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.