Welcome to Geological Sciences

Geology is an incredibly diverse and multidisciplinary subject. It’s about understanding Planet Earth so that we can benefit human society and sustain the environment that supports us. We have excellent and challenging courses and research programmes which prepare students for a diverse range of career options, such as in geo-exploration, volcanology, hazard management, engineering geology, environmental planning, water resources, science teaching and geoscience research.

Roy Kerr receives University's highest honour

10 May 2016 UC awards the rare honour of the title Canterbury Distinguished Professor to Emeritus Professor Roy Kerr who is also to receive the prestigious Crafoord Prize in Sweden. (read article)

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Engineering Geology Programme

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Geothermal Research Programme

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Geoscience Education Research Group

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‘I love my degree and the opportunities it has presented and opened up to me...’

Jonathan-Adam Mukhtar Studying towards a Master of Science in Engineering Geology
(read profile)


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Welcome to Dr Alex Nichols - Alex Nichols arrived in Christchurch last week, and will be starting in the Department on the 1st June. He may well appear in the department before then, so keep a look out for him and say hello!  His office will be room 326 on the main staff floor.

Curriculum restructuring overnight: Teaching large first-year classes after a major earthquake - On 22 February 2011, the second day of the first semester, a devastating magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck the city of Christchurch forcing the campus of the University of Canterbury to close for several weeks. Here, we report on the sudden curriculum and assessment overhaul that needed to be implemented using two large, first-year introductory courses as case studies. We discuss the reasoning and justifications behind these changes, as well as the logistics of this process. We draw conclusions based on student feedback and assessments and formulate lessons learnt. (read the full article here)

Shaking magma to trigger volcanic eruptions
Ben Kennedy
and team have received a 3 year Marsden grant to study how earthquakes can trigger volcanic eruptions. The team proposes to shake real magma on a shake table, and see if more, or bigger bubbles form during shaking. By collaborating with UC’s Department of Engineering this shaking at high temperature and with realistic simulated earthquakes will be possible for the first time. Dr Kennedys’ team also plan to visit volcanoes where eruptions have been triggered by earthquakes and look for similar textures in the magma that was erupted. (abstract here)

Handbooks and New Letter