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.

Canterbury research into clean-up plans wins

14 July 2014 A UC geological sciences postgraduate has won a competition about communicating his thesis investigating the clean-up work required after an Auckland volcanic eruption. (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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‘Geology is evolving and new things are being discovered all the time, so there are unique opportunities in the field...’

Kate Tinnelly studying towards a PGDip in Engineering Geology
Graduate Geotechnical Engineer, BHP Billiton, Australia
(read profile)


M.Sc. talks 2014/2
The departmental Master talks of Round 2 are held on two different days. Please refer to the schedule for individual participants. Schedule for the talks.
Second part: Thursday 16 October 2014, 2pm - 5:25pm, Room 312, Tea Room

Louise Vick, PhD Candidate Department of Geological Sciences UC, "Boulder rolling for science: creating a rockfall prediction tool from real data", Friday 17 October 2014, 12-1pm, Room210, vonHaast Building

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Templin Scroll Success
Geological Sciences postgraduate students Tim Van Woerden (HAZM) won the ‘best report’ prize and Alex McCall (ENGE) was another finalist in the IPENZ Templin Scroll competition on 7 October 2014. The competition is for best presentation of a technical engineering or applied science report and is sponsored by the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ).  Their technical reports have been selected of 20 entries from across the Science and Engineering Colleges and judged to be in the top four. 

Tim and Alex presented to a packed lecture theatre and a judging panel of professional engineers. 

Tim entered his HAZM 401 assignment which assess natural hazard risk in Franz Josef and presented a cost-benefit assessment of different mitigation options.  Alex entered his HAZM 410 assignment on Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment and the influence on New Zealand building codes. 

Congratulations to Tim and Alex! 

Mark Qugley has been awarded the GSA Public Service Award for his response in the wake of the 4 September 2010 Magnitude 7.1 Darfield Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and for providing understanding, context and vision for the local community and national and international audiences. This award will be presented at the Awards Dinner at the GSA conference in Vancouver in October.

GSNZ conference. Congratulations to our students on a job well done at the recent GSNZ conference. Emma Rhodes was awarded first place for her poster on volcanic hazards. Nick Riordan and James Cowlyn were both awarded 2nd place for their talks. Sarah Bastin received the Wellman prize and Grace O’Sullivan received the Hastie award. Sarah Bastin also received student of the year at the recent Geotechnical Society conference in Queenstown.

"Lava chasers" featuring University of Canterbury volcanologist Dr Ben Kennedy.  Ben was on Hawaii testing a new theory about how bubbles collapse in lava, and the weather channel filmed the process. See more