The Geologists’ Association may not be able to invite you to attend lectures and field trips at the moment, but we are looking at ways for you to still enjoy geology, virtually through online courses and field trips using the links below.
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Latest Additions updated 1st April 2021
GFYS hopes you all enjoy a very Happy Easter break!
YouTube and Podcast Lectures:
Geologists Association (GA) April vLecture on:
• A journey from Lilliput to Brobdingnag: Bivalve mollusc body size trends across the end-Triassic mass extinction and recovery – Friday 9 April 18:00 (BST) given by Dr J.W. Atkinson (University of Leeds)
Non-members should telephone 020 7434 9298 or email the GA Secretary (email@example.com) for details.
Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group YouTube Channel presents an:
• 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
• Live from Geldingadalir volcano, Iceland
Nick Zentner regularly posts educational video content on YOuTube Channel ‘Nick From Home’ Livestreams. GFYS recommends:
• Livestream #41 – Minerals
Nick describes common rock-forming minerals and their identification using cleavage planes, hardness and other tests in an enjoyable and informative way.
More YouTube and Podcast Lectures
EdX hosts another free online course on
• 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.
The Etches Collection (Museum of Jurassic Marine Life) & Mary Anning have become inextricably linked & in recognition of this the museum is hosting a
• Mary Anning Conference of Curiosities – Monday 12 April 2021
A day in appreciation celebrating the life, work and legacy of Mary Anning.
The day is divided into four sessions with live Q&A. The event will be held via an exclusive Facebook group page, so you will need an account to be able to join the conference and participate. The schedule is:
• Session One – Who was Mary Anning?
• Session Two – Mary Anning’s Legacy: Women in Palaeontology
• Intermission – Bonus Fossil hunting video
• Session Three – Mavericks: The Amateur Scientist vs. Science
• Session Four – The future of the Jurassic Coast
Tickets cost £30 and can be booked here
More Online Courses
Virtual Field trips:
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.
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.
The Harrow & Hillingdon Geological Society (HHGS) have 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.
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.
More Virtual Field trips
GFYS recommends two fun recipes to try for Easter from Communicating Geoscience. We thought these recipes sounded yummy
• Geology and Food – a Geologist’s Cookbook
Ultra-Gooey Chocolate Brownie (cumulate textures) and Chocolate Pillow Lavas, both made with large amounts of chocolate, delicious! Make sure you watch the pillow lava video as well.
Lapworth Museum is hosting a Campus of Curiosities Festival. There are many events to choose from but GFYS recommends:
• Fossil Detectives: Discovering Clues about the Past with the Lapworth Museum – two sessions on Wednesday 14 April @ 11:00 & 13:00 (BST)
Put on your metaphorical detective hat and join the Lapworth Museum of Geology as we discover what clues fossils can give us about animals and plants of the past. Explore the museum collections and learn what fossil detectives have uncovered about these amazing objects.
This online event is free of charge but booking is required.
Free geology lectures and podcasts
BBC: 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.
BBC Radio 4 In Our Time podcast on:
• The Late Devonian Extinction – broadcast on 11 Mar 2021 & available to listen again this podcast, highly recommended by GFYS, features Melvyn Bragg and guests Dr Jessica Whiteside, Professors David Bond and Mike Benton discussing the devastating mass extinctions of the Late Devonian Period, roughly 370 million years ago, when around 70 percent of species disappeared. Scientists are still trying to establish exactly what happened, when and why.
Bucks Geology Group have scheduled two Zoom talks to be given by Graham Hickman. The first is:
- Geology and Hydrology of Burnham Beeches – Wednesday January 13 16.00 (GMT)
This talk will describe the origin of the gravels, clays and chalk underlying Burnham Beeches and how the geology dictates the location of springs and the streams where they disappear into sink holes. The talk can be followed-up with an excellent downloadable self-guided tour.
If you are not a member please request the link via firstname.lastname@example.org. To avoid talks being over-subscribed, please do not share the link.
