Working in the Park!

After the first year you start to specify in your subject area more. For example, as a geophysicist I am studying modules such as Near Surface Geophysics and Hydrocarbon Geophysics. Palaeobiologists will study modules such as Major Events in the History of Earth and Exceptional Preservation. Today, I am going to talk about the work I do as part of my Near Surface module.
Near Surface Geophysics involves small groups of geophysicists going into Victoria Park next to the University with very expensive pieces of geophysical equipment. Some of the equipment is very big and heavy and others are small but strange looking. I have recently been using Gamma Ray Spectrometry to measure the amount of radioactive elements in the ground. This machine is one of the more ordinary looking machines and the residents of Leicester will be happy to know that we have discovered no major radioactive areas in the park…

Me as a panda searching for radiation...

Yesterday my group and I were experimenting with a new piece of equipment called an EM38.This machine is supposed to measure shallow ground conductivity. So basically, how conductive the soil is. This can help determine where pipes and other buried items are, which is helpful for many practical applications even outside if geology. We’re not too sure what our readings mean at the moment, but we are hoping to get a clearer idea as we keep going. 
We get quite a few odd looks and quite a lot of old couples come up and ask us what we are doing. One of my favourite achievements is convincing a policeman that we were looking for buried treasure… You must be prepared no matter which geology subject you take to answer questions because whether you’re in the park with an EM38 or in Scotland with a mapping board and field notebook, people will wonder what you’re up to…

Me and a fellow geophysicist callibrating the EM38

 

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Sophie

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Sophie has now graduated from the University of Leicester and is no longer blogging for this site.

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One response to “Working in the Park!”

  1. Clare

    Hi Sophie, sounds like fun! Just writing to ask you a question.
    I am in my last year of A-levels and have firmed Leicester as my first choice, but I was talking to people about geology and they were saying it’s very maths and chemistry orientated. I am really looking forward to studying and doing the course, but I am really unsure with my maths and chemistry skills, and have not taken either for A or AS level, so was wondering how much this is involved in the course and whether I will really struggle without the previous knowledge?
    Thank you in advance for your response!

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