Tuesday, November 09, 2004

How to make geology interesting

As part of my day job I'm making a TV programme on geology aimed at senior high school and 1st year Uni students. Its aim is to encourage students to take geology and also to impart some fundamentals of the subject.

It uses the geology of the Auckland isthmus as a starting point.

I would be interested to know if anyone reading this blog has any suggestions on what might be included, what sort of questions they might want answered.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er - why, beyond creating jobs for geology teachers, would we want to encourage students to study geology?

Since that is the first thing that lept into my head - if you can make a good case for why society needs more geologists maybe that is a good place to start.

earth quake prevention? support for engineers?... even crime investigations? (remember the thing about the rocks in the background of the Osama video).

9 November 2004 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Sock Thief said...

We need geologists to help mine for gold in the Coromandel. Just joking.

Good point. Part of the augment is that studying any science benefits the community but that's still a bit vague.

What we'll do is look at the two major rock groups in the Auckland area.

The volcanics - the field is still active so how can geology be used plan for and predict the next one. (If it happened out in the Gulf it would not have much of an effect on the City - a "boutique" volcano.)

And the major sedimentary rock group - the Waitemata mud and sandstones. Probably look at how an understanding of these rocks helps with engineering problems and perhaps dealing with polution.

9 November 2004 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger stephen said...

I grew up in Hamilton, and I remember being awed when I learned that the thick ash layers in roadside cuttings had come from the central plateau. I started figuring out how far north you'd have to be to avoid being covered in ash from an exploding ignimbrite volcano in Taupo - Auckland?

How long will it be before the isthmus erodes and there's a strait in between? (or alternatively, will we build up more land in the harbours/estuaries?)

Why are the soils so great in Pukekohe and so crap in Henderson? Where's the nearest good wine terrain?

Why have the West Coast beaches got black sand? What is black sand? How do I get this shit off my magnet? ;-)

How do we know the next volcano will be out in the gulf? Could we be wrong?

Are there any good fossils hereabouts, and if so, what do they tell us?

And (heh!) how did all this happen in the last 6000 years? ;-)

9 November 2004 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Uroskin said...

Check the Koran for their take on geology. It's as amusing as the Bible, but then I never saw much difference between all those desert religions regards their anti-science stance.

13 November 2004 at 4:26 PM  

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