond and Jessica Whiteside discuss the disappearance of up to 70 % of species roughly 370 million years ago at the end of The Age of Fishes, and the range of possible causes
  • The Permian-Triassic Boundary
    Melvyn Bragg and guests, Richard Corfield, Mike Benton, Jane Francis, discuss the Permian-Triassic boundary. 250 million years ago, in the Permian period, the most ferocious predators on earth were the Gorgonopsians. The Gorgonopsians and up to 95% of all life died in the greatest mass extinction the world has ever known. But what caused this catastrophic juncture in life, what evidence do we have for what happened and what do events like this tell us about the pattern and process of evolution itself?
  • The Geological Formation of Britain

    where Melvyn Bragg and guests Richard Corfield, Jane Francis and Sanjeev Gupta discuss the geological formation of Britain.

When this was broadcasted, Richard Corfield was Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University; Jane Francis Professor of Palaeoclimatology at the University of Leeds and Sanjeev Gupta was a Royal Society-Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow at Imperial College London).

BBC Sounds The Life Scientific features

  • Nick Fraser on Triassic reptiles
    Dr Nick Fraser regularly travels back in time (at least in his mind) to the Triassic, in 2017 he was part of hugely exciting find hidden in the Scottish borders in rocks that are over 350 million years old: an ancient amphibian, imaginatively named Tiny, that is the earliest known example of an animal with a backbone to live on land. It may even have had five fingers!
  • GA Member Caz Donovan recommends a 5 episode podcast on BBC Sounds entitled Geochemical Life on Earth – thanks Caz.
    Episode 3: A series of unfortunate events
    covers the five main mass extinction events, including the end of Ordovician.

Dr Benjamin Burger Associate Professor of Geology (Utah State University, Geosciences) has a YouTube channel devoted to paleontology and geology, specifically in Utah. He covers:

BBC iPlayer: A Perfect Planet BBC is available now on iPlayer, the first episode of this David Attenborough narrated series is:

  • Volcano and looks at how, without volcanoes, there would be no life on Earth. Although destructive, magma from the planet’s molten core builds land, and mineral-rich ash from eruptions fertilises the surface. The scenery is stunning.
  • The Geological Formation of Britain
    Melvyn Bragg and guests Richard Corfield, Jane Francis and Sanjeev Gupta discuss the geological formation of Britain. Around 600 million years ago Britain was in two parts, far to the south of the Equator. Scotland and north-western Ireland were part of a continent (Laurentia) what is now North America. To the south-east, near the Antarctic Circle, meanwhile, were southern Ireland, England and Wales. They formed a mini-continent (Avalonia) with what is now Newfoundland. Over the course of hundreds of millions of years, as they inched their way north, the two parts came together. The story of how Britain came to be where it is now, in its current shape – from the separation of North America and Europe to the carving out of the English Channel – is still being uncovered today.

Part of the BBC’s First Life series - not currently available on iPlayer but is featured on YouTube:

BBC News reported on the:

  • Tanis: Fossil of dinosaur killed in asteroid strike found
    Watch as Sir David Attenborough seeks expert help to understand the significance of the fossil leg which is complete with its skin and is just one of a series of remarkable finds emerging from the Tanis fossil site in the US State of North Dakota.

Birkbeck University has a podcast on::

  • Insects and ice ages: interview with Dr Stefan Engels
    In this short podcast, Dr Stefan Engels from Birkbeck’s Department of Geography discusses his field of palaeoclimatology, focussing on abrupt climate change during and following the last ice age as seen through the eyes of insects.

The Black County Geological Society have two Silurian themed lectures on their YouTube Channel:

  • Silurian Rocks of the Dingle Peninsula
    given by Ken Higgs, Emeritus Professor of Geology, University College Cork on Tuesday 16 March 2021. Professor Ken Higgs has undertaken extensive studies of the geology of the Dingle Peninsula and published the ‘Geology of the Dingle Peninsula’ by the Geological Survey of Ireland. This talk will describe the Dingle Peninsula’s dramatic 485-million-year history of environmental and climatic change.
  • Saltwells and Wren’s Nest – Dudley’s SSSIs for Geology
    On Monday 16 November 2020, Alan Preece, Warden of Saltwells and Ian Beech, Warden of Wrens Nest gave the Society members and guests a View from the Wardens of these two important geological sites both now recognised as national gems.Saltwells has been designated Dudley’s second geological National Nature Reserve joining the first ever geological National Nature Reserve, Wren’s Nest.

Calvert Marine Museum Fossil Club lecture on the:

Cambridge Earth Science Library has a fascinating animation of:

Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia, Canada has a lecture on:

  • Ordovician and Silurian
    Geology Instructor, Jason Loxton introduces the fabulous marine world of the Ordovician and Silurian… and the first of the world five great mass extinctions. There is special emphasis on the tectonic evolution of Nova Scotia and eastern North America.

    Complexity Explorer (an educational project from the Santa Fe Institute) delivers online courses, tutorials, and resources essential to the study of complex systems GFYS thought this YouTube video is a useful lecture in its own right:

    • Origins of Life: Evolution – Origins of Eukaryotes
      Professor David Baum, University of Wisconsin, examines the chemical, geological, physical, and biological principles that give an insight into origins of life research. In this fairly advanced talk, He looks at the chemical and geological environment of early Earth from the perspective of likely environments for life to originate.
      If you are interested in investigating the course that this video is a part of click here.

    The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. GFYS was excited to read that researchers from Brighton, Bournemouth, Reading and UCL universities and English Heritage have used geochemical techniques to examine the sarsen stones at Stonehenge. A brief but informative account by the researchers is available here.

    Cornell College, Iowa has produced an interesting YouTube video on the:

    • Burgess Shale
      This educational (non-profit) video was produced by Professor Drew Muscente for the Historical Geology course at Cornell College. It includes excellent photos of Charles Walcott and his family during the their expeditions to the Rocky Mountains.
    • Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event
      this educational, and fascinating, You Tube video was produced by Prof. Drew Muscente for the Historical Geology Course that we featured last month.

    Dr Bob The Rox Dok has a YouTube Channel offering Earth Science content that covers Physical Geology and Historical Geology, but also Planetary Science including:

    Dr Walter Jahn (Orange County Community College, New York State) has a YouTube channel of biology videos he uses in the classes he teaches on Anatomy & Physiology, Prehistoric Life, Genetics, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, & Bio for Today. GFYS recommends this video on:

    Edinburgh University is now the custodian of one of the greatest bodies of scientific observation from the 19th century. The Sir Charles Lyell Collection was purchased following enormous national and international support and consists, amongst other things, of 294 geological notebooks all of which can now be viewed online.

    English Riviera Geopark has a YouTube Channel featuring the

    • Geopark in Focus consisting of seven interviews exploring different aspects of the Geopark. GFYS especially recommends the following episodes:
      • Episode 1: Fossils and Deep time – Professor Iain Stewart talks with Mike Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at University of Bristol, and Dr Kevin Page, geoscience and geodiversity specialist and Honorary Associate at the University of Exeter. They take us on a journey through deep time from when the Geopark was bathed in tropical seas south of the equator hundreds of millions of years ago, explaining what the rocks can tell us about Earth’s history.
      • Episode 2: Caves – Why are the caves of The English Riviera so internationally important? Professor Iain Stewart is joined by Nick Powe, whose family have run Kents Cavern, Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Dr. Donald McFarlane of Claremont McKenna College California, and cave conservationist Tara Beacroft, discussing their shared passion for caves and how they help us to learn about Earth’s heritage and the history of humanity.
      • Episode 5: Past Climate and Sea Level Change – Professor Iain Stewart is joined by Dr Jenny Bennett, who chairs the Geology section at the Devonshire Association, and Malcolm Hart, Emeritus Professor at the University of Plymouth and Chair of the Geoscientific committee of the Geopark, to explore how past climate and sea level change has left its mark on the Geopark area, the causes of these changes and implications for the future.

    University of Exeter has a ExeTalks YouTube Playlist, your chance to discover some of the fascinating research undertaken at the University of Exeter. GFYS recommend:

    • Dr Robin Shail, Geology
      Dr Robin Shail, a geologist at the University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines talks about the resources and geology of South West England. He explains why the South West is a great place to study geology due to the continent to continent collision and plate tectonic activity which occurred 250-300 million years ago. He discusses how the prevalence of granite in the South West is now driving new green energy solutions using deep geo-thermal energy.

    Liam Herringshaw has an extensive FossilHub website. The most recent post is Chalking with Dinosaurs, part 5 featuring Liam making footprints in the sands of Scarborough’s South Bay, and then hunting dinosaur footprints in the rocks of the South Cliff.

    FTCC ( Fayetteville Technical Community College) – Geology Online has an interesting YouTube lecture on:

    • Mesa Verde National Park – Cretaceous Geology
      Professor Margaret Menge, Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana explains that the high and dry region of Mesa Verde National Park was once under a seaway that covered most of North America, and deposited lots of Cretaceous rocks!

    Friends of Imperial College YouTube channel has an Environmental Playlist which includes:

    • What ancient climates tell us about our future on Earth
      presented by Professor Martin Siegert, Co-director of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London. Data gathered in the geological record inform us about CO2 concentrations on earth and their links to sea levels. How is the data gathered? Is it reliable? What will it tell us about our future? Professor Siegert covered this and more…

    The GEOCOAST YouTube Channel aims to broadcast educational videos about Ireland’s coastal and marine environments with particular focus on coastal geology and geomorphology. This lecture, is part of a series of lectures developed by Prof Robert Devoy and Dr Maxim Kozachenko from UCC to support The Costal Atlas of Ireland playlist :

    Recorded from the Geological Society of America’s 2020 online meeting:

    The Geological Society has made a number of its public lecture available. Here are a few that GFYS recommend:

    • April 2021 - Midlands Ice Age Geoheritage and Birmingham’s Remarkable Erratic Boulders
      Professor Ian Fairchild, University of Birmingham, discusses the formally neglected erratics of Birmingham and how these can be used to map past glacial flows.
    • The Geology of Mars
      which explore the landscapes and rocks of Mars with planetary geologist, Dr Matt Balme (Open University). The Martian Rovers explore the fascinating inverted river channels, the ice-regolith glaciers, and eskers of the planet.
    • Quicquid sub terra est’ – Whatever is under the Earth.
      This talk from January 2019 explores how ideas of the Earth's interior have evolved, how geophysics is giving us ever more complex images of the Earth's structure today and how geochemistry defines the processes that have produced that structure and significantly the timing of major events in planetary evolution. The modern view of the mantle is of a dynamic system in which material moves in response to secular cooling of both the mantle and core.

    Geologists’ Association
    GA lectures restarted after lockdown with the Halstead Lecture given by Kevin Wong (2019 prize winner) and the first GA virtual vLecture was successfully given by Dr Jon Noad live from Canada over Zoom on 10 July. For the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown all the GA lectures are freely available to view here.

    Geologists’ Association Student Symposium 2021
    The GA Student Symposium (GASS) took place over 20 & 21 May 2021 and Presentations and Keynotes are now available to view to presenters, delegates and GA Members here.

    Geologists’ Association South Wales Group has two lectures that GFYS recommend:

    This talk from January 2019 explores how ideas of the Earth's interior have evolved, how geophysics is giving us ever more complex images of the Earth's structure today and how geochemistry defines the processes that have produced that structure and significantly the timing of major events in planetary evolution. The modern view of the mantle is of a dynamic system in which material moves in response to secular cooling of both the mantle and core.

    Geology at Cowbridge has a YouTube lecture on:

    • Quaternary Fossils
      A well explained introduction to Quaternary fossils from the geology department at Cowbridge Comprehensive School.

