Geoheritage Festival Zoom Talk by Simon Harley

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Geoheritage Festival Zoom Talk by Simon Harley

December 8, 2022 @ 19:3021:00


Leading the Pack: Four Decades of Geological Field Courses in Sutherland and Ross-shire

In his nearly 40 years of running field courses around Ullapool and Assynt Simon Harley has witnessed new discoveries, major reinterpretations of key geological units, the introduction of new technologies into field work, and important local societal developments – including the Geopark. Whilst all of these influence how geological field courses are structured and delivered, the motivation for and essence of such courses remain the same: to educate our future geoscientists in the knowledge and skills necessary to document and understand surface and subsurface geology, develop those skills, and apply them to solve problems whilst in the field. This talk will illustrate how Simon’s field courses have changed over the past 40 years, both in terms of where we go and what questions we address, and take the audience through how we currently run our Edinburgh “NW Scotland” field course to instil sound geoscience principles and practice in the students. Some of the key discoveries of the past 4 decades will be highlighted from the perspective of whether and how they have affected the field training we deliver.

Professor Simon Harley is an Australian-born geologist who has lived and worked in the UK for the past 39 years. As a metamorphic geologist, geochemist and geochronologist, he has been involved in the study of high-grade metamorphism for more than 45 years. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he was awarded the Imperial Polar Medal in 2002 for his contributions to Antarctic research. Simon was awarded the Schlumberger Medal of the Mineralogical Society in 2015 for his research on granulite and ultrahigh-temperature metamorphism and its importance in crustal evolution, which includes work on the Lewisian of NW Scotland. He has extensive field and expedition experience in the geology and nature of many regions, from Antarctica, GreenlandNorway and Scotland to India and Australia. Simon has led some 42 field courses in NW Scotland, sharing his knowledge and understanding of geology and geological mapping, and his fascination with the geological evolution of the Assynt region, with generations of students from Oxford and Edinburgh as well as other professionals from across the world.

Register for Simon Harley’s talk on 8th Dec


December 8, 2022
19:30 – 21:00
Event Category:


NW Highlands Geopark