This weeks post is from third year Msci geology exchange student Jesse Zondervan who has been visiting RSES for the last year. This was originally posted on the 10th April on Jesse’s personal blog site.

By Jesse Zondervan

The two week mid-semester break started off with a field trip to Wee Jasper, in the bush of New South Wales. After five days of walking around in a field shirt and hat without phone signal I arrived back in civilization on Wednesday evening. Back in Canberra I spent the rest of my time writing for my assignments and the student newspaper. I also worked on the microscope with Janelle and played some boardgames with the B&G boardgames society.

Wee Jasper – folded limestones

yes, the layers of limestone, deposited in warm coral seas 400 million years ago, have been folded by multiple continental collisions that happened between then and now. If you put a tea towel on a table, put your hands on both sides and move them towards each other you get the same effect: wrinkles in the towel. We mapped these wrinkles (a few tens of meters wide).
wrinkles (folds) on large scale (Sharksmouth)
and small scale (mm to cm, in algal bands)
Saturday morning we hit the road with three four-wheel drives and a van towards Wee Jasper, a hamlet an hour north-west (inland) of Canberra. Although we had to drive a section of gravel road, most of the roads around Wee Jasper have obtained bitumen over the last few years. That’s for the best, as Prof. Stephen Cox’s teaching car wouldn’t have made it (the department will have to make some serious reconsiderations to their choice of teaching vehicles). It was in my interest too, as Stephen took me back to Canberra on Wednesday, while the rest stayed until Sunday. I’m not enrolled in the course belonging to this excursion, as I was invited to voluntarily join on this trip.


wrinkles (folds) on large scale (Sharksmouth)
wrinkles (folds) on large scale (Sharksmouth)
Eleni in the flower mirror
Our common room, dining room and living room
the kitchen, with old blue ovens and a bbq (of course)


It was amazing to see the geology of this area and to map again for a few days. I was quite surprised that, because there are no high resolution topographic maps of a lot of Australia, we had to work on aerial photographs with a transparent plastic cover to work on. From the plastic cover we traced our maps onto blank paper. There was a good vibe, which culminated in me learning some new Ozzie slang, such as ‘far out! and ‘banger’.
Kathryn, the course convener, also took a few demonstrators with her. It was no coincidence that they were all related to Imperial, as we do a lot of fieldwork in our undergrad and are well known for it.
Go RSMI (my Imperial notebook, upper reaches of Lake Burrinjuck)
That I successfully sneaked in this photo of an ANU marketing photographer.

At the end of Wednesday a photographer and interviewer from ANU came to visit us in the field, to collect some material for the new brochures.

Next week there will be horse riding, lab with Janelle, work on my video about pollen and perhaps a visit to Jayne in Wollongong (we’ve been invited to visit her at home this week).