    Geology Bites - Oliver Strimpel, a former astrophysicist and museum director, asks leading researchers to divulge what they have discovered and how they did this, podcast conversations include what moves the continents, creates mountains, swallows up the sea floor, makes volcanoes erupt, triggers earthquakes, and imprints ancient climates into the rocks? So far, GFYS have listened to and highly recommend:

    • Clare Warren on Divining the History of a Rock.
      Clare Warren is Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sceinces at the Open University. She investigates how, when and why metamorphic rocks record their history, and, specifically, when different geological clocks start and stop 'ticking'. Using such clocks, together with detailed geochemistry, she uncovers the temperatures and pressures experienced throughout a rock's history. She applies this knowledge to work out just what happens when continents collide and mountains form.
    • Resolving a Single Hour of the Cataclysm 66 Million Years Ago
      Jan Smit is Emeritus Professor of Event Stratigraphy at the Free University of Amsterdam. He became intrigued by what appeared to be extremely sudden events in the fossil record, especially at the boundary between the Cretaceous and the Paleogene, known as the KT boundary. He describes the unprecedented discovery of a thick surge deposit in North Dakota containing an extraordinarily well-preserved assemblage of fossils that document the final moments of the Cretaceous. 
    • Mission to the Martian Moon Photos
      Tomo Usui is leading the science team for the 2024 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s mission to Phobos, which will land, collect samples, and return them to Earth in 2029. In this latest podcast, he talks about the ejecta from Mars that are expected to be present in the sample as these will be our first-ever non-meteoritic Martian samples.
    • Reconstructing Plate Motions Over a Billion Years of Earth History
      given by Professor Dietmar Müller. Professor Müller and his team built GPlates, a powerful software tool enabling researchers to synthesise diverse sets of geological data into a self-consistent reconstruction of the Earth’s tectonic history. In February 2021, his team published an animated billion-year plate reconstruction, which has had an enormous impact on the public.
    • Claude Jaupart on Whether the Earth is Cooling Down
      The Earth is losing heat. Claude Jaupart has measured the heat flowing up through the top layers of the crust by making measurements down hundreds of boreholes. But the Earth also continues to generate heat through radioactive decay of elements such as potassium, uranium and thorium
    • Steve D’Hondt on Reviving a 100-Million-Year-Old Bacterial Colony
      How long can living cells survive in buried sediments? It turns out that bacteria, at least, can survive for at least 100 million years in sediments below the sea floor with barely any access to food. Had they been alive and reproducing all that time, or were they in suspended animation in a kind of hibernation? Steve D’Hondt (Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island) explains how any plausible explanation pushes the boundaries of what we previously believed about how long cells can survive.
    • Paul Hoffman on the Snowball Earth Hypothesis
      Paul Hoffman is Emeritus Professor of Geology at Harvard University. His research on the sedimentary rocks of Namibia revealed compelling evidence of glaciation at sea level in the tropics about 650 million years ago. In this podcast he explains what convinced him that the Earth was almost completely glaciated twice in its history.
    • Richard Fortey on the Trilobite Chronometer
      Richard Fortey is formerly head of arthropod palaeontology at the Natural History Museum in London and is visiting professor of paleobiology at Oxford University. He has devoted much of his research career to the study of trilobites — their systematics, evolution, and modes of life — and has named numerous trilobite species. In this podcast, he outlines their extraordinary 300-million-year history, from when they are first found in the Cambrian, and explains what made them such excellent markers of geological time.
    • The Evolution of Minerals
Bob Hazen, Senior Staff Scientist at the Earth and Planets Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution for Science and Professor of Earth Sciences at George Mason University, discuses the formation of minerals. During the course of Earth history, new types of rock have appeared as the Earth cooled and plates formed and started to move and interact. The different rock types reflect the particular assemblage that composed them. But what about the minerals themselves?

    Geology Johnson investigates:

    • Whats That Rock?! Episode 1; Jurassic Yorkshire
      Dr Brooke Johnson, Oxford, looks at photos of a mystery rock sent in by viewers, identifies the minerals and fossils and describes how the rock formed. Learn the secrets of Jurassic Yorkshire!

    Geoscience Australia
    Geoscience Australia hosts public talks for a range of audiences. A selection of these are filmed and are available online. GFYS selected and highly recommends the following fascinating talk from the 2020 series:

    • What goes up must come down: Why is Australia sinking?
      Anna Riddell from the University of Tasmania uses some of her PhD research to discuss the apparent sinking of the Australian continent. Understanding how the surface of the earth changes has many important applications and this talk explores how the Australian plate is moving and what that means for applications of precise positioning.

    GeoWeek 2021 was held 1 – 9 May 2021 with a theme of  ‘Net zero by 2050 – what will it mean for your region?’ The thought provoking launch event was recorded & can be viewed here, with the supporting slides accessible here.

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

    Nina Morgan got in touch with GFYS to say ‘A Rockwatch member recommended our gravestone geology work.’ Watch

    • Gravestone Geology
      A brief introduction bringing Cemeteries to life and viewing cemeteries in a completely different way.

    Imperial College had an interesting event that caught GFYS’ eye

    • Science Breaks: How the shark lost its bones (and maybe why)
      Sharks are primordial animals, unchanged for over 400 million years of evolution—or at least that is the received wisdom. Dr Martin Brazeau (Imperial College) will explain how new fossil discoveries are challenging this view and are providing a unique window into the ancestry of vertebrate animals.

    Into Eternity is a feature documentary film directed by Danish director Michael Madsen, which follows the construction of the Onkalo waste repository at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant on the island of Olkiluoto, Finland. A powerful insight into such long-term projects (160 years to build and fill).

    The Lapworth Museum of Geology has a full & varied programme of free public lectures and events. These are proving very popular so GFYS recommends that you bookmark this site & visit it frequently so you don’t miss out (see Online courses below for something a little different).

    Leading nicely onto the Lapworth Museum's object of the month:

    • Hemicyclaspis murchisoni
      Plamen, a PhD student at the University of Birmingham in 2013, describes this bizarre looking fossil fish, his choice as Object of the Month from the Lapworth Museum of Geology.

    Leicester Museums and Galleries has produced two interesting YouTube videos on:

    • The Charnia Fossil (Part One: Charnia Discovery)A short film and interview with Roger Mason who discovered the Charnia Fossil (Charnia masoni) in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire (UK) in 1957.
    • The Charnia Fossil (Part Two: The Future of Charnia)Second part of the Charnia films about the Charnia Fossil (Charnia masoni) discovered in Leicestershire (UK) in 1957, recognised as one of the world’s oldest fossils.
      There are many more interesting videos in this series entitled Dinosaur Gallery Star Objects.

    The Lyme Regis Fossil & Earth Science Festival includes a 2021 Festival lecture on:

    • The Geological Structural Evolution of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site
      Vincent Sheppard, Jurassic Coast Trust Ambassador guides us through the multiple tectonic events that have affected the Jurassic coast through its geological history. From being land locked in a super-continent to being caught up in the subsequent extensional and compressional tectonic phases, this talk aims to explain this complex structural evolution with reference to the topography we see today.

    The Manchester Geological Association are holding a mixture of indoor and online lectures. Whilst you can attend these lectures, they are not available to view afterwards. Please register for these talks by contacting the Association at GFYS recommends you visit this site on a regular basis to make sure you don’t miss out.

    Manchester University has two YouTube videos on:

    • Graptolites, Video 1
      Dr Russell Garwood, Senior Lecturer at Manchester University introduces graptolites, and more generally hemichordates, and looks at the group’s fossil record.
    • Graptolites, Video 2
      Dr Russell Garwood discusses the morphology of graptolites, and the two major subdivisions.

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

    • Volcanoes – covering causes of volcanic eruptions, reasons for volcanic locations and eruption prediction.
    • 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?
    • Discovering Dinosaurs with Susie Maidment, Joe Bonsor & David Button
      Scientists are using state-of-the-art technology to discover not only what dinosaurs looked like but how they moved, ate and lived millions of years ago. This edition of Lates Online explores how new technology can reveal secrets from very old bones, and includes a fun quiz.

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

    Nature has a YouTube channel covering a range of topics. GFYS found:

    • Fossilised glider takes the origin of mammals back to the Triassic
      A new fossil specimen of Vilevolodon diplomylos, an ancient herbivore similar to a flying squirrel, may push the origin of mammals back millions of years earlier than previously thought. Vilevolodon is a haramiyid, an ancient group of animals that lived during the Mesozoic era. Until recently they were only known through a few fossilised teeth, but new finds are shedding more light on these enigmatic creatures.

    North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

    • Virtual Science Cafe: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: New Discoveries from the Triassic
      Dr. Christian Kammerer, Research Curator of Paleontology, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences discusses some of the remarkable early members of the dinosaurian lineage, including some small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. He explains how Recent Triassic fossil discoveries are revealing new and surprising information about the origins of the Mesozoic Era’s most famous animals.

    The Nova Scotia Museum showcases some of the best examples of:

    OpenLearn has a mini Lecture on:

    • How old is a mountain range?
      Dr Eleni Wood explains how the science of ‘geochronology’ can be used to effectively analyse the history of a mountain range, based on the Himalayan Mountain range during fieldwork in Bhutan.When we think about mountains, we might think about them being constant, permanent features of our landscapes. However, through geology, we know this isn’t the case. Mountains grow in the collision zones between plates over millions of years, but their presence is only transient as they are slowly eroded away again.

    University of Oxford
    A series of podcasts recorded between 2010 and 2016 are available, covering subjects ranging from:

    GFYS particularly liked the lecture on:

    Oxford Geoheritage Virtual Conference
    hosted by Oxford University Museum of Natural History took place between 6-9 June 2022 and this year's talks, as well as previous years, can now be viewed on the conferences YouTube Channel. The excellent extended talk by Dr Jack Mathews (a member of the organising committee) entitled Don’t walk on the rocks! exploring the increasingly important field of geoconservation is still available to view.

    Oxford University Museum of Natural History has a large number of informative, fascinating lectures nad video clips on their YouTube channel. GFYS especially enjoyed:

    • The Cambrian Explosion and the evolutionary origin of animals
      Museum director Professor Paul Smith looks at the beginning of animal life, with particular attention to the Sirius Passet fossil site in the north of Greenland. The exceptionally preserved fossils from this site have been key in the development of the understanding of the ‘Cambrian Explosion’. Paul discusses evidence for the timing of the origin of animals, as well as the evolution of modern marine ecosystems and food webs. Prepare to journey back in time more than half a billion years…
      ​​​​​​​N.B. The Museum states that this lecture may not be suitable for young children, but is suitable for adults and young people – beginners and experts welcome!
    • Extraordinary soft-bodied fossils highlight the Cambrian explosion
      The discovery of soft-bodied fossils at sites such as the Burgess Shale in Canada and Chengjiang in China have revealed that a remarkable diversity of animals evolved in the oceans more than 500 million years ago. This lecture provides a personal perspective, considering why exceptionally preserved fossils are well represented in Cambrian compared to later Palaeozoic rocks and what they tell us about the evolution of marine life.

    Palaeocast is a YouTube series exploring the fossil record and evolution of life on earth. GYFS found a fascinating talk on:

    • Rooted in Earth history: the Devonian transition to a forested planet
      presented by Christopher M. Berry, William E. Stein, Peter Giesen, John E. A. Marshall and Honghe Xu which was recorded at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association, Cardiff, in 2016
    • Early Tetrapod Feeding Mechanics
      Early tetrapod research was pioneered by Professor Jenny Clack. She did a lot of early field work and description, understanding this transition process better than anyone. In this fascinating podcast, Dr Laura Porro, who was then at University College London, talks about her work on early tetrapod feeding and skull mechanics, and how the skull changed over the water-to-land transition, work which was done with and inspired Professor Clack.

    Quantamagazine is an editorially independent online publication launched by the Simons Foundation to enhance public understanding of science. What’s Up in Q&A features The New Historian of the Smash That Made the Himalayas which includes a fascinating video on

    Geology author Roger Cordiner has a YouTube presence which includes a lecture on:

    • Cretaceous and Palaeogene Geology of Chichester Harbour
      Roger explains the Cretaceous and Palaeogene Geology of Chichester Harbour. It shows the wide variety of sedimentary rocks and fossils which can be found The harbour is located on the low lying Sussex Coastal Plain which is underlain by the lower raised beach, formed about 120,000 years ago. Exposures of the underlying strata are mainly found along the east side of harbour channels and across the adjacent foreshore.