Cambridgeshire Geological Society host a Zoom lecture on
- ‘Remote Monitoring of an Urban Mud Volcano’ – Monday 11 January 19.00 (GMT)
given by Dr Andrew Hart, Chief Engineering Geomorphologist (Atkins)GFYS thought this presentation looks interesting, providing an overview of the ongoing eruption of a mud volcano in the Sidoarjo regency of East Java, Indonesia and how it has developed since 2006. It will highlight how the use of remote sensing mapping techniques has allowed the risks posed by the eruption to be monitored over an extended period of time in an innovative but cost-effective manner, as well as the importance of field verification in such work.
Please contact Cambridgeshire GeolSoc in advance to register your interest.
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.
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.
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 2020
Whilst the GA cannot host GASS2020 as planned today we think it appropriate to celebrate past events by sharing some of the outstanding talks that went on to win prizes at GASS2019 -17, as well as Iain Stewart’s Keynote lecture from 2018. Click here to view. You can also view these talks on the GA YouTube Channel. GASS will be back on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 May 2021.
The GA’s virtual Festival of Geology ran on 7 November and has uploaded the talks that you can now view until the end of the year and the four talks held throughout the day can now be viewed on the GA website (Members only).
Geologists’ Association South Wales Group
• Mary Anning: monsters, myths and misfortunes – available now
Tom Sharpe, a long standing member of the South Wales Group has kindly agreed to his highly informative lecture being recorded and it will be available on the website for the next few months.
N.B. You can catch up with the Natural History Museum appeal fund for the Mary Anning statue in Lyme Regis here.
The Geological Society
Has made a range of Public Lectures from 2019 and previous years available. Including the superb:
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.
• 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.
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.
Hull Geological Society also are hosting a Zoom lecture on
- New light on the Neanderthals: music, rope-making. and now an apparent genetic link to Coronavirus – Thursday 14 January 19.30 (GMT)
given by Professor Patrick Boylan, (City, University of London)
The Middle and Upper Pleistocene Neanderthals have generally had a bad press through the last hundred and fifty years. Until comparatively recently, Neanderthals were widely regarded and caricatured as primitive, clumsy and probably brutal, creatures. Knowledge, and more important, attitudes have changed remarkably in the last twenty years or so, through many additional discoveries and new interpretations of this hominin species.
Please book in advance by using the email details found here.
Imperial College have an interesting event that caught GFYS’ eye
- Science Breaks: How the shark lost its bones (and maybe why) – Tuesday, 19 January 12.30 (GMT)
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.
Please register in advance here
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).
The Manchester Geological Association are now holding their lectures online. Whilst you can attend these lectures, they are not available to view afterwards. Please register for these talks by contacting the Association at email@example.com. GFYS recommends you visit this site on a regular basis to make sure you don’t miss out.
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?
The NHM also has great resources for the younger geologist. See our GeoFun section for details.
Natural History Museum Lates Online have added a new video to their YouTube playlist on:
• 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 Nova Scotia Museum showcases some of the best examples of:
- Nova Scotia Fossils and Geology
GFYS recommends that you watch all five episodes of this YouTube series.
The Royal Institution Christmas lectures 2020: Planet Earth: A User’s guidebroadcast on BBC4 over the Christmas period are still available through the BBC iPlayer.
GFYS particularly liked the lecture on:
- The Biogeography of Madagascar: A Gondwanan island
by Dr MaM Friedman which looks at the evolution of the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar and how these are linked to the geological history of the island.
Oxford Geoheritage Virtual Conference
hosted by Oxford University Museum of Natural History took place between 25-29 May 2020 and the talks 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.
The Society of Popular Astronomy (SPA) hosts an excellent lecture on:
- Rovers and landers on Mars
given by Susanne Schwenzer, of the Open University, about NASA’s Curiosity Rover investigations of the surface of Mars.
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.
Provide access to a wide variety of sandbox modelling of common and the not so common geological and geomorphological features. GFYS recommends –
Liam Herringshaw has an extensive FossilHub website. The most recent post is Chalking with Dinosaurs, part 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.
- 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.
- 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) hosts a YouTube talk on:
- The Geology of Arran
Stuart Blake of the Lochranza Field Studies Centre visits some of the best geology on Arran.
Whilst non-members can attend WCGG virtual talks (please register well in advance), they are not available to view afterwards. GFYS recommends you visit the WGCG site on a regular basis to make sure you don’t miss out.
Where on Earth do you live?
Dr Anjana Khatwa, also known as Jurassicgirl, has produced a YouTube series Where on Earth do you live? :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.
