Message from the Head of the Department
20 December 2017
It has been an exciting year in the Department of Earth Sciences. Renovation of the Kathleen Lonsdale Building is nearing completion.
It has been an exciting year in the Department of Earth Sciences. Renovation of the Kathleen Lonsdale Building is nearing completion. This 28 million pound project will see tremendous benefits for our department including co-location for the first time in living memory, new research laboratories, dedicated teaching labs, re-housing of all of our teaching, research, and museum collections, and new MSc/MSci workrooms and PhD offices.
Students will benefit from integration into the department with new social hub spaces and teaching areas in close proximity to academic staff offices, and much improved teaching facilities. We should be fully moved in by the end of January, 2018 with just the central foyer and stair case to be wrapped up by mid-March 2018. Mark your calendars for the KLB grand opening event on April 17 highlighted by a very special guest of honour.
Among the many research advances that have particularly attracted media attention are the discovery of the oldest fossils on Earth by Dr. Dominic Papineau and PhD student Matthew Dodd, in rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq belt Quebec; and the recognition by Prof. Julienne Stroeve that Arctic Sea Ice shrinks at a rate that is linearly proportional to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere; a result that powerfully brings home the consequences of global warming.
Notable teaching advances include the increasing use of advanced technology in the field (drones and tough tablets) pioneered by Dr. Tom Mitchell. In an effort led by Prof. John Brodholt, the department reached an important milestone recently in being awarded Athena Swan Bronze in recognition of our efforts to advance gender equality. As this is my last year as Head of Department I wish to add my thanks to all the Earth Sciences students, staff, and alumni who have made my time at the helm so rewarding and enjoyable. I leave you in very capable hands with Professor Paul Upchurch who is set to take over in Autumn, 2018.