    The Royal Ballet School
    For something a little different, Year 9 students at The Royal Ballet School can be watched taking part in a Plate Tectonic Stories Competition.

    Another YouTube Lecture from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology but this time from its’ 2018 Speaker Series on:

    • The World’s Best Preserved Armoured Dinosaur
      Dr. Caleb Brown, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, talks about the world’s best preserved armoured dinosaur. Borealopelta markmitchelli was discovered in the oil sands mines in northern Alberta in 2011 and took nearly six years to prepare. Borealopelta is the best-preserved ankylosaur (tank-like, herbivorous dinosaurs) in the world and one of the most spectacular fossilized dinosaurs ever found.

    The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology has a YouTube Channel with a Speaker Series Playlist. GFYS recommend:of Canada 2019 speaker presents:

    • Archaeopteryx: The World’s Most Famous Bird
      Dr. Jon Noad (Gran Tierra Energy) discusses the palaeontological history of Archaeopteryx and its ecological niche in the Late Jurassic world.Detailed comparative anatomy has shown the similarity of Archaeopteryx to birds and small theropod dinosaurs. The superb preservation of the Solnhofen fossils shows their plumage, and recent studies have provided evidence for the colour, and potential for flight.
    • The Cretaceous-Palaeogene Mass Extinction: What Do We Really Know?
      Dr François Therrien, Curator of Dinosaur Palaeoecology gives a well-illustrated talk about the theories for the mass extinction.

    The Smithsonian Education YouTube Channel features:

    • Clues to the End-Permian Extinction
      Palaeoecologist Dr Conrad Labandeira from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, travels to the Karoo Basin of South Africa to find leaf fossils from the Permian-Triassic boundary, the time of the Earth’s largest mass extinction. What can bug bites on the leaves tell us about the food web during a global upheaval? What can they tell us about our own uncertain times?

    Scottish Geology
    sponsored by 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).

    The Society of Popular Astronomy (SPA) hosts an excellent lecture on:

    More from the The Shear Zone
     Geology of NW Scotland an introduction
    Professor Rob Butler, University of Aberdeen, gives an outline of the geology of NW Scotland, including the NW Highlands Geopark – with specific reference to the Moine Thrust Belt.

    TED ( Technology, Entertainment and Design) has a series of lectures we think are worth mentioning:

    • How do crystals work? from June 2019
Many crystals have signature shapes— like the cascade of pointed quartz or a pile of galena cubes. Every crystal’s atoms have a defining feature: their organised, repeating pattern. Graham Baird dives into the unique properties of crystals.
    • What is the Anthropocene? from June 2016
      Humanity’s increasingly permanent mark on the planet has spurred a new geological age in earth’s history: the Anthropocene. Learn how we got to this point — and what our footprint means to the future of the planet.
    • Hunting for dinosaurs showed me our place in the universe from February 2016
      Palaeontologist Kenneth Lacovara describes discovering Dreadnoughtus, a 77-million-year-old sauropod, and discusses how dinosaur huntng encourages humans to contemplate their place in deep time. indent for consistency

    Teme Valley Geological Society (TVGS) are sharing their January talk on:

    • Ice Age ponds and glacial landscapes in western Herefordshire
      the talk was given by Ian Fairchild to the TVGS on the 18 January 2021, and is available on their YouTube channel. Professor Fairchild discusses lowland glacial landforms, including kettleholes and moraines, which can be seen in the Herefordshire landscape.

    UKFall – The UK Fireball Alliance

    • UKFall: recovering the UK’s next meteorite
      GFYS found this YouTube seminar by this recently affiliated group fascinating. Dr Ashley King and Dr Luke Daly discuss some of the activities of UKFall, which is a collaboration of the UK’s meteor camera networks and aims to recover freshly-fallen meteorites in the UK.

    University of Cape Town (UTC) runs a Summer School each year & we found an interesting YouTube lecture from their Summer School 2019 on

    • Geological superlatives in Africa 1
      John Rogers discuses Geological Adventures in the Fairest Cape. This first of a five-lecture series is a superb talk on the geology of the Western Cape, particularly the Cape Peninsula

    University of Edinburgh share their vision and progress towards the digitisation of Charles Lyell’s notebooks:

    • Introducing Charles Lyell’s World Online
      Lyell was widely credited with establishing geology as a popular and rigorous science. He was known internationally for his bestselling books and travels around Britain, Europe and Eastern North America. It is a life and a world recorded in detail in his extensive historic archives, which include notebooks, letters and literary works. Together they offer insights not only into Lyell’s life and work, but glimpses of his wider world.
      Continue to keep up to date with the Lyell Collection via the University’s Lyell Blog or the GA Link to the Lyell Collection.

    Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group (WGCG) has a number of their talks available on YouTube:

    • The Geology of Arran
      Stuart Blake of the Lochranza Field Studies Centre visits some of the best geology on Arran.
    • Henry Clifton Sorby, Sheffield’s Greatest Scientist – given by Noel Worley in April 2021 Outside Sheffield, and outside geology and metallurgy the name Henry Clifton Sorby is little known and even within these circles all that is known by many is the name. This is not surprising but it is regrettable for apart from his outstanding achievements in a wide variety of scientific fields the life of the man is interesting from a number of viewpoints. (Biography, Norman Higham). Sorby’s geological accomplishments have since undergone a reprise with international scientific recognition in the fields of sedimentology, fluid inclusion geochemistry, structural geology and cosmology.
    • Geological Time & The Anthropocene – given by Ian Fairchild, Emeritus Professor, (University of Birmingham) in February 2021
      There is little doubt that mankind’s impact on the natural environment has increased dramatically in recent decades but … are we now living in a new epoch of geological time: the Anthropocene? Concepts from Earth System Science agree with stratigraphic markers that we went outside the range of conditions of the Holocene in the last 70 years, but does the term Anthropocene belong to geologists anyway
       A very British summer in the late Triassic: torrential rain, the Arden Sandstone and the dawn of the dinosaurs
      A lecture by Stuart Burley, Emeritus Professor of Keele University.
      There were extreme variations in the Triassic climate thought to be consequential of volcanic eruptions in western North America. These volcanic eruptions resulted in huge amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the late Triassic atmosphere, leading to increased rainfall, global warming and rapid, ocean acidification, turning a dry world dominated by large deserts in central part of the Pangaea super-continent, into much wetter and humid environments. Flash floods across the Triassic Mercia Mudstone Group created evaporitic lakes which were fed by the rivers of the Arden Sandstone.
    • Introduction to Iceland Geology – available now given by Stuart Blake (LochRanza Field Centre).
      Stuart discusses the topography and geology of Iceland as well as predicting the Geldingadalur volcanic eruption. Highly recommended by GFYS & why not supplement this with the live feed of the volcano courtesy of the The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service – Ríkisútvarpið, or RÚV for short

    Where on Earth do you live? is a YouTube Playlist produced by Dr Anjana Khatwa also known as JurassicGirl:

    • Slough is the first talk which explores the heritage and geological stories of Jurrasicgirl’s hometown. There are some interesting revelations about what lies beneath the houses of this busy and urban town.

    Wolverhampton Arts & Culture YouTube Channel has an interesting item on

    • Sir Roderick Murchison
      Graham Worton, the curator and keeper of geology at the sadly closed Dudley Museum & Art Gallery, tells us about the famous Scottish geologist Sir Roderick Murchison.

    The Yorkshire Geological Society (YGS) is currently holding lectures online. Whilst non-members can attend, these lectures are not available to view afterwards. GFYS recommends you visit the YGS site on a regular basis to make sure you don’t miss out.

    Nick Zentner – Nick From Home
    Join Nick for one of his seventy-five GEOL 101 Lectures given from his home in Ellensburg, Washington, GFYS specifically liked:

      Nick has also resumed his prolific and informative Nick from home talks, looking at 26 (one for every letter in the alphabet) Exotic Terrains. He starts with:

      Online Courses

      Basin Analysis by Prof. Christopher Jackson from Imperial College examines and explains structural style, seismic expression, and petroleum systems as part of the ‘Basin Analysis – Structural style, seismic expression, and petroleum systems’ module of the MSc Petroleum Geoscience at Imperial College.

      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:

      City Lit
      provides adult education and offers a range of online course. GFYS will spotlight courses we think may be of interest but suggest you browse this site on a regular basis.

      Coursera operates in a similar way to FutureLearn but courses are available for longer periods. Coursera envision a world where anyone, anywhere can transform their life by accessing the world’s best learning experience. Courses that GFYS have spotlighted are:

      • Our Earth: It’s Climate, History and Processes – 4 week course available now
        This is an introductory course is a course designed by the University of Manchester covering the formation of and the place of water in the Earth’s climate system, the evolution of solid Earth, and the effect of life on Earth’s climate.
      • Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology – 12 lessons of 3-5hrs/week available now
Dr Philip John Currie (University of Alberta) takes this free course about non-avian dinosaurs. The course looks at anatomy, eating, locomotion, growth, environmental and behavioural adaptations, origins and extinction of the dinosaur.
      • Mountains 101 – 12 week free course available now
        coordinated by Professor David Hik, University of Alberta and focuses on the physical, biological, and human dimensions of mountains in Alberta, Canada, and around the world. It will include the geological origins of mountains, their importance for biodiversity and water cycles, their cultural significance and how mountains are experiencing rapid change in a warming climate. The course will be delivered from valley bottoms to mountaintops, from museums and labs, to alpine huts and other spectacular alpine sites.
      • Paleontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles – 4 week free course available now

        taken by Professor Michael Caldwell and Halle P. Street and provides a comprehensive overview of the evolutionary changes that occur when air-breathing terrestrial animals return to water. The course examines the diversity, adaptations, convergence, and phylogenetic relationships of extinct marine reptiles, and will explore three major groups of marine reptiles: ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs.
      • Paleontology: Theropod Dinosaurs and the Origin of Birds – 5 week course available now
        run by Dr. Phillip Currie, University of Alberta the course examines the anatomy, diversity, and evolution of theropod dinosaurs in relation to the origin of birds. Students will explore various hypotheses for the origin of flight. Watch a preview of the course here
      • Seismic tomography: Look inside the Earth – 4 week course available now looks at the use of seismic tomography and its mathematical base, about earthquakes and find out how they start, and include an expedition to Kamchatka. The course is run by Dr. Ivan Koulakov
      • Origins – Formation of the Universe, Solar System, Earth and Life – 2 hrs/wk for 4 wks available now
        Offered by the University of Copenhagen, this course tracks the origin of all things – from the Big Bang to the origin of the Solar System and the Earth. This four-week course follows the evolution of life on our planet through deep geological time to present life forms, including evidence for very early life Greenland, the Cambrian explosion and Ediacara biota / Eukaryotic evolution.
      • Emergence of Life – approx. 45 hrs spread over 8 wks available now led by Dr. Bruce W. Fouke (University of Illinois)
        How did life emerge on Earth? How have life and Earth co-evolved through geological time? Is life elsewhere in the universe? Take a look through the 4-billion-year history of life on Earth through the lens of the modern Tree of Life!The course evaluates the entire history of life on Earth within the context of our cutting-edge understanding of the Tree of Life. This includes the pioneering work of Professor Carl Woese on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus which revolutionised our understanding with a new “Tree of Life.” The course also considers the influence of Earth system processes (meteor impacts, volcanoes, ice sheets) on shaping and structuring the Tree of Life.
      • Global Arctic – 25 hrs of study spread over 4 weeks
        This intermediate course introduces you the dynamics between global changes and changes in the Arctic. It aims to highlight the effects of climate change in the Polar region. In turn, it will underline the impacts of a warmer Arctic on the planet Earth. The Arctic stands both as a laboratory and a warning for human kind.
      • Paleontology: Early Vertebrate Evolution – 4 wk syllabus taking approx. 7 hrs to complete & is available now
        run by Dr Alison Murrey (University of Alberta) who teaches a comprehensive overview of the origin of vertebrates. You will explore the diversity of Palaeozoic lineages within a phylogenetic and evolutionary framework. This course examines the evolution of major vertebrate novelties including the origin of fins, jaws, and tetrapod limbs. You will also explore key Canadian fossil localities, including the Burgess Shale (British Columbia), Miguasha (Quebec), and Man On The Hill (Northwest Territories). Watch a preview of this free course here.
      • Astrobiology: Exploring Other Worlds – 4 wk course taking approx. 14 hrs to complete & is available now
        run by Prof. Chris Impey. You will explore the field of astrobiology, an emerging multidisciplinary field. The topics in this course range from the science of how exoplanets are detected, to the chemistry that supports the argument that the ingredients for life are common in the Universe. You will follow the analyses of experts in chemistry, astronomy, geology and archaeology which will enable you to identify what makes a planet habitable, and how likely it is that life exists there.
      • Emergence of Life – 45hrs of study spread over 8wks, available now
        led by Dr. Bruce W. Fouke (University of Illinois)How did life emerge on Earth? How have life and Earth co-evolved through geological time? Is life elsewhere in the universe? Take a look through the 4-billion-year history of life on Earth through the lens of the modern Tree of Life!

