My semester in a nutshell

I’m Emma and I’ll be one of the student bloggers for 17/18! I am a 4th year student studying Geology and Physical Geography from Ayrshire.

I am extremely passionate about my course especially focusing in glaciology and fieldwork. I think that my course is such a fun course that is full of lots of interesting courses, fieldwork and people – so I’m excited to be able to share my experiences with you.

  • I live with 3 fellow Geoscience students so you can guess that our flat is FULL of rocks, plants and maps – it is great to find people with the same passions as you!
  • My hobbies are anything outdoors – I love being in the mountains and with nature. I try to spend a lot of my weekends during the semester going into the highlands for walking up munros with the University Hillwalking Club or climbing at local crags with friends. It is especially fun to be outside in the mountains looking around at the rocks and landscape and interpreting how it is formed. I am also part of the belly dancing society which is fun to do something non geology related for a change.
  • I absolutely love travelling and try to fill my summers with new countries and cultures. Last summer I went to Armenia for an internship in renewable energy and waste management which was so much fun.

    Fieldwork in Ballantrae – looking at some pillow lavas

My semester one – Academic:

This semester has been pretty hectic – work wise it has been a variety of subjects and included work on my dissertation . The best thing about studying Geology and Physical Geography is that you have so much choice with subjects.

  • Principles of Geographic Information Systems – this course has been one of my favourites so far. Before the course I had little background on GIS and found it very scary. But now I have learnt so much about it and feel like I would be capable of doing many things on ArcGIS which will definitely be useful in the future.
  • Evolution of the Modern Earth – this course is providing background on the geological processes that will be related to the rocks that I’ll see on my Cyprus fieldtrip  in April.  – We went on a fieldtrip to Ballantrae in Ayrshire on a beautiful sunny day to look at some oceanic crust rocks.
  • Frontiers in Research – this course has been attending seminars that have been hosted at the university such as The Hutton Club which is every Friday at 4pm in the Drummond building. This course has been interesting for learning about lots of new and up and coming geological science. You can read my blog posts related to these seminars –
  • Dissertation – My dissertation is related to a palaeo-ice stream located in the North West of Scotland. I’m trying to understand what the basal conditions would have been at the bottom of the ice bed on the Isle of Lewis. So I’ve just been processing my data and making lots of pretty maps and I’ll be writing it up over Christmas.

Semester one – Social: 

  • Forth year is fun as you have a solid group of friends that you’ve really gotten to know over the past three years. Geoscience courses are really social and it is easy to make close friends in labs, lectures and fieldwork. So I’ve had a lot of fun being with them.
  • I decided to join a new club and joined the Belly Dancing Society which has been really fun and different to anything that I’ve done before. Edinburgh has so many societies that it is easy to try new things.
  • I’ve been social sec for the hillwalking club – so I’ve organised pub crawls, pub quizzes, meals and weekend trips to the mountains. It is great to get people involved with the club with socials and trips as walking in the Scottish mountains is worth it.

    Hillwalking freshers trip to Arrochar

So overall it has been a really fun semester and I’m excited to see what my last semester holds for me!


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