News and Events

Scholarship on offer

March 1 2018

There is a PhD Scholarship on offer in underwater acoustics in the School of Geosciences

The project is on the sounds of the ocean and how they go together to provide the background or ambient noise that limits sonar and the soundscapes that provide the acoustic environment for marine animals. It would be mainly experimental work with some modelling: measurements, analysis and interpretation, testing models against measurements etc with opportunities for some work at sea. It would suit a student with a background in physics and mathematics.

The scholarship is funded by the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) and is for 3 ½ years. The candidate must be an Australian citizen.

There are more details at: Research Supervisor Connect and Research Scholarships

The closing date is 8 April 2018 11:59PM.

ocean

How will the Earth react to the human-induced rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide?

February 16 2018

Prof Dietmar Müller and Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz are closer to finding an answer to that question by identifying the connection between atmospheric carbon dioxide cycles and the ability for the sea crust to store it. Read more

India Field School

February 15 2018

What did you do on Valentine's Day?

Some of our third year Geography students currently in India spent Valentine's Day in a small village in Rajasthan learning about local development.

This field school is being run by Prof Bill Pritchard, Dr Mark Vicol and Elen Welch, in cooperation also with Dr Elizabeth Hill from the Department of Political Economy in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences.

Also, check out some very interesting student experience blogs from the Indian Field School. Read more

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Cities and Citizenship

February 12 2018

Associate Professor Kurt Iveson and Dr Amanda Tattersall are hosting a Sydney Ideas event on the evening of 22 February 2018 between 6.00pm - 7.30pm on the topic of Cities and Citizenship with an extraordinary international panel of researchers.

This event is free and open to all with online registrations essential.

See here for details

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Listen to Dr Brad Garrett

February 9 2018

Recently Dr Brad Garrett was a guest on the ABC Radio Show Conversations with Richard Fidler, talking about his postdoctoral research on ‘Preppers’ – people preparing for catastrophe by building bunkers and other forms of secured shelters.

Listen here

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Geography students studying environment and development issues in India

February 7 2018

A group of third year students majoring in Geography are now in India participating in the 2018 India Field School. This year’s field school is being run jointly between the School of Geosciences and the Department of Political Economy.

Seventeen students are in the first week of a three week field school which takes them to Mumbai, Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park, Hyderabad and Gulbarga. They will be investigating issues including gender and development, the management of national parks, environmental sustainability in rural villages, and agricultural change.

This is the second field school to India run by the School of Geosciences and the Department of Political Economy. The first was in 2015, and there are plans to continue this initiative in future years.

India

Congratulations to David Branagan

David

January 26 2018

Congratulations to David Branagan who was awarded the Order of Australia as a Member in the General Division in the 2018 Australia Day Honours list for his significant service to the geological sciences as an academic, researcher and author, to professional groups and to the community. Well done, David, and long overdue!

David originally hails from Broken Hill. He came to Sydney University in 1947 and graduated Bachelor of Science with honours in 1950. In March 1958, he joined the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Sydney University and obtained a Master of Science degree in 1958 and a PhD in 1963 for a study of coal formation and utilisation in New South Wales. He specialised in teaching civil and mining engineering geology, photogeology, field mapping and geology of the Sydney Basin. He retired in July 1989.

He is a founding member of the Geological Society of Australia and the foundation editor of its journal The Australian Geologist. He has held numerous offices in the Society and was appointed a Life Member in 1992. He became a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, and the Geological Society of America, and has served on the International Commission for the History of Geology and was President from 1996 to 2000, and has been President of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He has been among the most productive scholars in geology and geophysics at Sydney University, with more than 250 publications, including 20 books. He is an Honorary Associate at the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney.

The Geographical Society of NSW (GSNSW) Awards Night Dinner 2017

January 8 2018

The Geographical Society of NSW (GSNSW) held their annual Awards Night Dinner on Monday 4 December at Club Burwood RSL.

Awards were presented for service and leadership in geography and for academic achievement by students at all universities in NSW where geography is taught. The President of the GSNSW (Professor Phil McManus, the University of Sydney) acknowledged the contribution of geography academics and high school teachers across the state in improving geographical education.

The event was attended by many academic staff, Honorary Associates, HDR students and the undergraduate prize winners from the University of Sydney. Whereas awards were previously focused on achievement in second year, this was extended to recognise undergraduate achievement across all years. One of our Honorary Associates, Professor Bruce Thom, was presented with Life Membership of the GSNSW at this event.

