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Department of Geology News and events

Next generation of Antarctica scientists celebrated

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 1:45pm

Understanding what Antarctica’s environment was like 3.5 million years ago could prove crucial to preparing New Zealand for the impacts of climate change.

Three Otago University postgraduate students and a Victoria University postgraduate student were last night awarded postgraduate scholarships by Antarctic New Zealand for their work to better understand the changes occurring on the frozen continent. All three Otago students are associated with the Polar Environments Research Theme.

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Celebrating 30 years of science outreach at Otago

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 2:12pm

An article just published in the New Zealand Science Review celebrates 30- years of science outreach at Otago. It presents the reader with an historical account of the development of community delivered outreach programmes by the University of Otago - and more specifically, those through the Division of Sciences and its contributing departments, schools and centres - a relationship that began in the 1970s. Although recognition for community service has been built into academic staff promotion processes for decades, it has only been available for non-academics since 2014 – which lends this article a point of difference given it has been co-authored by both academic and non-academic staff members.

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Scientists discover extreme geothermal activity in South Island

Thursday, 18 May 2017 8:27am

A collaboration by scientists who drilled nearly 900 metres into the South Island’s Alpine Fault has revealed surprisingly high temperatures and the potential for large geothermal resources in the area.

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Māori Division of Sciences graduating students

Friday, 12 May 2017 8:28am

The Division of Sciences is extremely proud to see 48 Maori students graduate this weekend. Graduates have completed either their under- or postgraduate study covering a wide range of disciplines across the Division. See the full list of May 2017 graduates.

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Quake hazard to the South from Akatore Fault hard to assess

Thursday, 27 April 2017 2:15pm

One of the closest active geological faults to Dunedin is not giving up its secrets easily.

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New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference 2017

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 9:40am

The Otago Museum is hosting the 2017 New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference in associated with the Polar Environments Research Theme. The conference will focus on how to detect, pre-empt and attribute changes, to quantify and predict the rate and magnitude of changes to the ocean, cryosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. For more information visit:

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Along the Alpine Fault Helps Build Seismic Strain (EOS Press release)

Tuesday, 7 March 2017 5:46pm

Detailed analysis of cores drilled through New Zealand's most dangerous on-land fault indicates that its permeability and strength are altered by mineral precipitation between seismic events.

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Trail by Fire (exciting Otago alumni science)

Friday, 3 March 2017 11:44am

Trial By Fire is a team of young volcanologists, that includes Ian Schipper (Otago Geology PhD graduate), planning to measure the entire flux of gases emitted by volcanoes along the Nazca subduction zone. They are currently working on active volcanoes of Ecuador (Trial By Fire 1.5: Ecuador).

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Far From Frozen: Antarctica & Us

Thursday, 19 January 2017 2:18pm

Explore Antarctica and learn about the potential impact of climate change on it and us at the Otago Museum from Saturday 21 January to Sunday 29 January.

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Shanna Law receives award for Study Abroad at Otago

Thursday, 17 November 2016 1:50pm

Shanna Law received an award for academic achievement abroad for her study at the Department of Geology, University of Otago in 2015. Shanna Law is a recent graduate of Juniata College. While enrolled in the BCA Study Abroad program in Dunedin, New Zealand, Shanna conducted research investigating the ecological impacts of gold mining, which required collecting soil samples in the field and analyzing them in the lab, and creating hand-drawn and digital maps of the research site. Her research, which has been presented at an academic conference and published the New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics, provides support for varying landscapes to increase biodiversity in mine rehabilitation.

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Otago researchers gain prestigious Rutherford Fellowships

Friday, 11 November 2016 2:23pm

Two University of Otago scientists are among 10 top researchers who have been awarded highly sought-after fellowships to help them develop their research careers in New Zealand.

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Four Otago academics elected Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 3:36pm

Four leading University of Otago academics are among 19 top researchers and scholars to be newly elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

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Artificial seismic source for ice boreholes

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 3:28pm

NZARI funding to Dave Prior, Christina Hulbe (Surveying), Jennifer Eccles (Auckland) and other collaborators (including Christian Ohneiser and Andrew Gorman) aims to test ways of using seismic data to measure remotely the  ice crystal alignments and ice temperature in ice sheets and glaciers.

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Recent earthquake science work in the USA

Thursday, 6 October 2016 3:37pm

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American Geophysical Union Announces 2016 Fellows (AGU press release)

Monday, 22 August 2016 10:30am

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Geophysical Union (AGU) recently announced its 2016 Fellows, an honor given to individual AGU members who have made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences. Since the AGU Fellows program was established in 1962, and according to the organization’s bylaws, no more than 0.01 percent of the total membership of AGU is recognized annually. This year’s class of Fellows are geographically diverse coming from 18 states and eight countries.

Trevor R. Ireland, an Otago Geology Alumni, now at Australian National University is one of the recipients.