      is the trusted platform for education and learning. Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is home to more than 20 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access. Courses that GFYS have spotlight are

      • Earthquake Seismology – 12 weeks of 8-12/week available now
        T Aldo Zollo, Professor of Geophysics and Seismology (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) leads this free course and explores the processes that cause earthquakes and the methods used by seismologists to analyse seismograms, to measure source parameters, and to simulate the seismic wave impact at the Earth’s surface.
      • Watershed Systems and Their Influence on Water Movement and Quality – 4 weeks @ 12-15 hrs per weeks available now
        Dr Geoffrey Hall (Queen’s University) takes this free course which includes the consideration of the influence of geology and soils on water quality and quantity.
      • Monitoring Volcanoes and Magma Movements – available now
        This informative course, delivered by the University of Iceland, covers a wide range of topics including magma movements in volcanoes, how these can be inferred from ground based and satellite monitoring techniques and volcano deformation models.
      • The History of Ancient Environments, Climate, and Life – 6 week course available now.
        led by Dr Kristin Bergmann, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
        A survey of Earth’s early history of life and environments through a combination of classroom lecture and virtual field trips to Northern Minnesota, Svalbard, Norway, and the Death Valley area. At these key sites, you will be able to explore the interactions between Earth’s early environments and ancient life.
      • Climate Change: Carbon Capture and Storage  2-3 hrs/wk for 5 wks; starting Wednesday 31 March
        which explores the technology that can provide a long-term solution to protect our atmosphere from an excess of carbon dioxide, in the context of global energy, our use of fossil fuels, and climate change and Geological Carbon Storage.
      • Minerals and Mining in a Sustainable World – 8 weeks @ 4-5 hrs/week available now
        led by Dr Elaine Wightman, Senior Research Fellow at The University of QueenslandThis highly topical course is free, self-paced, and explores the role of minerals in society and their contribution to sustainable development. You will investigate the current issues and challenges, understand the importance of environmental social and governance (ESG) aspects of mining operations and find out about new frameworks and policies for resource developments in the 21st century.
        Further information and an introductory video are available here.
      • Monitoring Volcanoes and Magma Movements – 3-5 hrs/wk for 8 weeks
        This free course gives an introduction to volcano monitoring techniques, magma movements and volcano unrest and presents some aspects of why volcanoes are dangerous and volcanic hazards. It will use examples of monitoring data and interpretations from recent eruptions and periods of volcanic unrest in Iceland and around the world, including the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull that closed Europe’s airspace.
      • Phase equilibrium modelling: Approaches & Pitfalls – 5 x 3.5hr video workshops
        The aim of this e-workshop was to present and discuss (1) the most commonly-used phase equilibrium modelling software packages currently available (THERMOCALC, Perple-X, Theriak-Domino), focusing on their capabilities and pros/cons, and (2) the factors influencing the interpretation of phase equilibrium modelling, including thermodynamic database/a-X models, uncertainties, reactive bulk composition, and the interplay between equilibrium and kinetics.
      • Reservoir Geomechanics – 3 to 6 hrs/wk for 10 weeks
        This interdisciplinary course encompasses the fields of rock mechanics, structural geology, earthquake seismology and petroleum engineering to address a wide range of geomechanical problems that arise during the exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs. Some pre-knowledge is required. This free course is scheduled to be archived shortly.
      • Dinosaur Ecosystems – 6 weeks of 1-2 hrs per wk
        Tutors from the University of Hong Kong explains how palaeontologists reconstruct ancient ecosystems using fossil and modern evidence. There is also the opportunity to find out about the late Cretaceous dinosaur ecosystem and dinosaur biology.
      • Foundational Field Skills for Earth and Environmental Sciences – 4-5 hrs/wk for 5 wks and is available now
        taught by Drs Sam Hampton, Kate Pedley and Darren Gravley, this course focusses on the fundamental field skills required for most graduate degrees and entry-level jobs in the earth and environmental sciences, but is also a good way of reminding ourselves of some geological skills.
      • Climate Change: Carbon Capture and Storage – 5 five-week course, available now
        Explore the technology that can provide a long-term solution to protect our atmosphere from an excess of carbon dioxide, in the context of global energy, our use of fossil fuels, and climate change.

      partners a number of universities and other organisations to offer excellent online courses and degrees  Most of the courses are free with extra benefits are unlocked for a fee. 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. Courses that GFYS have spotlight are:

      • Atmospheric Chemistry: Planets and Life Beyond Earth available now
        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.
      • Exploring Our Ocean available now
        This course looks at the half of the world which is covered by deep ocean, and how humans affect these areas.
      • Soils: Introducing the World Beneath Our Feet – 4 week course available now
        given by Carly Stevens from Lancaster University, introduces soil science, life in the soil, why it is so important and threats to soil. There will be some hands-on activities to give you practical experience of assessing soil properties and conditions. As usual the course is free with benefits unlocked for a small fee.
      • Moons – 8 week course starting Monday 15 February
        Discover the amazing diversity of moons in our Solar System. This online course will allow you to explore the rich diversity of moons in our Solar System. With experts from The Open University, you’ll explore the fundamental processes that have shaped them, and the relationship between our Moon and the Earth.
      • Life on Mars, Earth and Beyond – 15 x 3hr sessions available now for 7-day free trial but due to length of course it might cost £36
        if you take all modules Dr Louisa Preston an astrobiologist, planetary geologist, author, and UK Space Agency Aurora Research Fellow takes you through this ‘ExpertTrack’ course during which you will learn about –
         What makes the Earth so special, and why ‘habitable’ doesn’t always mean ‘inhabited’
         The formation of the Earth and the history of life on the blue planet
         Our neighbouring planet, Mars
         Icy Moons and Exoplanets
         The Future of Life
      • Extinctions: Past and Present
        Dip into this free course to find the reasons behind the Ordovician mass extinction. Extinctions: Past and Present was created by the University of Cape Town, and filmed on location at South Africa’s Iziko Museum, West Coast Fossil Park, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and the Table Mountain National Park. It is presented by Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan.
      • A Beginner’s Guide to Environmental Science: Wicked Problems and Possible Solutions – 4 x 4hrs/wk, available now
        Environmental issues affect every human being, and are a truly global concern. This four-week course, presented by Central Queensland University, gives a comprehensive introduction not only to the current problems and threats to the environment but also to possible solutions and effective environmental management.
      • Planet Earth: Understanding and Protecting our Environment – 3 hr/wk spread over 2 wks & is available now
        you will discover the processes of the hydrosphere, the geosphere, and the biosphere and explore the impact of human activity and climate change on our planet.

      GA Zoom talk/workshop on:

      • The Wealdon (Smokejacks) – available to view in GA Members area
        led by Peter Austen and Ed JarzembowskiThis popular annual Wealden field trip takes the form of a Zoom talk/workshop and starts with a virtual tour of the Smokejacks clay pit, describing the geological contexts and environment in the Lower Cretaceous when these sediments were deposited.If you missed this excellent workshop, the highlights included a virtual tour of the Smokejacks clay pit, followed by looking at some of the fossil finds, starting with the discovery of dinosaur Baryonyx in 1983.

      The Goldschmidt 2021 Virtual Workshop on

      • Advanced Geochemical Modelling – available free of charge
        given by Dr. Peng Lu & Prof. Chen Zhu
        Geochemical modeling is a powerful tool, which has wide applications in geology, hydrogeology, environmental sciences and engineering, and petroleum geology. Recently, new databases, functions, code enhancements, and utilities associated with the computer programs Supcrtbl (Zimmer et al., 2016) and Phreeqc (Parkhurst and Appelo, 2013) have greatly expanded the applicability ranges of these modeling tools.Please note you will need to register to access the recording.

      OpenLearn are offering a course on:

      • Geological processes in the British Isles
        The landscape of the British Isles has undergone dramatic changes during the history of the Earth, from shallow sea to desert to the familiar terrain of the 21st century. In this free course, Geological processes in the British Isles, you will explore the processes that have shaped the British landscape over time, gaining insight into the geological evolution of the entire planet.
      • Geological time – 7 short podcasts lasting a total of 30 mins
        This free course is mainly about the interpretation of geological maps and the relationship between the landscape and underlying rocks. It reveals how the geological history of any area can be interpreted from a geological map. Dr Andrew Bell visits Morecambe Bay and the ‘special’ Siccar Point to investigate the rocks and stones in the area.
        Note – this is an older but very informative short course offered by Open Learn. So comes with a warning that some of the information provided may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant.
      • Earthquakes – 8 hrs of study
        Earthquakes shake the ground surface, can cause buildings to collapse, disrupt transport and services, and cause fires. They can trigger landslides and tsunami. In this free introductory course, Earthquakes, you will look at why, where and what happens when they occur and also at how earthquakes are assessed qualitatively and quantitatively.


      • Geological Time  
        Dr Andrew Bell visits Morecambe Bay and the ‘special’ Siccar Point to investigate the rocks and stones in the area. He reveals in an engaging way how the geological history of any area can be interpreted from a geological map.
        Please be aware that the at this was published 12 years ago and the information may be out of date

      Open University OpenLearn
      Lis a free learning platform, delivered by The Open University as part of its Royal Charter commitment to support the wellbeing of the community. GFYS will spotlight courses we think may be of interest but suggest you browse this site on a regular basis.

      • An introduction to geology – available now in this free introductory course you will be introduced to some key geological processes that impact everyday life, as you discover the link between volcanoes and your mobile phone, and find out why tiny marine wildlife is at the core of the plastics industry.
      • Geological processes in the British Isles – 9 hr course available now. The landscape of the British Isles has undergone dramatic changes during the history of the Earth, from shallow sea to desert to the familiar terrain of the 21st century. In this free course, you will explore the processes that have shaped the British landscape over time, gaining insight into the geological evolution of the entire planet.
      • Minerals and the crystalline state – 10 hrs of study available now
        Rocks are made of minerals and, as minerals are natural crystals, the geological world is mostly a crystalline world. Many large-scale geological processes, such as the movement of continents and the metamorphism of large volumes of rock during mountain building, represent the culmination of microscopic processes occurring inside minerals.
      • Mountain building in Scotland – 30 hrs of study given in 9 modules; available now an account of the origin and demise of that ancient mountain range, based on the geological evidence in rock exposures. Some of Britain’s most dramatic scenery is found in the Scottish Highlands. Although these landforms were largely carved by glacial activity that ended some 10,000 years ago, the rocks themselves tell of a much older history. The Highlands are merely eroded stumps of a much higher range of ancient mountains.

      aspires to connect students world-wide to the skills they need to succeed & offers:

      • Geology: Earth Science for Everyone – available now
        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.

