Nearly 300 people to attend UC conference

08 November 2013

Nearly 300 people from all over the country will attend the GeoScience Society of New Zealand conference at the University of Canterbury later this month.

Nearly 300 people from all over the country will attend the GeoScience Society of New Zealand conference at the University of Canterbury later this month.

The  24 to 27 November event will look at tectonics, engineering geology, palaeontology, sedimentology, volcanology, engineering geology and geochemistry, with an increasing focus on the relevance of scientific research to society reflected in geo-education and scientific communication sessions. 

One of the organisers, UC geological hazards senior lecturer Dr Tom Wilson, says this is partly driven by the diverse expertise and experience in the UC Department of Geological Sciences and the large application of these sub-disciplines during the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

"The conference is an opportunity to present and discuss research on a wide range of geological topics. But there will be a focus on the recent earthquakes. Enough time has passed that a huge volume of research has been completed.

"Just like everyone else, geologists are reflecting on what has happened, lessons learnt, in some cases re-examining our thinking on earthquake and other hazards, and considering how this might increase resilience for other parts of New Zealand.

"We will have a special symposium for the late Dr John Beaven (GNS Science) who had a huge influence on seismology and earthquakes. We will also have a special field trip and symposium in tribute to UC researcher Professor Jim Cole, who has had had an illustrious career in volcanology, spanning more than 45 years.

"Jim is an internationally renowned researcher and has shaped and embodied the multi-disciplinary nature of modern volcanology by working across physical volcanology, petrology, geochemistry, natural hazards, economic geology and geothermal geology.

"He has influenced the lives of many students, practitioners and scholars as a teacher, supervisor, and researcher. His research career includes work which discovered new volcanic centres and has significantly increased understanding of what triggers super-eruptions from highly active volcanic centres in the Taupo area, which is one of the most active volcanic zones in the world.

"His research has significantly contributed to volcanic hazard understanding in New Zealand and provides essential information to assist in managing potential volcanic eruptions. Realising the potentially devastating impact of volcanic eruptions on society, his research has centred on the impact of volcanic hazards to society, such as lifelines, agriculture and vulnerable communities. 

"Professor Cole’s energetic willingness has blended fresh and unfamiliar ideas with tried-and-true emergency management knowledge with an action-oriented approach. The value of having this type of positive and supportive leadership is immeasurable," Dr Wilson says.


For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168

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