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MacDonald Holmes recipients including our Honorary Associates Deirdre Dragovich and Bruce Thom

Check out what EarthByte Research Group is all about and where it is going

December 21 2017

Check out the video on the EarthByte Research Group.

What researchers are getting up to over the break

December 19 2017

From collecting sediment samples in Cambodia to 'doomsday preppers' in the United States, read about what some of our researchers are getting up to over the summer break.


Cambodia

Just another day in the office will see PhD student Tegan Hall travelling to Cambodia to collect sediment samples from the Tonie Sap lake in the village of Damdek, near Siem Reap. A UNESCO biosphere reserve, Tonie Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and is central to Cambodia’s food provision and economy. Tegan's research will be used to analyse the evolution of the lake’s shoreline and to understand how the lake’s ecology is important for fish and other aquatic productivity.

Tegan Hall


South Dakota

During the end-of-year break, Dr. Bradley Garrett is heading to the United States to do fieldwork on ‘preppers’ – groups preparing for calamity and even apocalypse by stockpiling food, building bunkers and banding together. Dr Garrett will be primarily based near the Black Hills of South Dakota where an 18-square-mile community called xPoint is forming inside the remains of 575 hardened concrete military bunkers. He’ll be flying into Las Angeles airport before making the three-day drive to South Dakota. En route, he’ll be stopping at Utah where he’ll be meeting a company called Plan B, who are building 4-wheel drive vehicles for the apocalypse. The research Dr Garrett is doing on this trip will be documented in a book being released in 2019 called Bunker: the Architecture of Dread.

Bradley Garrett

Image credit: Tristan Deratz

International Baccalaureate students looking at Earth, Environment and Society

December 18 2017

While the HSC students have received their results, those students completing the International Baccalaureate (IB) have to wait until early January to receive their final results. These students may be interested in looking at a first year, first semester unit of study called GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society which is attracting much interest from HSC students enrolling at the University of Sydney. GEOS1001 addresses the big questions relating to the origins and current state of the planet. The Head of School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney, Professor Phil McManus said, “GEOS1001 is a wonderful unit of study, and a pathway to many majors, including environmental studies, geography, marine science, geology, geophysics. There is a history of IB students doing very well in this unit of study.”

In 2018 GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society will be coordinated by Professor Bill Pritchard, with Dr. Sabin Zahirovic continuing his enthusiastic teaching. They will be joined by Dr. Bree Morgan, an environmental geochemist. GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society introduces students to the evolution of Earth as an evolving and dynamic planet. It enables students to learn about fragile air, water and soil systems with a global perspective, and to understand current processes and threats within the context of the earth’s history. Students learn about human-induced challenges to the Earth’s future. Students consider debates on population change, resource use, environmental rights and justice. GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society is the beginning of an intellectually stimulating and rewarding educational pathway for many IB students. The unit is interdisciplinary, and most IB students love this approach to learning.

“We are looking forward to seeing a number of successful IB students in GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society in 2018,” said Professor McManus. “It is a highly relevant unit of study, and one that the School of Geosciences is pleased with in terms of student interest and enrolments in 2018.”

Earth, Environment and Society of great interest to students

geos1001

Left to right: Professor Bill Pritchard, Dr Bree Morgan, Dr Sabin Zahirovic, Professor Phil McManus.

December 18 2017

The first year, first semester unit GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society is attracting lots of interest from students enrolling at the University of Sydney. “I am very happy with the strong initial enrolment numbers,” said the Head of Geosciences, Professor Phil McManus. “It is a wonderful unit of study, and a pathway to many majors, including environmental studies, geography, marine science, geology, geophysics. I am not surprised that students are selecting this unit of study”

In 2018 GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society will be coordinated by Professor Bill Pritchard, with Dr. Sabin Zahirovic continuing his enthusiastic teaching. They will be joined by Dr. Bree Morgan, an environmental geochemist who joined the School of Geosciences in 2017. “This exciting combination of leading academics will no doubt get students thinking about the big questions relating to the origins and current state of the planet,” said Professor McManus. “GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society introduces students to knowledge, theories and debates about how the world’s physical and human systems operate. It is a very relevant unit of study.”

GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society introduces students to the evolution of Earth as an evolving and dynamic planet. It enables students to learn about fragile air, water and soil systems with a global perspective, and to understand current processes and threats within the context of the earth’s history. Students learn about human-induced challenges to the Earth’s future. Students consider debates on population change, resource use, environmental rights and justice. “Many students want to change the world,” said Professor McManus. “Changes are definitely needed. We encourage our students to learn about the world, about why it is as it is today, and to explore possibilities for the future.”

GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society is the beginning of an intellectually stimulating and rewarding educational pathway. It is the foundation for a degree from the University of Sydney and a career that is important for students and for the future of the planet.

5 cool topics you can study with a geography major

December 5 2017

While geography facts make for excellent trivia, what applications can the subject have in society or in a career sense?

Read more

Honours Students from the School of Geosciences Excel in 2017

November 28 2017

Congratulations to Honours students from the School of Geosciences on an outstanding year. In 2017, there are special congratulations to the three students from the School of Geosciences who were awarded a University Medal. The University Medal recognises outstanding performance throughout the undergraduate study, including but not limited to the Honours (4th) year research focused study.

Rebecca McGirr


Congratulations to Rebecca McGirr, whose thesis was titled “"Kinematic and geodynamic evolution of the Panama Isthmus region: implications for Central American Seaway closure" and was supervised primarily by Dr. Maria Seton. Rebecca completed a double major in Geology And Geophysics and in Soil Science. During her undergraduate coursework Rebecca received numerous undergraduate awards, and appeared on the Dean's List of Excellence in Academic Performance in both 2015 and 2016. She was awarded the University of Sydney Academic Merit Prize 2015. She received the Denison Geosciences School Summer Scholarship in 2016 and in 2017. She also received The University of Sydney Honours Scholarship 2017. Rebecca was also awarded the Edgeworth David Prize in Palaeontology 2015, the Deas-Thomson Scholarship in Mineralogy 2016 and the Sheila Mitchell Swain Memorial Prize 2016. And now, in 2017, she has been awarded a University Medal to recognise four years of outstanding academic achievements.

Jodie Pall


Congratulations to Jodie Pall, whose thesis was about Modelling reef response to environmental change with pyReef-Core. Jodie’s undergraduate studies included units of study in economics, commerce, mathematics, geography, geology and marine studies. She won major awards such as the Leo A Cotton Prize in Exploration Geophysics 2015 and the Ken Richards Memorial Scholarship in Geology or Geophysics 2016. Her outstanding honours thesis “Modelling Coral Reef Response to Environmental Change with BayesReef: A Combined Bayesian Inference and Numerical Modelling Approach", was supervised by Associate Professor Jody Webster and Dr. Tristan Salles and applied modelling techniques to Heron Island and One Tree Reefs. Her thesis has elevated the field of coral reef development modelling from an empirical science to a quantitative numerical modelling level, adding the ability to quantify uncertainties. In 2017 she was awarded a University Medal to recognise her amazing academic achievements.

Samantha Ross


Congratulations to Samantha Ross, whose thesis was titled “Modelling the formation of transient river knickpoints on growing anticlines and domes” and was supervised by Dr. Tristan Salles and Dr. Gilles Brocard. Samantha completed her undergraduate degree majoring in Geology And Geophysics and in Marine Science. She was awarded the Jack Mahoney Memorial Prize in Geology 2014, the Olga Marian Browne Prize for Fieldwork Report in Geology 2015, the Slade Prize for Intermediate Geology Practical 2015 and a Denison Geosciences School Summer Scholarship 2015. Her remarkable academic achievements continued into 2016 when she received the Deas-Thomson Scholarship in Mineralogy 2016, the Leo A Cotton Prize in Exploration Geophysics 2016 and the Quodling Testimonial Prize 2016. She also was named on the Dean's List of Excellence in Academic Performance 2016 and received The University of Sydney Honours Scholarship 2017. In recognition of four years of excellent academic performance, Samantha has been awarded a University Medal.


These outstanding results follow on from excellent presentations by our Honours students at geography and geology/geophysics (earth sciences) conferences in late 2017. Notable amongst these performances was Brittany Betteridge, a Geography Honours candidate supervised by Dr. Sophie Webber whose thesis was titled “Everyday resilience: Responding to livelihood threats in North Jakarta’s Kampung”. Geography Honours students from the University of Sydney participated in the 21st GSNSW Geography Honours/Masters Conference at the University of Newcastle on 9th November, along with students from Macquarie, Western Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle university. Leah Emmanuel, Rupert Legg and Brittany Betteridge represented the School of Geosciences and delivered very high quality presentations, with Brittany being awarded the prestigious Jim Rose Award for the best overall paper at the conference.