      The University of Colorado Boulder has a course on:

      • Deep Time: Discovering an Ancient Earth - 4 week free course available now

        Ever since our ancestors ventured onto the African savanna, human beings have searched, explored, and wondered about the world. Largely through the discipline of geology, science allows us to push back the mists of time and peer into a past measured in billions of years, and aptly referred to as ‘Deep Time.’

        The last two weeks of this course focus on the geology of North America.

        Course provider Dr Alan Lester’s research includes paleomagnetism, stable-isotopes, trace-elements, and radiometric dating to understanding the origin and evolution of the Rocky Mountains.

      The Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) has been providing high-quality educational opportunities to communities since 1903. Today, their vision is “A better world – equal, democratic and just; through adult education the WEA challenges and inspires individuals, communities and society”. GFYS will spotlight courses we think may be of interest but suggest you browse this site on a regular basis.

      Virtual field trips

      The Aberdeen Geological Society
      have some excellent field guides available. Highly recommended is the short trip to:

      • Pennan, by N.H. Trewin which visits an unconformity in the Old Red Sandstone.

      The Abberley and Malvern Geopark

      • The Les Morris Memorial Trail is a new route through the Geopark in memory of Les Morris, a founding member of the Geopark. This trail makes the geology of the Geopark accessible to everyone by using visits to stone-built walls.

      ABC Science, an arm of the Australian Broadcasting Company aims to help you understand how science affects our lives. They post videos about the human body and mind, space and the natural world. This week their post caught GFYS’s attention:

      • Geologists explain why Tasmania is different
        It has always been thought that Tasmania is different, and now geology can explain why. New discoveries from Tasmania’s oldest rocks at Rocky Cape reveal that about 1.5 billion years ago Tasmania was not part of Australia, but wedged between two other continents. The geology of north-western Tasmania may have more to do with North America and Antarctica than it does with the rest of the Australian mainland.

      AGU Advancing Earth and Space Science

      • Streetcar 2 Subduction is a collection of geological field trips to some of the world-class geological sites of the San Francisco Bay area. Although designed to be live field trips using a phone and the Google Earth App, the trips can also be explored at home. All are superb with detailed descriptions and located photographs. GFYS especially recommends the Hayward Fault at Central Park trip.

      Ancient Manitoba – Ordovician Life 450 Million Years Ago

      • Produced by Sarah Sobry, a teacher in Canada, for her online classroom. Life in Manitoba was vastly different 450 million years ago when Manitoba was covered by a warm, shallow inland sea. Fossils found in Ordovician limestone – called Tyndall Stone – reveal an underwater world where ancient animals thrived until the first great mass extinction of complex life on earth.
        Video Sources:
        All videos were taken at the Manitoba Museum Geology and Paleontology exhibits. These no longer appear to be available through the Museum website.

        Anthöny Pain, a YouTube content creator, takes us to:

        • The age of giant swamps: Carboniferous
          The Carboniferous is also known as the age of amphibians, it was more humid and tropical than today’s climate. Freshwater wetlands increased and formed vast swamp forests. Land snails first appeared and dragonflies and mayflies diversified. The amniotic egg enabled early tetrapods to reproduce away from water. Learn more about this fascinating period during this entertaining talk.

        Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy (ASFC) provides conservation and stewardship for natural open space and provide free environmental education programs for the Arroyos and foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. GFYS particularly liked:

        • Geology: AFC Virtual Field Trip
          Discover the geology of the Rosemont Preserve, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the northern part of Los Angeles County, with USGS Geophysicist Doug Given and AFC Advisor Rich Toyon.

        Prof. Niki Evelpidou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment has a YouTube Channel which including an interesting field trip presentation on:

        The Bampton Heritage Centre has posted a new YouTube video entitled:

        • Bampton’s journey through deep time
          This is the geological story of Bampton, Devon, as told by the local building stones. Hugh Saxby has created a walk for Heritage Centre visitors and the general public to enjoy, with wider appeal for anyone interested in Devon’s geology.

        The Berkshire Geoconservation Group have complied an excellent illustrated walk across the North Wessex Downs ANOB to include chalk scenery, clay-with flints, sarsen stones and local building materials.

        Dr Paul Anderson (University of Birmingham) is a geologist sharing some experiences from teaching and field work. Check out his YouTube video on:

        Black Country Geological Society have a number of excellent leaflets and guides. As well as the famous Wren’s Nest GFYS also recommend Norton Covert, a former gravel pit.

        The Blue Anchor Bay Geological Fault
        Has some superb scenery of the Jurassic meets the Triassic from above, filmed by drones.

        British Geological Survey has a short but informative virtual field trip to

        • Siccar Point – the birthplace of modern geology
          is on the southeast coast of Scotland & world-renowned in geological science, famous for outcrops that reveal ‘Hutton’s Unconformity’, and is a location rightly regarded by many as the birthplace of modern geology.

        Join Professor Iain Stewart at one of The Most Important Geological Site in the World as he talks about Siccar Point, on the Berwickshire coast of Scotland to visiting students from Glasgow University’s Geoscience Summer School.

        Bristol Geology shares some excellent photos, geological maps, additional links and stratigraphic sections of the:

        The Cambridge Geological Society
        have produced some excellent leaflets giving details of walks around Cambridgeshire Geosites. Details of these walks can be found under the Fen Edge Trial and additional information about the area’s landscape and geology.

        Coastal Norway geology
        An informative short video exploring the bedrock geology and glacial erosion of one of Norway’s small rocky islands or skerries.
        within the videos listed on Shawn Willsey’s YouTube Channel. Shawn is a geology professor at the College of Southern Idaho & this Channel has many other interesting video on Idaho & wider US geology.

        The Department of Geological Sciences at Cornell University bring you:
        Galapagos Geology on the web
        For those interested in natural history, there are few places quite as fascinating as the Galapagos. Charles Darwin was the first geologist to explore the Galapagos. He made many important observations of Galapagos geology and drew conclusions that remain valid today.

        Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
        A superb way to explore the varied geology of Cumbria. The Cumbria Geoconservation homepage 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 geological sofa-surfing!

        The Devonshire Association
        includes a geology section where 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.

        Ecton Mine Educational Trust
        The Ecton mine is an underground SSSI and the Ecton Mine Educational Trust promotes education in applied geology, mining and mineral extraction. The Trust has produced three videos in which Dr Ralf Halama and Dr Stuart Egan of Keele University have integrated materials relating to Ecton Mine into undergraduate and post-graduate teaching. GFYS recommends that you start with the geological setting.

        The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life takes you on a personally tour of:

        • Jurassic Marine Life – A Tour of the Etches Museum
          Dr Dean Lomax, palaeontologist, author and presenter, gives a short tour of the world famous Etches Collection Museum (The Museum of Jurassic Marine Life) Kimmeridge, Dorset. The museum opened in 2016 and showcases a truly world class fossil collection, amassed over a phenomenal 60 years by palaeontologist, Dr Steve Etches MBE. All of the Upper Jurassic fossils were collected locally.

        Exploring the Earth is a YouTube Channel created by Dr. Stephanie Sykora who is an exploration geologist. The Channel contains some fascinating geology and GFYS would particularly recommend:

        • The geoscience of Machu Picchu and other Inca sites to see in Peru
          Whilst the unprecedented preservation of the Inca culture’s architectural icon is usually the reason to visit, there is geological evidence underpinning to this lost city. This video is about the rocks that make the famous stones of Machu Picchu, and the geologically unstable faults that bound the city ruins. Plus, mention of other spectacular Inca sites that are definitely worth the visit while in the Cusco and Lima area of Peru.
        • The Andes, Volcanoes and Copper Mines of Chile!
          Which gives a brief overview of the Andes mountain range, the active volcanic arc of eastern Chile and the largest copper mines in the world such as Rio Blanco and Chuquicamata.

        Field Conference PA Geologists is an annual 3 day field conference located somewhere in the state of Pennsylvania for professional geologists and geology students to learn about the geology of that given area. This account of their field visit to the Greater Youghiogheny River Gorge Area uses some up-to-date technology.

        GA South Wales Group have put together six suggested locations for a weekend visit to Pembrokeshire as their contribution to vFoG. Locations include Abereiddi Bay and the Blue Lagoon (Ordovician shales and graptolites) and West Angle Bay (some spectacular folds and thrusts).

        Geocenter Denmark is a formalised cooperation between four partners; Department of Geoscience at Aarhus University, The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management (IGN) and Natural History Museum of Denmark.

        The Goecenter Danmark has a dedicated YouTube Channel Underground Geocenter Denmark Channel featuring:
        The Ordovician climate paradox – searching for earliest evidence of an ice age
        Long believed to have been an integral part of an Early Palaeozoic super-greenhouse, Ordovician climate has in recent years undergone a remarkable revision. Thus, it now appears that a much cooler climate prevailed throughout most of the period. Here, a team of palaeontologists set out to search for the earliest fossil and geochemical evidence for an Ordovician icehouse on the Swedish island of Öland.

        GEOCOAST aims to broadcast educational videos about Ireland’s coastal and marine environments with particular focus on coastal geology and geomorphology. Initiated in 2012 check out the:

        Geoexpro is an interdisciplinary magazine and online publication which explains, clarifies and discusses geoscience and technology in an easy-to-read manner, allowing busy professionals to rapidly catch up on industry developments within the disciplines of Geology, Geophysics and Reservoir Engineering. GFYS found a number of fascinating trips under GeoTourism and recommend:

        • The Red Rocks of South Pembrokeshire
          The rocks which form the beautiful cliffs and beaches of south Pembrokeshire give a snapshot into the Variscan Orogen of south-west Wales. Professor Brian Williams and Dr Gareth George explain that Pembrokeshire is unique in the British Isles in that its fully exposed, magnificent cliff coastline transects two orogenic fold belts; the Caledonian and Variscan. These preserve rock sequences ranging in age from Neoproterozoic to Late Carboniferous, spanning a time period of some 250 Ma.

        In the PreCambrian take a look at:

        • The Geology of Newborough, Anglesey
          Dr Paul Anderson gives a fascinating account of some of the geological secrets of the late PreCambrian rocks of the Gwna Group at Llanddwyn Beach/Island (Newborough), Anglesey.

        Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) is part of the Earth Sciences Sector of Natural Resources Canada and has an GeoScience section on their website which features, amongst other content:

        • Where Terranes Collide: The Geology of Western Canada
          This YouTube video is about the geology and the geologists of the Canadian Cordillera and covers the current concepts concerning the origin of the mountains of western Canada and the geologists and geoscientists who work among them.

        Geology Johnson take us to:

        • The Geology of Arran 2021 Part 3: The Laggan Loop Part 1
          Geologist Dr Brooke Johnson (Oxford University) takes us on a brief tour of the geology of the Isle of Arran, Scotland. In this episode we look at the Dalradian metamorphic rocks and the Carboniferous cyclothems of the Laggan Loop, including the tracks of a giant millipede.

        The GSL has a YouTube Channel featuring a series of public lectures celebrating their 2021 Year in Space

        Geology Society of Glasgow has a virtual geological field trip to North Islay led by David Webster who looks at some of the best stromatolites in the world, exposed on the north coast of Islay and other fantastic geology of this remote and hard-to-get-to location. For more information about Islay visit the Geology of Islay website.

        Geology Virtual Trips is a teaching site, created by Dr. Ed Marintsch and has some superb photographs and asks a few challenging questions. GFYS especially liked –
         the dinosaur footprints (Texas Dinosaur Valley State Park),
         the Sunset Volcano National Volcanic Monument, a tall cinder cone volcano,
         the Teton Fault and the Gros Ventre slide (Grand Teton National Park).

