Another weekend, another geoblogosphere meme. This time Dave at Geology News asks about first field trips.
Like several others that have followed the meme, my first field course was a bit too long ago to have photographic evidence (I don’t remember having a camera with me and if I did I don’t have the photos any more – not that I pre-date photography!). My first field course was to the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of the UK. It was a joint geology / geography field course and I remember it more for putting me off ‘human’ geography for life (I absolutely hated going up to complete strangers and asking them pointless questions on village living – the place was called Godshill – how these things are burned into one’s brain even though it’s getting on for thirty years ago). The geology concentrated on the Isle of Wight monocline, an alpine fold producing near vertical Cretaceous and Palaeogene beds.
I still have my first hammer. Being a ‘hard rock’ geologist originally I’ve always considered an Estwing a bit of a ‘toffee hammer’ and preferred my trusty two and a half pound Whitehouse. I just have to remember to soak the shaft in water before I go into the field.
I’ve also still got my somewhat battered first hard hat. The crest on the front is that of the Royal School of Mines where I did my degree. The logo on the brim is that of the Institute of Geological Sciences, the former name of the British Geological Survey. Since my initials are IGS I thought that they wouldn’t mind me taking over their logo as they had changed name to the BGS a couple of years beforehand. The very battered sticker on the side is University College Cardiff Geophysics where I did my Ph.D.