UCL Earth Sciences


Women in Earth Science (WiES) fieldtrip

10 June 2024

This spring our department’s Women in Earth Science (WiES) group had a rejuvenating 3-day field trip to Cornwall. Our inaugural field trip aimed to address gender disparities in fieldwork, highlight the role of women in Earth Sciences, and celebrate our achievements as a group.

The afternoon spent at Geevor Tin Mine

The trip included a diverse group of participants, from lecturers to visiting staff to first-year undergraduate students, perfectly representing our department’s collective commitment to making Earth Sciences more equal.

For those who couldn’t join us, here’s a recap of the fun we had!

Day 1 - The WiES community is back!
Our journey began with a lengthy train ride from London Paddington to Truro, which was made up for by the incredible cliff-top views from our accommodation at YHA Perranporth. Many of us immediately dropped our bags and opted for a swim in the ocean or a visit to the local chippy. In the evening, we came together to watch the sunset and play some ice-breakers. There was charades, singing, and lots of laughter! As our monthly social events had slowed down since the examination period, this was a great opportunity to reconnect and catch up with one other.

Day 2 - A walk through geological history (and historical geology)
We started our day with a morning yoga session, followed by a hike at Land’s End, where we saw llamas, birds, and, of course, outstanding geology! Here, one of our trip organisers, Inés, gave a talk about Elizabeth Carne, who was an important figure in Cornish geology. Considered the first British female geologist, Carne published two research papers about Land’s End and financed multiple geological works, mining, and community projects. In the afternoon, we enjoyed delicious lavender cream tea with scones on a Cornish lavender farm.

Day 3 - Mine!
On Day 3, Prof David Dobson led a walk to Cligga Head, where we explored an abandoned quarry and observed specimens of granite, cassiterite, and smoky quartz. We then took a guided tour of Geevor Tin Mine by Greg, who worked deep in the mine before it closed in 1986. His stories highlighted Cornwall’s complex history of mining, and the often overlooked societal impacts of Earth Sciences.

To enjoy our final evening together, we held a Cabaret Night! WiES members showcased their talents, from magic tricks and acapella performances to traditional Chinese acts, and even a professor’s contortionist number! It was a night to remember.

Looking Ahead
We hope this WiES field trip marks the first of many. Coming together to just enjoy geology is one of the most rewarding experiences within the department. It wouldn't have been possible without the help and support of our professors Lidunka Vocadlo (the lovely), Frances Cooper, and Katie McFall. Thank you to all attendees, and for those who missed it, we hope to see you at upcoming WiES events! 

Looking to join us? Head to our website