        GeoLancashire has produced this impressive geological trail guide: The White Coppice Trail Guide. This twenty-page guide explores the geological features visible along Dean Brook at White Coppice, Chorley. It will be of interest to anyone wishing to find out more about the gritstone rocks, lead mining and quarrying of this exquisite part of the West Pennines Moors.

        Geo Virtual Field Trips allow you to explore the fascinating and spectacular world of various geomorphological landscapes. Look all around and zoom-in on features of interest and observe how the landscape changes from one location to the next. GFYS particularly enjoyed exploring:

        • Rhodes with Professor Niki Evelpidou (University of Athens), Andreas Tsokos and Dionysios Goutis (Geology and Minerals Hellenic Survey).
          Based on Google Earth, this field trip looks at the Quaternary evolution of Rhodes Island and focuses on the coastal evolution, relative sea level changes, tectonic history and palaeoseismicity of Rhodes Island.

          Geology Johnson a YouTube Channel belonging to Dr Brooke Johnson (University of Oxford) explores the:
           Secrets of Geology When Was Wales Tropical?!
          Join the Oxford University Earth Sciences 1st Year undergraduates on their field trip to Pembrokeshire 2019. On day one, Dr Johnson explains some of the features of the Silurian and Devonian rocks of Marloes Sands.

          Godevonian, a modest YouTube channel and (athough the sound quality is not brilliant) GFYS thought the following video gives an interesting perspective on field work:
           Gilboa fossil forest Devonian age, New York State
          Watch the palaeobotanical work at Riverside Quarry, Gilboa, New York State, on the famous Gilboa fossil forest, the ‘world’s oldest forest’. The quarry floor was visible for a few short weeks in June 2010 during work on the Gilboa Dam, which is a long way upstream. The resulting scientific study, by William Stein, Chris Berry, Linda VanAller Hernick and Frank Mannolini was published on March 1st 2012 in Nature. Sound quality iOS not great

          The Harrow & Hillingdon Geological Society (HHGS)
          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. The society has also taken their annual Uxbridge Rock Show Online this year. GFYS wanted to recognise the huge effort that goes into hosting a show like this. The content supports the National Curriculum but also provides Earth Science for everyone, this Rock Show includes interviews, quizzes, interactive content, the rock cycle, fossils and dinosaurs, florescent minerals and geology in art and industry. Start your virtual tour here.

          Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust have produced a number of Projects – Leading developments in Geoconservation for exploring geology and although intended for use in the field, can be used from the ’sofa’.

          Hertfordshire Geological Society (HGS) produced four excellent vTours that they produced for the GA’s 2020 virtual Festival of Geology. These are now available to view on their website and on their YouTube channel.

          Iowa PBS (Iowa’s state wide public broadcasting network) has an extensive YouTube Channel that aims to educate, educates, enlightens, and entertains Iowans throughout the state. Flood waters revealed an amazing:

          • Devonian Fossil Gorge
            An introductory visit that inspires a visit to eastern Iowa’s Devonian Fossil Gorge near the Coralville Dam.

          Letchworth State Park within the vast area of NY State Parks takes you on a virtual field trip: Geology led by Elijah Kruger who takes you along part of the Genesee River where it roars through the gorge and plunges over three major waterfalls between cliffs.

          Lyme Regis Fossil and Earth Science Festival 2021 takes you on a:

          • Virtual Geological Field Trip to Burton Bradstock
            Vincent Sheppard Geo-scientist and Jurassic Coast Ambassador, takes us on a virtual field trip of the lower Jurassic along Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock, to gather geological evidence from the rocks of the iconic Bridport Sandstone cliff face. We also visit two other formations of the lower middle Jurassic above the Bridport Sandstone, the fossiliferous Inferior Oolite and the Fullers Earth formations.

          Make a virtual visit with Little Frank from his YouTube Channel of trips he's made around the world. GFYS particularly liked:

          • The incredible geology of the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
            Little Frank’s YouTube Nature Playlist covers many other locations that he has travelled to around the world, impressive visuals, accompanied by music.
            and then go on a field trip with Nick Zentner via his Nick on the rocks YouTube Channel to discover how such geological features formed.
          • Columns of Basalt Lava
            The Giant’s Causeway, located in County Antrim, on the Northeast coast of Northern Ireland, is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres thick in places.
            Nick looks at the spectacular rock columns in the deserts of eastern Washington, and asks how do these stone pillars form? How old are they?

          Lochaber Geopark
          Travel through time and landscapes with more than twenty Lochaber Geopark interpretation boards. Follow the Rock Routes to visit all the boards which explain how the magnificent scenery reflects the dramatic geological history of the surrounding area. Click here for a map of Lochaber with tabs that shows geological layers.

          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.

          The Lyme Regis Fossil and Earth Science Festival is an annual event. If you missed it, there are lots of interesting talks, field trips and activities still available in their Library. GFYS enjoyed particularly enjoyed:

          The Festival's YouTube channel features:

          The Mendip Society has produced six short commissioned videos to increase awareness of and promote this beautiful area. GFYS suggests you watch them all, but particularly numbers 2,3, 5 and 6.

          has an amazing number of geological resources available including many virtual field trips. The GFYS team especially enjoyed learning about:

          Mow Cop Quarry and Tramways.
          which consists of a short video of an expedition under the southern end of Mow Cop quarry, following the former tramway line with some interesting additional information about the millstones from Mow Cop also available courtesy of the Manchester Geology Society.

          National Geographic has a self guided, virtual tour exploring the world’s largest cave Son Doong in Vietnam. The tour has some stunning high-resolution photos that you can navigate around, with supporting information at each location.

          The National Park Service in the US has, through the USGS (US Geological Survey) some amazing photo tours. Check out the

          • Colorado River Raft Tour: this is a superbly photographed downstream geological tour along the Colorado river as it passes through the Grand Canyon.

          National Trust Wales has a short virtual field trip to

          • Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia which includes some spectacular scenery and explains ways of looking after the geological glacial landscape.

          Nature has a Nature Video YouTube Channel. Take a look at:

          • Gentle giants of the Cambrian
            More than 500 million years ago in the Cambrian period there was an explosion of animal life. The top predators were from a group called the Anomalocarids, the largest animals of their day. But now, a new fossil suggests that not all the Anomalocarids were the fearsome killing machines scientists once thought. At least one, it seems, evolved into a gentle giant.

          Nevada Science Center  
          Virtual Field Trip: Trekking across the Triassic The fossils and discoveries from life in Nevada

          The Triassic exposures in Southern Nevada contain the fossils of creatures roaming the tidal flats in Southern Nevada, while in Central Nevada, one of the world’s largest ichthyosaurs, Shonisaurus popularis, cruised the ancient ocean.

          North Lincolnshire Museum has an informative virtual tour of its Jurassic Sea gallery. Look out for the carpet and the bench in the courtyard!

          Northumberland Coast AONB have two excellent field trips and GFYS liked the excellent explanations in the boxes in red text

          Offaly County Council in Ireland shares the:

          • Geology of Offaly – The Silurian Period in Offaly, Ireland, by Dr John FeehanThis video is part of a series of five videos by John Feehan made to accompany The Geology of Laois and Offaly published by Offaly County Council in 2013.

          In OneMinuteGeology (OMG) Professor David Dobson has put together a selection of excellent short videos of the geology you might see when out walking or climbing. GFYS has picked out two about the Lewisian Gneiss:

          • Durness 3.5-Billion-year-old Lewisian Gneiss
            Some of the oldest rocks in the world are exposed in the North-West of Scotland. Here we see 3.5-billion-year-old Lewisian gneiss as Sango Bay, Durness.
          • Two billion years of geology in one road cutting
            Just outside Laxford on the A838 is the road cutting known to geologists around the World as the Multi-Coloured Rock Stop. Here you can see fresh exposures of Lewisian Gneiss cut by successive dyke intrusions of Scourie basalt and Laxfordian granites.

          The OpenLearn YouTube Channel has a wealth of video content which you can easily lose yourself in. Well worth viewing is the 5 part Geological Landforms: Dorset and the Isle of Skye Playlist. GFYS recommends starting with Part 1:
          Rock Types on The Isle of Skye
          Dr Iain Gilmour uses geological maps to explain the types of rock found on The Island of Skye and talks about the different levels of erosion and weathering these rocks go through.

          Out There Learning has a YouTube Channel that explores the geology of New Zealand.  GFYS particularly liked:

          • Erosion and Sedimentation of Taranaki Volcano
            Taranaki Volcano stands isolated above its own ring plain on the western side of New Zealand’s North Island. It is made of layers of hard lava with soft ash sandwiched in between. This makes for a very unstable mountain where erosion is exacerbated by frequent severe weather conditions
          • Where to explore the Wellington Fault
            Julian Thomson, of GNS Science, shows you where you can take a closer look at the Wellington Fault, which runs along the Hutt Valley and right through Aotearoa, New Zealand’s Capital City. This is a densely populated area, making this one of New Zealand’s highest risk geological faults. That’s why a lot of research is ongoing to better understand the likelihood of a rupture of the fault and what that would mean for the area. This video shows you where you can actually see the Wellington Fault up close, starting from the top of Wainui Hill, with further points of interest in California and Totara Parks, (Upper Hutt), followed by Mains Rock, Hutt Road, Thorndon and Wright’s Hill.
          • The Spectacular Rocks of Mataikona
            At Mataikona, near Castlepoint on the Wairarapa Coast, New Zealand, there are rock strata that have been tilted and eroded to form long straight lines along the sea shore. These were formed as turbidites (submarine mudflows) about 20 million years ago that were deposited repeatedly over thousands of years.
          • Oamaru’s Undersea Volcano
            Oamaru in New Zealand’s South Island is a wonderland of nature with its quirky town, abundant marine life and rugged coastal geology. The cliffs on the headland around Boatman’s Harbour have world class examples of volcanic rocks such as pillow lavas. They were erupted underwater by an undersea volcano 30 to 35 million years ago.

          The Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB) takes you to:

          Reading Geological Society - Travel up the stratigraphical column with the RGS

          As we were unable to go on field meetings in 2020, the RGS created this video for the GA Virtual Festival of Geology. It was compiled using photographs from RGS field trips over many years; all photographs being taken by members on the trip. The video starts in the Precambrian and works its way up through the stratigraphical column explaining the geology that was seen at the time.

          The RGS was accompanied by a new friend on this virtual trip and we hope that you will join us too!

          Rotunda Museum Scarborough has a self-guided:
           Rotunda Museum Virtual Tour
          which includes the Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast display. You will be able to see the fascinating collection of fossils and specially commissioned reconstructions of what marine life was like millions of years ago.

          The Rocks Rivers & Bones YouTube Channel is dedicated to geologic tours of northern New Mexico. Videos posted here are a joint collaboration between Javier Sernas (camera-video) and Kirt Kempter (just rocks). So far a 6 part tour of the Valles Caldera has been posted. GFYS recommends starting with:

          • Valles Caldera Geology Tour (Part 1 of 6): Introduction
            The Valles Caldera is the world’s type example of a resurgent caldera. This virtual field trip with Dr Kirt Kempter explores the rocks and landforms that tell the story of the caldera eruption – and some of the volcanic history of the Jemez Mountains.

          The Royal Ontario Museum takes you for:
           A Swim Through a Cambrian Sea
          This is a compilation from the wonderful computer animation/simulations of the extinct Precambrian sea creatures of the Burgess Shale by the Royal Ontario Museum. The original animation appears to be no longer available.

          The Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow takes you on:
           A guided excursion round the geology of Islay
          The island of Islay is a treasure trove of geological sites. There are visits the ‘Billion Year Gap’, look through a window at the basement underlying most of the Grampian Highlands, signs of Snowball Earth, and the best evidence in the British Isles of Precambrian life. Plus, the occasional diversion to mineral sites and whisky distilleries.
          David Webster, has a degree in geology from Oxford University, an MSc from Stockholm, and worked for many years in the oil industry.

