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What follows are the courses I teach and the time of the year they take place.
Updated: 31st May 2020
We have begun a migration of my courses to an Google Classrooms with use of Google Meets/ Zoom to allow me to teach the course remotely from the Midlands of the Republic of Ireland. This is likely to continue for the rest of 2021.
Exploring rocks, minerals and fossils
28th of June 2020
In this course, we will be looking at a range of geological specimens from the tutor’s personal collection. You will learn to identify the common transparent minerals such as quartz and calcite, study the variety of volcanoes around the world and identify their lavas and discover the structure and life stories of common fossils.
The geology beneath British landscapes
The landscape of Britain has a diversity in rock types unmatched in the world. Few truly know about the exciting history of this island. The tectonic activity, the ancient volcanoes, the effects of the Last Ice Age on the landscape and much, much more. This course will focus on providing you with the knowledge you will find useful to look at the British landscape differently. It will be especially useful to those who, love the great outdoors and enjoy wandering through pristine landscapes, like the Lake District and Peak District. The geological history of the island will be told through key sites throughout the UK, that you can visit for yourself. You will be shown how to identify rocks and the equipment you may need to assist you.
Neandertals: an evaluation of the latest research
Our perception of Neandertals has changed considerably over the past century. It will continue to change as we find more evidence. This lecture-based course will offer a clear summary of what the latest research is telling us about Neandertals and its implications. Charles Clarke (MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology from University College London) has a special interest in hominin evolutionary research.
Introduction to geology
Geology is a relatively recent science; up to the 1790s, rocks and fossils were explained by the Deluge of Noah. We have come a long way since then, with the theories of plate tectonics explaining the position of the continents, volcanoes and earthquakes, and evolution, the fossil record we see in the rocks. The emplacement of granites and their erosion can give us a grasp of the vast span of geological time, and geologists are the scientists who find most of the world’s natural resources.
Marine geology: The hidden geology beneath the oceans
We know more about the surface of the moon than what lies beneath our planet’s oceans. On this course, we will explore the geological features within our oceans.
Earth’s six major mass extinctions: an introduction
An introductory course which gives a long-term perspective to extinction events throughout earth’s history, reminding us of the fragility of the planet’s ecosystems. While we currently see the very real effects of climate change on the planet for humans, we may forget that many biological organisms have not survived in earlier extreme conditions. Looking back over the last 450 million years of earth’s history we will go beyond the extinction of the dinosaurs to mass extinctions that were even more devastating.
Geology and London
London has a remarkable geological history and has much to offer to the geology enthusiast. This course highlights the effect that geology has had on the development of London’s landscape and buildings. You are welcome to bring in sample rocks/stones for discussion and identification.
A brief introduction to human evolution
You will learn about how our hominin ancestors evolved and lived and how new evidence has fundamentally changed our understanding of this process. This concise exploration of the inter-disciplinary field of palaeoanthropology introduces radiometric dating, palaeontology and archaeogenetics.