XPERT Henry Hooghiemstra

June 22, 2015


Henry-Hooghiemstra-2We are delighted to be able to confirm the University of Amsterdam‘s leading expert in tropical palaeoecology, Emeritus Professor Henry Hooghiemstra, will be giving the first of our XPERT lectures; on Monday 17 August at Science Park 904. The lecture will be open to XPERT participants and other interested people. If you are not a member of XPERT but wish to attend please contact William Gosling to ensure that we have space for you.

TITLE: Exploration of dynamic tropical ecosystems in space and time

Abstract below…

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Introducing the XPERT network

January 16, 2015


The Cross-disciplinary Palaeo-Environmental Research Training (XPERT) network commences in 2015. This international network will bring together early career researchers from five countries to learn new skills and develop collaborative projects. Training will be provided during a field school in Ecuador, and a summer school at the University of Amsterdam. For further details please visit the respective field school, summer school and staff pages hosted on this blog.



December 16, 2013

Video from the INTIMATE Field School 2013
MORE THAN MUD – What we can learn about past climate from lake sediments

“This film portraits international climate scientists investigating lake sediments for clues of past climate changes. Science is always teamwork. The INTIMATE Field School 2013 at Hämelsee gathered a variety of experts and young scientists from all over Europe to understand past climate change. The researchers retrieved a sediment core from a lake in Northern Germany, now being investigated using a variety of different analytical methods. A film team from the Babelsberg Film University HFF took part in this event. They accompanied the researchers and portrayed the diverse personalities and explored what motivates them and their research.”


Sedimentary Rocks and Fossils in the Field

July 31, 2013


Students examining the sedimentary deposits at Howick Haven

Students examining the sedimentary deposits at Howick Haven

SXG288 Practical science: Earth and environment
Sedimentary Rocks & Fossils in the Field
23-29 July 2013

Face-to-face teaching of practical skills in field geology is one of the most interesting and rewarding aspects of being a lecturer at The Open University. Over the last few days I have been lucky enough to participate in the running of the Sedimentary Rocks & Fossils in the Field topic within our second level Practical Science module (SXG288). This is one of two opportunities that students taking this module get to head into field, examine rocks, develop observational skills and test scientifc hypotheses; the other field based topic is Igneous & Metamorphic Rocks in the Field.

Sedimentary Rocks & Fossils is based from Longridge Towers School in Northumberland (whilst the regular students are away). Longridge provides the ideal base for this topic because of its close proximity to some world class sedimentary rock and fossil exposures. Over an intensive three day field experience students examine sedimentary deposits from the Silurian and Carboniferous exposed mainly along the Northumberland coast; however, this is not a simple guide to the geology of the region. The topic is founded on the principle of problem based learning and at each field location students are expected to make observations, record them accurately and interpret the past environment. Findings are consolidated and dicussed during evening lab sessions.

On the rocks at Scremerston

On the rocks at Scremerston

This year we were delighted to welcome >40 students, some of who flew in from abroad, to study this topic over two sessions. Given the positive feeback recieved so far I think all enjoyed the topic and gained important geological field skills (for evidence of this also see photos below). I wish them all luck in their future studies and hope that they continue to be interested in Earth Science and progress towards our Natural Science degree qualification.

For further photos see below, follow #SXG288 on twitter, or visit the SXG288 Facebook page.

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