Amazing tales from the past
I love rocks and share my enthusiasm by telling jargon-free stories that make the deep past relevant to our present.
I studied geology at Edinburgh University so I could better interpret the mountainous environments I was leading groups in. Working as a geology tutor on the island of Arran cemented a love of turning people on to the rocks under their feet. A stint working as a geology ranger at the Grand Canyon National Park had me developing ways to interest non-geologists in the subject. The 'way in' I realised was stories. As soon as you start talking geological jargon and using technical terms you lose your audience; but present geology as a great detective story and you can hook people. If Sherlock Holmes were alive today (and a real person of course!) he would be a geologist: looking at the clues from ancient times to work out what happened is a fascinating mental challenge.
You can often make geology relevant to people's lives today. This is one way I approach my guiding in Iceland, Pompeii and Vesuvius, where there are fantastic stories to be told. Geology played an important role in the biological appreciation of life on our planet too, thanks to the understanding of 'deep time' that it provided.
This talk is great for older school groups studying geology or physical geography who want to be inspired and stimulated, and for an adult audience who want to marvel at this extra layer of insight into our planet. For all audiences, being outdoors anywhere in the world will present a new rewarding richness as you realise you can appreciate even more in your travels.