          Seds Online provides an interactive and accessible online platform for anyone with an interest in the field of sedimentology. GFYS recommends a visit to:
          Early Pleistocene mud tectonics and sedimentation within mud-withdrawal basins, Bawdsey, Suffolk, UK
          Drs Gillian Apps and Frank Peel (Bureau of Economic Geology, the University of Texas) look at the deposition and deformation of the Red Crag and implications for engineering.

          The Shear Zone, educational videos on geology is a YouTube channel developed by Professor Rob Butler from the University of Aberdeen and contains a wealth of video content. GFYS has picked out a few to view but do explore this fantastic Channel for yourself.
          Tectonic Topics featuring
           How strong are plates
          which looks at the geological landscape of Wester Ross, NW Scotland
          Scottish Geology featuring
           Sketching Slioch exploring the unconformity at the base of the Torridon Group onto the Lewisian basement
          Seismic interpretation full of practical advice, for example
           Expression of faults on seismic profiles
          looking at how faults are expressed in seismic images, and strategies for their interpretation

          Shetland Amenity Trust strives to preserve and enhance everything that is distinctive about Shetland’s cultural and natural heritage. They have produced 6 leaflets including introductions in Discover why Shetland Rocks! and Find out more about Shetland’s geology, with more detail in each of the regional guides. The leaflets include excellent details and maps, photographs and grid references.

          University of South Australia takes us to Hallett Cove Conservation Park, South Australia and shows us how to make a geological map. Dr Tom Raimondo discusses the major rock types and their structural features, and explains how to use a geological compass. The site has spectacular folds at Black Cliff.

          The South Wales 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). We also can recommend the walk to the Head of the Clydach Gorge.

          Dr Grant Shimer from the Southern Utah University take you on short virtual tour of:
           Neogene and Quaternary Deposits
          Short review of recent sedimentation and volcanism near Cedar City, Utah.

          Byron Machin has produced a comprehensive YouTube Playlist entitled Stories in Stone, A Landscape History got the Peak District. An early edition is:

          • Peak District 02 Geology
            Byron has produced an informative and interesting account of the geology of the Peak District, using some dramatic paths and filming.

            Teme Valley Geological Society: Scar Cottage Quarry
             Prof Ian Fairchild talks about the Triassic Helsby Sandstone at Scar Cottage Quarry.  This is the first of what we hope will be a library of guided videos about geological sites in the Martley area, Worcestershire.
            Ian Pennell

            University College London (UCL) Earth Sciences department has produced a number of Virtual Field Trips. All are worth a visit but GFYS particularly liked:

            • Cornwall
              which introduces some basic field skills, granitic rocks and minerals, and metosomatic reactions. You can visit Cligga Head and Rinsey Cove and examine vertical and very shallow-dipping intrusive contacts in granite as well as seeing how granite is emplaced into the country rock by the process of stoping. There is lots to of excellent information here and chances to revise your skills before this summer’s field trips.
              If you are short on time then try:
              • Cornwall Speed Geology
                Watch this ‘Speed Geology’ video of a first year Field Class at Kynance Cove and Coverack Cove, South West England.

            Urweltmuseum Hauff in Holzmaden (Hauff Museum of the Prehistoric World) in Germany has a virtual tour of the museum led by Dr Dean Lomax. The museum has one of the greatest fossil collections in the world. All of the fossils, ranging from ammonites to ichthyosaurs with skin, have been found locally, by the Hauff family.

            US Department of the interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has a YouTube video on:
             Permian Plant Fossils
            Travel back 280 million years, with Dr Bill DiMichele Curator of Fossil Plants for the Smithsonian, and explore what the environment of the Robledo Mountains in New Mexico was like when it formed a Permian coastline.

            Virtual Field Trips (VFTs) are topic based interactive and educationally rich experiences captured during real expeditions with scientists doing current research. The VFT project is a collaboration between Arizona State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Australian Centre for Astrobiology and NASA. Whilst exploring their YouTube Channel GFYS found:
             Wapadsberg Vid6 Permo Triassic rocks
            where Dr Roger Smith invigilates the Permian Triassic boundary near the Wapadsberg Pass, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

            is maintained by Dr Roger Suthren. It includes regional geology tours of NE England & SE Scotland 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 the November/December 2019 Geology Today (available at discount to GA members).

            Voyages in Deep Time Project is an App to encourage people to visit and enjoy learning about their local rocks and landscapes that tell us what our part of the world was like millions of years ago – in deep time! This amazing App includes field trips, voyages, information about palaeoenvironments, ancient life and drone filming. GFYS particularly enjoyed visiting:

            VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes!
            Dr Des McDougal from the University of Worcester, has put together a superb series of virtual field trips based on Switzerland, Helvellyn Range (English) and California which look glaciers and glaciated landscapes. The field trips enable you to move around the landscapes and zoom in on specific features, such as evidence for the Little Ice Age or talus.

            WGCG take you to:
             The Hidden Wonders of Burton Dassett
            Enjoy this short video exploring Burton Dassett Hills Country Park, which is a much loved place to spend recreation time. Walkers, cyclists and family groups with a picnic can enjoy the panoramic views and the sheltered hollows for playing and relaxing. Many are unaware of the industrial heritage and geological record that can be seen all around.

            Westmorland Geological Society have recently added another Geotrail to their website:
             Kendal Limestone Geotrail
            Richard Wrigley illustrates a selection of beautifully photographed Carboniferous Limestone outcrops west of Kendal which are accessible on walks from Kendal town centre.

            Yorkshire Geological Society
            Yorkshire Geological Society takes you to the:
             The Geology of Flamborough Head
            Paul Hildreth takes us on four virtual tours around Flamborough Head, east Yorkshire.

            GFYS has also found some fascinating YouTube content for you to enjoy:
             Geological fieldwork, east Greenland, summer 2014 posted by Gijs Henstra (University of Bergen):
            Geologists from different universities in Norway undertook an expedition to Wollaston Forland, East Greenland, in the summer of 2014. The objective was to map and study coarse-grained sediments that were deposited at the bottom of the sea that developed when Norway and Greenland were rifting apart, some 150 million years ago.

            Nick Zentner
            has developed a very comprehensive YouTube Channel of USA based field trips, including 2-minute Geology with Tom Foster and geologically themed helicopter flights,Nick from the Field. Some have sub titles. GFYS recommend:

            • Clastic Dykes w/ Skye
              Cooley Nick and Skye Cooley debate the formation of the clastic dikes (dykes) near Touchet, Washington. The latest field trip from Nick in his usual thought-provoking and informative style. Not to be missed.
            • Longs Pass Serpentinite
              Nick Zentner hikes on top of Longs Pass to view the Stuart Range, Washington USA. Enjoy some stunning views and geology.


            The Amoeba People – And finally a Science Music video on YouTube – The Geologists Are Coming! An ode to the hardworking scientists who uncover the planet’s mysteries and carry under-sized hammers. Onward!!!

            Bedfordshire Geology Group have put together a fossil fun activity pack for children between the ages of 5 and 8. The pack includes word searches and ‘join the dots’.

            For older children and adults BBC Radio 4’s Natural Histories podcast series has a fascinating episode on:

            • Dragonfly
              In this fascinating podcast from BBC Natural History (2020), Malcolm Spencer, a former miner at Bolsover colliery, describes how he found the first Carboniferous Dragonfly fossil – the Bolsover Dragonfly, Andrew Tebbs, an artist who created the Dragonfly Sculpture now in New Bolsover which was inspired by the discovery of the Carboniferous fossil dragonfly describes his work while Edmund Jarzembowski and Dr Robin Wootton discuss flight mechanics, the unparalleled biological success of insects and their 400 million year history. Ruary Mackenzie Dodds and James Lasswell comment on modern dragonflies.

            BBC Teach
            For younger children (5-7) BBC Teach offers free classroom resources to schools throughout the UK & we thought this YouTube video was worth a watc

            For younger children BBC Bitesize

            Blogs of the European Geoscience Union has an conducted some interesting research into:

            • Baking geological cakes!
              Ruth Amey, postdoctoral researcher and programme manager of the Earth Observation Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Leeds discusses the best geological bakes she has come across.

            For older children and adults The Brain Scope created by the Field Museum in Chicago. Emily Graslie, Chief Curiosity Correspondent for the Field Museum in Chicago created The Brain Scoop in 2013 to share the work and research of natural history museums with the world. Join Emily on her adventures!

            Brighton & Hove Museums
            have an excellent investigation into The Evolution of Birds which includes colouring and matching activities.

            Brighton Museums host a mid-week draw online. A past online draw featured some interesting fossils and an invitation to send your artistic efforts to the museum.

            British Geology Survey shows you how to make a:

            • Cut-out model of a trilobite
              Make a model trilobite! This is quite a complex model to cut out and assemble, so younger children will need some help.

            Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand has some great learning resources. Why not download you own:

            • Top Fossil Colouring Book
              print off these images of ancient New Zealand’s lost creatures and colour them in, they include the Waipara Giant Turtle, Love’s Paleocene seabird and the Waipara Giant Penguin which was about 1.8 metres tall. Wow that’s going to be tricky to fit in your colouring book! You can also visit the museum’s on-line exhibition Ancient New Zealand: Squawkzilla and the Giants print off the activity sheets and solve the puzzles

            Take a look Inside Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre with Anna Holbrook who gives a guided tour of the Heritage Centre, including the Charmouth Dinosaur, fossilised vomit and a mock-up of Charmouth beach which will help you to recognise any fossils that you might find.

            The Cleveland Ironstone Museum
            For older children (7 -13) – Enjoy a virtual visit to the seafront at Skinningrove and explore some of the local geology and mine related features, including possible Ichthyosaur ‘sick’!

            The Common Room are a new charity, formed to lead the restoration of Neville Hall in Newcastle. Their vision is to use our unique heritage to inspire the next generation of innovators and engineers. Through their Explore Online programme we found The Rock Showman who is a geologist with some creative ways to get you excited about rocks! GFYS recommends:

            • What’s Beneath Our Feet?
              Join Steve, The Rock Showman! and his trusty Rock Hounds to find the Black Stuff along the North East coastline in search of coal, because where there is coal, there are fossils! See Steve combine the circus and geology – great fun.

            Communicating Geoscience. We thought these recipes sounded yummy

            The Dinosaur Society hosts a Kids Gallery which features some wonderful work from budding artists and illustrators. Send in your pictures by e-mail to

            The Dorset County Museum’s Make a Museum at Home have put together instructions for making a fun fossil sun catcher. The Museum ask for photographs to be emailed or sent to them using the hashtag #DorsetMuseumAtHome.

            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.

            Ely Museum has a

            The English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark enables you to:

            • Colour your way through geological time from the Cambrian with Marella to the Quaternary with the Woolly Mammoth!

            The Etches Collection – Museum of Jurassic Marine Life
            The Etches Collection, located on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site in Dorset have just launched the Inaugural Children’s Fossil Competition. For the next four months children between the ages of 5-16, who live in the UK, will have the opportunity to enter one of their fossils into the competition and have the chance to have it on display. Every child that enters the competition will receive a personal annual pass to the museum. For more details click here.

            Ethan Baxter
            For younger (and older) people: ‘Every rock has a story’ told by Ethan Baxter, a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Boston College who is passionate about rocks and minerals and sharing the stories they hold. GFYS particularly enjoyed:

            • Lava – the fascinating story of a piece of lava collected on Hawai

            The Extinction Game

            • An exciting and fast-moving geological game for up to six players. Suitable for ages six to sixty plus. Learn about the geological time periods, fossils and mass extinctions and try to avoid becoming an extinction victim!

            Free Pub Quizzes have a Geology quiz with questions free to use for zoom, pub and family quizzes. Great fun!

            Fossil Facts & Finds ask you how much do you know about trilobites? Enjoy solving this

            Fossils Facts and Finds has set a challenging

            • Ammonites word search
              GFYS hopes you will have fun with this word search. Some of the terms used have American spellings.

