First days at a new school can be intimidating, and my first day coming to Cambridge’s Earth Sciences Department to begin my MPhil degree in Michaelmas term 2019 was especially so.
I had just moved overseas from America to a country I had never even visited before, and I didn’t know a single person. When I stepped inside, there was something that put me at ease: the proliferation of pride flag stickers all around the department. Immediately, I felt that this was a place where I would be accepted, and as I settled in and met more people over the next few weeks and months, I was quickly proven right.
Continue reading “Supporting our Department’s Queer community”
I recently accompanied an intrepid group of Cambridge alumni on board the Ocean Endeavour as we sailed a section of the fabled Northwest Passage from West Greenland to the western Canadian Arctic.
Continue reading “Into the Northwest Passage: four billion years of Earth history”
This August, the Earth Sciences Department hosted a week-long summer school for college-level students, as part of the Sutton Trust programme.
The Sutton Trust is an educational charity which aims to improve social mobility and address educational disadvantage. The summer school is a widening participation programme open to state-school students and high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Continue reading “Reflecting on the Department’s first Sutton Trust Summer School”
A PhD student from our Department has recently answered a call to join an international mission to improve the understanding of earthquake impacts, response and recovery. Aisling O’Kane was selected as part of a team of volunteer engineers and academics investigating a destructive magnitude 7.0 earthquake and tsunami in the Aegean Sea. She was one of only two geologists selected for the mission and worked alongside structural engineers and response management experts.
Continue reading “Learning from earthquakes, protecting communities”
For the first time in 47 years, I’m not doing any teaching in this academic year. But, having been Director of Teaching for over half that time, I’m still programmed to worry about how teaching is going in the Department, especially in this strange year of all years. So I asked a selection of students and teaching staff for their perspective. The replies I had were almost entirely positive…
Continue reading “Socially-distanced Earth Sciences teaching. Dr Nigel Woodcock finds out how the term went…”
A UK-led team of astronomers recently discovered a rare molecule – phosphine – in the clouds of Venus that could have been created by microbes.
We caught up with one of the co-authors of the study – Dr Paul Rimmer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences Cambridge with affiliations at Cavendish Astrophysics and the MRC Labratory of Molecular Biology, to hear more about this extraordinary finding – and what it means for life beyond Earth.
Continue reading “Could there be life on Venus? Dr Paul Rimmer explains”