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.
If you missed the series, you might also enjoy his:
- Livestream #73 Oregon Geology during which Nick talks to Oregon geologists Marli Miller, Carrie Gordon, and Ellen Bishop.
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:
- Antarctica: From Geology to Human History – a self-paced 5 week course
- in which Dr. Rebecca Priestley and Dr. Cliff Atkins explore more than 500 million years of Antarctica’s geological history and 250 years of geographical discovery and scientific endeavour.
- Geoscience – the Earth and its resources – self-paced, start anytime. A six week course covering a wide range of geological topics.
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.
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.
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.
The Lapworth Museum of Geology has something interesting on offer:
• Black Country Geopoetry Workshop – Thursday 15 April 18:00 (GMT)
Join R. M. Francis, poet in residence for the Black Country Geological Society, for this exciting poetry workshop. Using fossils from the Lapworth Museum’s fantastic collections, explore how our geological heritage offers innovative routes to thinking about place, community and culture.A few places are still available. Please register via EventBrite.
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.
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 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
- Pennan, by N.H. Trewin which visits an unconformity in the Old Red Sandstone.
- The Les Morris 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
This is a virtual field trip guide exploring the volcanic history and evidence of mass wasting at:
• Sentinel Peak, Tucson, Arizona
collect ‘virtual’ evidence, and decide if Sentinel Peak is a volcano!
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.
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).
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:
•Loughshinny, north Dublin, Ireland
Dr David Chew, Trinity College, Belfast, explains the dramatic folding and other features in this short YouTube video.
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.
Geology Society of Glasgow has a new 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.
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.
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust have produced a number of Projects – Leading developments in Geoconservation for exploring geology, 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.
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.
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.
- Where the Earth rips apart! The volcanoes of the East African Rift Valley
Kevin Wong, PhD student at the University of Leeds (GASS 2019 presentation winner & presenter of the first GA virtual Halstead Lecture), visits the Corbetti and other volcanoes in the Rift Valley. It has some excellent explanations and scenery.
- geology and tectonic evolution of the Nanga Parbat area of the Himalayas, by Rob Butler;
- Geology of the Katrina Disaster in New Orleans, by Stephen A. Nelson of Tulane University.
The Mole Valley Geological Societyshare a presentation given by one of their members:
- Explore the concept of Deep Time Earth’s 4.6 Billion years history through a rail journey by Jim Harvey
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.
- 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.
Northumberland Coast AONB have two excellent field trips and GFYS liked the excellent explanations in the boxes in red text
- The Igneous Underground – the Whin Sill at Bamburgh
Explores the geology of the Whin Sill on a short walk from Bamburgh to the lighthouse at Stag Rock.
- Storm and stress – Howick to Cullernose
Cliffs and reefs displays a diverse range of rocks which tell stories of molten rock, earthquakes and tempests.
The Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB) takes you to:
- North Cornwall (UK) Geological Field-trip, June 2016 to look at the fantastic geological structures along the North Cornish coast with Jeremy Daines. It includes some spectacular geology at Hartland Quay, Millook Haven and Bude.
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.
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.
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) and Porthcawl (Welsh Version). We also can recommend the walk to the Head of the Clydach Gorge.
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 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:
- El Hierro in the Canary Islands to examine the volcanics, and
- Wye Valley 1 (a second trip is also available) to look at the lithology and palaeoenvironments
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.
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.
- Flamborough Head VGFT 1v2 examines the exposures at Speeton and Bempton Cliffs.
The Society also use Google Earth for an extremely informative and fascinating virtual tour of Widdop Moor Geology and Poetry Walk. Other tours are being prepared so do re-visit the website.
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 on the Fly Field Videos. Some have sub titles.
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!!!
- Hunting for fossils along the Jurassic Coast. William Whiskerson visits Lyme Regis to meet a fossil expert and to learn how fossils were formed.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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…..?
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….)
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.
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!
- making a simple erupting volcano
- colouring in sheets of a Dimorphodon
- dinosaurs fighting
- mineral wordsearch.
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:
•Make your own Hatching Dino Egg
When you have finished your Dinosaur Egg, don’t forget to share it on Twitter using the #SpikeDinosAdventures tag.
Mindat.org 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.
- 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!
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.
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?
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.