            Have a go at this Fossil Quiz: From the Cambrian to Devonian produced by Anthöny Pain and see how many fossils you know!

            Fun Kids (iTunes)
            include Geology Rocks, which explores the Earth Sciences through a series of short podcasts. These include:

            • Blue Green Algae And Stromolites
              where children can join Finley as he travels back three billion years to see the earliest stages of photosynthesis;
            • Earth’s History – Creation Earth
              another adventure in which Finley finds out how and when the universe was created.
            • Geology Rocks: Climate Change
              Join Finley as he travels around the world and back in time, take a look at how climate change is caused and how it is affecting our planet. Travel back 55 million years ago to discover the last time we underwent climate change and what happened to all the creatures living at the time.
            • Permian Period
              When looking at a map of the world, it’s easy to think that the land has always looked this way. But the land we’re standing on is always moving, breaking up and joining together, changing the entire face of the planet as we know it. During the Permian period, lots of the land came together to form a single super-continent, Pangaea!

            Geologic Time Music Video ‘Earth Time’ based on a song by The Script (For the First Time), and with words by Mr. Parr, this makes finding out about geological time great fun.

            The Geological Society has another Podcast adventure with Finley, so join him on a

            • Rock Hunt as he discovers how we use rocks in our everyday lives. We look in the bathroom, the kitchen and even the make-up bag. What will we find…..?

            How quickly can you solve this:

            • Geology Crossword
              send your time to and GFYS will try to beat you!

            A Geology Word Search is freely shared by ScienceNotes. See how quickly you can solve this! There are also definitions of the words used in the Geology Word Search Word List.

            Are you planning to make a cake for a special geological occasion? If so be inspired by these incredible Geological Cakes from the Geological Game Team YouTube Channel.

            The HIDDEN Geology of BOLO DE ROLO (Brazilian Rolled Cake)
            Dr Haydon Mort unlocks the secrets of hidden structural geology using a popular cake from Northeast Brazil! (and the cakes look delicious….)

            Horniman Museum and Gardens
            Storyteller Olivia Armstrong tells all sorts of stories and myths about the amazing world of ammonites and fossils as part of the Object in Focus project.

            And for slightly older children

            Hull Museums have A Mineral Mystery to Mull Over. There are thousands of minerals on our planet. In fact, we use some minerals all the time, often without realising. Read the stories about these natural wonders and take this quick quiz to see how much you know about minerals.

            Don’t miss ITV’s Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh – 28 February 10:00 (GMT) will be featuring Dr Anjana Khatwa aka JurassicGirl who will be whisking viewers off to the beaches of Lyme Regis to explore how fossil hunting can be a great day out for the family. Anjana will be showing you some amazing finds on the beach and giving you tips and tricks so you can go out and find some for yourselves. The programme is also available on ITV Player once it has aired.

            Jigsaw Planet has a huge number of geology and other categories of virtual jigsaws available online, ranging in difficulty i.e. you can choose the number of pieces you want to tackle. GFYS particularly liked this one:

            • Nature>uncut agate – we played it with its original 32 pieceswe are sure that you will be able to beat our time of 3:39!

            Jurassicgirl – Dr Anjana Khatwa and Sarita Khatwa also known as Jurassicgirl and MiniJurassicgirl

            • Discover how to make rocks out of sweets. Tempting and tasty but possibly not good for teeth!
            • Hunt dinosaurs in Devon with MiniJurassicgirl ably assisted by Jurassicgirl, other wise known as Sarita Khatwa and her mum Dr Anjana Khatwa! MiniJurassicgirl Discovers: Fossilised Dinosaur Footprints! In this roarsome adventure Anjana and Sarita visit Keates Quarry in Purbeck to explore REAL dinosaur footprints! Incredibly 145 million years ago, gigantic Sauropod dinosaurs walked across this landscape leaving their traces behind as footprint trackways.
            • Mini JurassicGirl Discovers: How Durdle Door was formed!
              Anjana and Sarita explore the power of coastal erosion and how it created one of the most famous landmarks on the Jurassic Coast, Durdle Door. Equip yourself with playdough and join in by making your own model!

            Jurassicgirl (Dr Anjana Khatwa) and Mini Jurassicgirl (Sarita Khatwa) look at:

            The Lapworth Museum of Geology
            have some excellent ideas for primary school teachers and home educators at Activities to Try at Home. These include

            Lehigh Gap Nature Center is a conservation organisation located in Lehigh Gap, Pennsylvania. Enjoy the their YouTube video explanations of:

            The Lyme Regis Fossil and Earth Science Festival produced some amazing songs at the festival. Watch how that was done with their:

            • B Sharp Fossil Festival Songs
              Students from St Michael’s Primary School explored the beach and the Victorian Town Dump with geologist Jim Thomas and worked on lyric development with poet and storyteller Martin Maudsley.

            B Sharp then worked with the children to support them to create their own original songs about the theme. The children came up with all the musical ideas and lyrics, and were supported to shape them into songs. There is a resource pack for each of three songs created by the children, with a lyric sheet and backing tracks to enable other primary schools to learn and sing these fantastic songs! GFYS really enjoyed ‘She Sold The Sea Shells’ and ‘Mud Slides’.

            The Lyme Regis Museum has an imaginative MAKE & DO section on their website. Do take a look as there are ideas for making an ammonite out of cardboard, paper straws and old magazines, or a plesiosaur out of a paper plate.

            Lyme Regis Museum gives an exclusive look behind the scenes at 10 intriguing objects from the museum’s collections through their ‘museum at home’ series. GFYS recommends the episode about:

            • Mary Anning’s House
              For older children and adults. Watch this YouTube episode and try either the writing or drawing activity, or both.

            Maidstone Museum have a learning with Spike at home section with activities for the half term. GFYS particularly liked the idea of:

   is the world’s largest open database of minerals, rocks and meteorites. The Rocks and Minerals of Minecraft – Minecraft fans can find out how similar the Minecraft resources are to real rocks and minerals.

            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!

            The Museum of Wales gives younger children the chance to unearth a dinosaur fossil, discover the size of Tyrannosaurus rex’s feet and explore what dinosaurs liked to eat

            The 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
            • How to make a volcano
              provides a guide to making a fun but messy exploding volcano model, probably best ‘exploded’ outside if possible. This link also contains a lot of information about different types of volcanoes.
            • What dinosaur are you?
              Have fun discovering if you are a gentle giant or fierce meat-eater and which dinosaur shared your habits.
            • Dinosaur footprint cookies recipe
              The biscuit recipe makes a soft dough, easy for making footprint-shaped holes with the foot of a toy dinosaur – dinosaur not included!
            • Natural History Museum has a YouTube video with instructions about
            • How to draw a dinosaur
              Follow the simple instructions to draw a cartoon T. Rex. There is also some supporting notes about how professional artists bring dinosaurs to life with their pictures. Then look at some dinosaur pictures from the 1960s that we now know aren’t quite right. Can you work out what’s wrong?
            • 360° fossil-hunting adventure
              Get tips on what fossils to look out for as you explore the beach alongside students on a fossil collecting walk organised by Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre.

            For younger children the Natural History Museum discovers:

            Natural History Museum has a fantastic

            • Fossil Explorer app – covering England, Scotland and Wales is a must for everyone wanting to venture outdoors!
              The app uses your device’s geolocation technology to set your current location on the Fossil Explorer app’s interactive map, or select an area you would like to explore. The app plots the rocks present at your chosen location and provides a list of fossils known to occur in rocks of the same age.
              Whether you want to discover ammonites along Dorset’s Jurassic coast, marine reptiles in Whitby or trilobites in Girvan, this app can tell you more about your fossil finds.

            Also at the Natural History Museum come face-to-face with

            • Dippy the dinosaur
              explore his skull in 3D! Can you find Dippy’s nostrils? What feature does Diplodocus share with humans but few other dinosaurs? Rotate, zoom in and explore the features of this popular dinosaur.

            For younger children –
            Christmas is coming at the Natural History Museum so why not make your own:

            Explore North Norfolk’s Deep History Coast – wonderful if you live locally or for post lock-down inspiration. Follow the Discovery Trail with Discovery Points along the way and imagine taking a journey back in time to when early humans roamed the land and encountered amazing megafauna.

            OneMinuteGeology looks at:

            The Oxford University Museum of Natural History has some colouring sheets for the more crafty younger geologist. GFYS particularly liked this one: Fabulous fossils

            For older children and adults (thanks to Nick Pierpoint)

            Rockwatch is the UK’s nationwide club for young geologists and the junior club of the Geologists’ Association. See how to make metamorphic marble fudge with Fureya Nelson Riggott, who made a fantastic geological recipe book for a Rockwatch Rockstar competition. Try her other recipes for igneous obsidian toffee and sedimentary oolitic limestone crispies. Homemade Christmas presents?

            Rockwatch the junior branch of the GA, introduces children and young people to the amazing world of geology. The recent Rockstars competition inspired some incredible entries which you can see on the home page.

            The Rock Showman encourages you to

            • Try This at Home
              An interest in geology often starts after finding a curious stone upon a beach. But the stone’s beauty fades as the stone dries out. This fun two-part tutorial by Steve Cousins, the Rock Showman, leads the absolute beginner through the process of polishing a stone using nothing more than sandpaper, water and time! Learn how the art of lapidary reveals the science of geology.

            The Rotunda Museum is part of the Scarborough Museums Trust and GFYS recommends: Fantastic Fossils – suitable for younger children.where Megan the Megalosaurus guides you through an activity sheet which includes dinosaur foot prints and a plesiosaur colouring in sheet.

            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!

            Sedgwick Museum proves you don’t need to go far to find fossils. Try out the: Gravel Hunters video and download the Gravel Hunters ID sheet to help you with your hunt.

            • Bag of bones
              Putting a skeleton back to together when you know what the animal looks like can be a challenge, but imagine how hard that becomes when these creatures are extinct. See if you can restore the dinosaur.
              There are more extension activities for teachers or home-schooling on this site.
            • Fluffy bee activity
              Did you know the first bees would have been flying around in the Cretaceous just as Iggy, the Sedgwick Iguanodon was snacking on leaves from tall trees? Download your fluffy bee activity sheet here and learn some amazing bee facts.

            Sedgewick Museum also has a number of Exhibitions on offer but, for older children, GFYS would recommend:

            • Exploring the Wenlock Reef
              take a dive into the Wenlock Reef and discover the range of animals that once lived there. Be a detective and use clues, evidence and deduction to solve a modern-day crime, and then use your skills to reconstruct the distant past

            Sedgewick Museum has some:

            • Lockdown creativity: Recreating an iconic scene of Jurassic Sea life
              Early in lockdown, the Getty Museum challenged social media users to recreate artworks from its collection using household objects. The Sedgwick Museum responded by challenging ourselves and our social media followers to recreate a famous painting, Duria Antiquior, which hangs in the museum. Using the hashtag #DIYDuria, they collected ammonites, belemnites and ichthyosaurs made from teaspoons, vegetables, Lego and more. The results are wonderful – here they are!

            Silurian Geologic Time Period Science Shoebox Project

            • ‘Chill Laxin’ on YouTube makes a stunning Silurian Sea scene. Make one similar to this one and send GYFS a photo!

            And for slightly older children Super Simple, which produces songs, music videos, original children’s programs, through an award-winning website, and the Super Simple App, help you:

            • Make a pterosaur – Why not send a photo to GFYS (

            USGS (US Geological Survey) shows us how to Make a nautiloid model this looks great fun! Make and paint a model nautiloid – printing the outline on thin card is advised.

            The Whitby Museum has more fun geology for the school holidays with a:

            GFYS also found a YouTube video entitled 25 Strangest Geological Formations On Earth. The creator says “Our planet is amazingly beautiful as shown by the geological formations in this video which includes some of the most incredible formations that were created by the earth itself, not by us humans.”