First field trip for new students in our geology subject area

Welcome to all our new students!

Professor Martin Smith introduces our new geology subject area students to working in the field with a trip to Telscombe Cliffs.

“After two days of welcome to university information for new Geology, Physical Geography and Geology and Earth and Ocean Science students, we headed out to Telscombe Cliffs to actually experience some earth science and coastal oceanography. Braving the wind and (luckily) less rain, 30 students and staff investigated how the cliffs record slices of earth history.

We started with periglacial weathering and soil processes at the cliff top. Then we climbed down the steps to the beach to look at the sedimentation of the ancient (Cretaceous) ocean floor recorded in the chalk and flint, including a wide range of fossils – brachiopods, sea urchins and sponges all had a starring role.We then looked at the record of post-depositional tectonic events in faults, fractures and flint-filled mineral veins. Finally, we walked along the water line and found evidence of modern change in the coastal environment, from plastic pollution to the reduction in the water table and the shift of freshwater spring discharge to below sea level. Read More

First field trip for our Geographers, Cuckmere Haven

Welcome to all our new students!

Dr Mary Geary, senior lecturer in Human Geography, introduces our new Geography students to working in the field with a trip to Cuckmere Haven.

“There’s nothing like a charabanc full of slightly soggy staff and new students heading off to the coast to kickstart the new academic year. As part of our introductory welcome week here in the School of Environment and Technology the Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sciences teams always take our fresh intake of first year undergraduates off to visit one of Sussex’s most iconic landscapes – the Seven Sisters, viewed from the estuary of the River Cuckmere in Cuckmere Haven. Read More

Sun, Sea and Science?

Last weekend saw Brighton host this year’s Soapbox science in glorious sunshine at the Brighton seafront. Soapbox science is a novel public outreach platform where female scientists stand on their soapboxes and preach their science to the passing general public. This year saw Dr Laura Evenstar give a very hands-on demonstration on how the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world,  formed the Andean mountain chain in South America.

Members of the public were involved in building a miniature version of the Andes mountains out of sand. Adults and children alike got involved in looking at how plate tectonics work to produce the different theories on how the Andes uplifted. They then got to pretend to be clouds (cotton wool) traveling over the Andes and created their own rainfall events in the mini Atacama Desert to look at what sort of techniques scientists use to understand climate change in the geological record.

“It’s a great opportunity to show what women in STEM subjects are doing and to bring the joy of our science to people by playing in bags of sand at the beach!”