This course takes a closer look at the rocks and the scenery of selected parts of Britain and at some of the people who have helped us to unravel their fascinating story. We’ll be taking a journey through our past and using the rocks, the maps and the scenery to help us to discover more. No previous knowledge is expected or a required, just a sense of adventure.
This course aims to give you the knowledge and confidence to be able to tackle real field observations, anywhere, involving all kinds of rocks, however simple or complex. Above all, it will give you an ordered and logical approach to fieldwork that really works. .
Over the coming weeks we’re going to be exploring the basics of our planet. We begin at the beginning some 4,650 million years ago and go on to examine what the Earth is made of and how it works; the story of life on the planet and much, much more.
Fossils (from the Latin Fossus, literally "having been dug up") are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants and other organisms from the remote past (Wikipedia) Fossils are very useful in identifying the past conditions and in some cases the exact period in which the rock layer formed.
Palaeontology, or the study of fossils, starts with observation. If you see something and can describe it in simple words then it is almost certainly correct. We are all here to learn and learning starts where you are.
Over the coming weeks we’re going to study ‘Rocks from the Pressure Cooker’! We’ll be looking at many different types of metamorphic rocks and learning how they fit into the way our planet works. It won’t take long for the course to be up against some pretty fundamental questions and with it, controversies. This is the stuff of real scientific learning - enjoy it, engage with it!
The course begins with the ingredients, the chemicals that are available to make the minerals that go on to make igneous rocks. Over the following weeks we’ll give you an introduction to all the main aspects of volcanoes and igneous rocks.