Whilst the Honours results from the Faculty of Science have been officially released, unfortunately those students from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences who are enrolled in Geography Honours will have to wait one more week for their results to be confirmed. We wish them well.

The School currently runs Honours programs in Geography, in Geology and in Geophysics, with a new program in Environmental Studies to be launched in the future as part of the 2018 curriculum changes at the University of Sydney. For students interested in studying Honours in Geography, Geology or Geophysics in 2018, please see here and/or contact our Education Support Officer, prior to the November 30 deadline.

Geography Honours Masters Conference

November 9 2017

Geography Honours students from the University of Sydney participated in the 21st GSNSW Geography Honours/Masters Conference at the University of Newcastle on Thursday 9th November, along with students from Macquarie, Western Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle university.

Leah Emmanuel, Rupert Legg and Brittany Betteridge represented the School of Geosciences and delivered very high quality presentations that showed the quality of research training offered in our school.

Brittany Betteridge received the Jim Rose Award for the best overall paper at the conference. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement.

For students interested in undertaking Honours in the School of Geosciences, see Read more below.

Read more

What are the job opportunities for graduates?

September 1 2017

Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists study the composition, structure and other physical attributes of the earth, locate and advise on the extraction of minerals, petroleum and ground water, and detect, monitor and forecast seismic, magnetic, electrical, thermal and oceanographic activity.
Read more

GSNSW 90th Anniversary and Celebration of Geography event

August 26 2017

Photos from the GSNSW 90th Anniversary and Celebration of Geography event held in MacLaurin Hall at the University of Sydney on Saturday 12th August, 2017. The University of Sydney was represented through academic staff, honorary associates, former staff, former students now working at other universities, and through some of the prize winners of the photography competition.
Read more

Study and Careers in Environmental Studies

August 25 2017

Presented by Dr Jeff Neilson Check out the video link.

What we do in the School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney

August 25 2017

Check out the video presented by Prof Dietmar Müller.

Head of Geosciences looks forward to 2018

August 25 2017

The Head of the School of Geosciences, Professor Phil McManus, is excited about the educational improvements to commence in 2018. “The new curriculum is a big opportunity for academic disciplines such as geography, geology, geophysics, environmental studies, marine science and our teaching in sustainability,” said Professor McManus. “We welcome more students to learn about these important subjects in new and creative ways”. Read more

Revealed: Sydney's smashed avocado index

August 13 2017

Sydney's eastern suburbs hold a unique place in the city's smashed avocado economy.

In the upmarket inner-east neighbourhood of Edgecliff 100 per cent of cafes have avocado toast on the menu. That suburb also has the city's highest average price for the hipster favourite at $18 a pop, new research has found. Bondi Junction isn't far behind – 80 per cent of cafe menus there feature smashed avocado at an average price of $16 (equal second highest in the city). Students who did the research were studying in GEOS2123 The Geography of Cities and Regions, and this was their major project.
Read more.

2018 International Field Programs in Geography Announced

August 1 2017

In 2018, the Geography program of the School of Geosciences will include four different Asia-based field programs that are available to students. Field programs include opportunities to travel to Indonesia, India or Thailand. All programs earn students credit points, and in some cases can count towards a Geography major. Participation in these programs requires Special Permission, and all relevant details can be found here.

Crinkling News features Baltic Sea origins of EarthByte

June 8 2017

Crinkling News, Australia's only newspaper for kids, features four recently elected Australian Academy of Science Fellows, including EarthByter Dietmar Muller and Branca Vucetic from the School of Electrical and Information Engineering, also at the University of Sydney. The story depicts Dietmar's early fossil hunting days on Baltic Sea beaches, where a wild collection of rocks and sediments, scraped off Scandinavia, had been deposited by melting glaciers after the end of the last ice age.

Crinkling News is posted out weekly to 800 Australian schools and has 30,000 young readers. Until a few weeks ago, the newspaper faced closure after only a year in operation, but a crowd funding campaign saw it raise $200,000, which has secured its short-term future. Hopefully we are helping to inspire the next generation!
Read more.