By Kate

Right. I’ve had enough of Kelly talking about how great oceanography is.  I’m sure many people enjoy it a lot.  But many people also enjoy eating oysters and frankly, oysters are gross. So, in an effort to restore Balance to the Universe, here’s a story about why geology is pretty awesome.

The Number One Reason why geology is awesome is the field trips.

Last week I, along with fellow PhD students Nick, Mike and Iona, went along on the 2nd year field mapping trip to Taemas, near Wee Jasper.  It’s a weeklong field trip where you get to use what you learnt in class and apply it to the real world.  I remember first going on this trip back in 2nd year and finally understanding what vergence looks like.*  Some things cannot be taught in the classroom.Now, as a rule I dislike any rock that has not been cooked above greenschist facies, or was a bit melty at some stage.  So the low temperature** folding of limestone and shale around Wee Jasper is definitely out of my comfort zone.  The saving grace of the Taemas limestones is the pretty fossils.  Fossils are cool.

After the first day and the initial “oh god, I don’t know what I’m doing” phase***, I had a great time traipsing around the paddocks of Taemas.  It was exhausting and intense and I have countless splinters from falling over in thistle patches.  But I also got to hang out with some awesome undergrads, under cloudless blue skies in a beautiful part of the world.

* The fact that I promptly forgot again is beside the point.

** Now don’t get all tetchy about me calling it low-temperature – I know folding is a ductile process so you need some heat.  I’m sorry but if you’re not crystallising kyanite, you are in Low Temperature Land.

*** An unavoidable phase of field work.