April 2020 Newsflash

The big Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) that will excavate the Auckland City Rail Link could be named after GSNZ member

GSNZ member Dr Margaret Bradshaw is on the shortlist of three, from an original list of 300, to have the Auckland City Rail Link tunnel boring machine named after her.

Tradition dictates that a TBM can’t start work until it has a woman’s name to honour St Barbara, the patron saint of underground workers, as a sign of good luck for the project ahead.

Dr Margaret Bradshaw, is a trailblazing and internationally recognised Antarctic scientist.  She was the first woman to lead a deep field party to the frozen continent, discovered fish fossils in the Cook Mountains there, and Bradshaw Peak is named in her honour.


Geoscience Education Round up

For those of you who might be trying to juggle working from home and childcare/home-schooling a few useful websites.

Earth Learning Idea - a selection of Earth-related teaching ideas.
Earth Science West Australia - selection of resources for all age groups.
Earth Science Education Unit - variety of Earth science videos.
Amazing Educational Resources - a list of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closures.

If you are looking for material to support online delivery of your courses during the lockdown, you might like to check out some of these:
Virtual Microscope https://www.virtualmicroscope.org/
This website allows users to  examine and explore minerals and microscopic features of rocks. Images of rock specimens are accompanied by a virtual thin section, allowing users to study the mineral optical properties, grain size, shape and proportion, and also analyse the rock micro textures as if using a specialist polarising microscope. There is even the ability to rotate the stage. There are well over 100 specimens available to examine.

e-Rock Virtual Outcrops https://www.e-rock.co.uk/
The website provides open-source geological data and visualizations. Numerous 3D models of outcrops and rock samples are available and free to use under Creative Commons Attribution. There are currently ~40 online 3D models available.

Members with an interest in Geospatial science may be interested to know that ESRI is currently providing 5 months free access to their products (e.g. ArcGIS Pro), along with other resources.
Another resource that may come in handy for the geoscience educators is the website of the U.S. National Association of Geoscience Teachers
It contains numerous online resources that may be useful in deploying online content for geoscience courses.


Volcano Monitoring Network ‘senses’ Auckland city’s COVID-19 response

The Auckland Volcano Seismic Network has detected the slowdown of Auckland city in response to the COVID-19 lock down. The seismic noise is at levels usually seen on a Sunday, just one of the interesting signals we can see from our seismic data.

Read more from Brad Scott, GNS Science Volcanologist

Coronavirus lockdowns have changed the way Earth moves

A reduction in seismic noise because of changes in human activity is a boon for geoscientists.

Read more from Nature