Sunday, 29 September 2013

Dino 101

Recently I have been doing an online course called Dino 101 with the University of Alberta. It involves a series of videos spanning 12 different topics that are to be completed by the end of this year. After a set of videos have been watched there is a quiz to ensure that all of the information has been understood. There are also a few interactivities, like a fossil viewer and a dinosaur phylogenetic tree. I took a particular interest to the dinosaur tree, as it was quite useful and simple, and I was going to print it out and put it on my wall, however I didn't like the settings.
I'm quite well known for using CorelDraw, and I feel like I'm reasonably good with using it, so I set myself the challenge of drawing my own tree to print out. I just completed it, so here is the finished product!

I have been doing this online course to help me with my MGeol thesis, which looks at how some terrestrial dinosaurs have been found in marine rocks, and how this may be linked to ancient tsunamis. I don't have much knowledge about dinosaurs, so I thought this would be a good way to go about gaining some. I have found it very interesting so far, and I definitely think that it has helped me get some more background information. If you're interested in having a closer look, here is the link.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Real Thing

A dinosaur zoo from Australia is traveling to Scotland with large scale puppets. This, unlike the previous story, is an actually zoo for dinosaur models, and is going to Scotland as it too is home to many interesting fossils, especially in the Isle of Skye. Here you can find the earliest marine turtles, along with 164 million year old reptiles and dinosaur footprints, linking it to Australia. For more on this story, go to the BBC:

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Roaring Success or Roaring Mad?

A zoo in Pakistan seems to be suffering from a lack of animal inhabitants, and has decided to replace them with fiberglass dinosaur models. Now I'm a keen dinosaur enthusiast, as I'm sure you'll find out if you continue to read my blog, but I'm not really sure about this. Zoos are supposed to have animals in, and museums or dinosaur parks are supposed to have fossils or replica dinosaurs in. I guess it's an ingenious idea, but I think if they want to still call themselves a zoo, they should start looking for some replacement living animals. If you're interested in reading more, I have added the link below, enjoy!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

In the Beginning

So today we found out that with our Communicating Earth Sciences module, lead by Professor Iain Stewart, we have to do an online blog. I have never done a blog before, so we'll see how this goes! This blog is going to be about anything Geology related that I see, find or do, so as a fourth year Geologist, hopefully there will be a lot to write about.
The Communicating Earth Sciences module will hopefully show us how to help others to understand what Earth Sciences is really about. I think it's quite good that instead of just learning about Geology, we can now find out how to teach others about it too.
Along with finding out about our blog today, we also were plunged into the University campus with a clipboard, pen, paper and high-viz jacket, and told to ask people what they thought of when they heard the word Geology. This was absolutely terrifying for me! I'm quite shy and I find it hard to go up to people and try and get something out of them. I thought everyone was going to look at me like I was mad, or like I was trying to sell them something!
I soon got in the swing of things, and found it easier and easier to go up to people. Actually getting an answer from them was still quite tricky, as most people didn't have a clue! Of the 42 words that were given to me, 13 of them were the word rock. There were a few fossils, minerals, mountains etc, and a few less expected ones, including boredom (I don't see how anyone can say that about Geology!) and Dante's Peak! Only one person said Professor Iain Stewart, and that happened to be Professor Iain Stewart! I'm not sure that was quite what he was wanting!
The results were quite interesting, as it shows just how little people actually know about Geology, and could, for the most part, only say the word rock. Hopefully soon we'll know how to teach people about Geology so that they can have a greater knowledge of the subject.