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Summer 2018

Dear friends,

This will be my last e-newsletter. After 6 happy years, I will be leaving the department in mid September to join the University's Development Office, raising funds for departments. It has been an honour to be part of the Earth Sciences family, and a privilege to meet so many of our alumni, connecting friends and shaping different opportunities across the years.

If you know anyone who might be interested in my role, the advert is now live.

The role would be perfect for one of our alumni, or anyone interested in science communication, inspiring the next generation of earth scientists, and shaping that sense of shared history and common purpose.

My last week in the department includes a symposium to celebrate the career of Barry Parsons, an undergraduate Open Day, and a talk at the Alumni Weekend by Richard Walker and Karen Fontijn. Further details on those below.

There may be a slight pause in alumni activity until my successor is in place. If you have any queries, or wish to visit the department in the meantime, please contact our Receptionist:

With very best wishes,


Barry Parsons RAS/COMET Symposium & Public Lecture - 13th & 14th September

Professor Barry Parsons is giving a public lecture at 4pm on Thursday 13th September in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History on the topic of 'Earthquakes from Space', to which alumni, teachers and friends are welcome. The lecture is free, and suitable for an audience of 16+, with tickets available on Eventbrite.

On Friday 14th, the department is hosting a symposium to celebrate Barry's contributions to science, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Organised by COMET Director Tim Wright, and supported by the Royal Astronomical Society, this can be booked via the University Online Store. Tickets cost £55 and include talks and refreshments during the day, drinks reception in the evening, and a dinner at Exeter College. There is an optional dinner in St Cross on Thursday night for alumni and colleagues attending the Thursday lecture. This can also be purchased via the University Online Store.


 2018 Alumni Weekend: Saturday 15th September

St Edmund Hall Tutor, Professor Richard Walker, and Dr Karen Fontijn are speaking at this year's Alumni Weekend, with the East African Rift as their theme. What are the dangers and opportunities that a rift presents? A must-hear for those of you interested in volcanoes, geothermal energy and infrastructure policy and planning.

Online booking is now open. Click here to book.


 Oxford Sparks Animation: Marvellous Mud

Hertford college postgraduate Brooke Johnson features in the latest animation by Oxford Sparks, after winning a competition to present his work. The panel were impressed by Brooke’s fascinating and well-explained research story and his overwhelmingly clear enthusiasm to share his work. 

Click here to find out more.


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10th October: Oxford Sparks Facebook Live

Noble Gas lab researcher and USGS Fellow Pete Barry will be presenting aspects of his interdisciplinary science fieldtrip to Costa Rica at an event for local schools in Witney on 10th October. You can join in too (in person or online). Follow Oxford Sparks on Facebook and spread the word to your local schools! 

> Register & find out more


Oxplore: the home of big questions

Oxplore is the University's digital outreach portal. As the ‘Home of Big Questions’ it aims to engage those from 11 to 18 years with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the classroom.

> Find out more


Case Studies

Alumni and students have provided some fascinating case studies, illustrating their career successes, or their personal experiences to debunk the myth of the 'typical' Oxford student. If you would like to add to our bank of case studies, please email! 

> Email us 


Climate Change?

With climate change the 'hot topic' of this long hot summer, a short video produced by the Royal Society for Tomorrow's World gives an insight into Gideon Henderson's research on climate change. He gives a slightly blunter message in a similar video here. Join us in spreading the word!

> Email us 



New Scientist Live!

Volcanologist Tamsin Mather takes to the Earth stage at this year's New Scientist Live! in London on 20th September. 

> Click here to register



History of Geology

DPhil Alumna Nina Morgan (Wolfson 1976) is organising a joint History of Geology Group/Geological Curators Group meeting on 18/19 September. This will include a day of talks and posters followed by a day of optional field trips, including a talk and a field trip led by Tony Watts and Owen Green.

> Click here to register



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