News & Spotlights
- We took part in the second ever Girls into Geoscience Ireland workshop at NUI Galway. Find out more here.
- Our evening showcase Irish Women in Geoscience: Past, Present and Future, explored the roles of women in Geoscience. Find out more below!
- We co-hosted the Pint of Science Galway Innovating Women in Geoscience event. Find out more below.
- We’re official! Check out all the latest news about our recent launch event below.
- Spreading the word… our latest coverage in Silicon Republic here.
- Our first major event, we co-hosted the first ever Girls into Geoscience (GiG) Ireland event! Find out more here.
Check out upcoming events here…
Upcoming events of Interest
Science Week Ireland, 11th-18th November 2018
Galway Science and Technology Festival, 11th-25th November 2018
Monster Confidence 2018 in Derry, 20th November
Girls into Geoscience Ireland (GiGie)
Earth & Ocean Sciences, NUIG, November 10th 2018
With an amazing turn out for the second ever Girls into Geoscience Ireland (GiGie) workshop held at Earth and Ocean Sciences (EOS) in NUI Galway this month, we were delighted to be part of this free one day event again which aims to introduce female secondary school and early stage university students to geoscience. With a jam packed line-up of inspiring speakers, interactive workshops and one-to-one chats, we had a great day with lots of opportunities to chat with budding geoscientists!
The day kicked off with EOS and iCRAG PhD researcher Jess Franklin giving an introduction to geoscience and it’s importance in our everyday lives before the first speaker Jéromine Schmidt, a current undergraduate at EOS, opened our minds to the possibilities available to graduates and spread the important message to think big!
After such an open and inspiring talk it was time for the first of many cups of tea where attendees had a chance to ask geoscientists from across the country, including IAWG volunteers, about their careers paths to date.
With cups empty and energy restored, we headed into the first interactive workshop – GiGie’s “Waterworld”, ran by EOS postgraduate marine researchers. The workshop demonstrated some of the influence our society has on the world’s oceans and what we can do to safeguard them. Attendees got the chance to uncover the hidden pathways of micro-plastics, investigate the changing density and acidity of the world’s oceans and delve into the unseen world of phytoplankton!
Thrilled by all the experiments, we next got to hear from Rebecca Bradford (Tobin Consultants) all about her fascinating work with the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) monitoring turloughs (i.e. low areas of land which commonly flood to produce temporary lakes) in the west of Ireland, with learning how to drive drones one of the many highlights of her career to date!
Lunch in the James Mitchell Geological Museum in the Earth and Ocean Sciences department gave everyone another opportunity to chat with attendees and share our experiences while we looked at some of the wonderful exhibits the museum has to offer.
After lunch, Professor Maeve Boland (UCD, iCRAG) brought us on the great adventure of her career to date from her work in raw materials here in Ireland to being Director of Geoscience Policy at the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) demonstrating the variability that geoscience offers.
One of the major highlights of the day was the “Ask a Geoscientist” session, which paired attendees with geoscientists from all different sectors and positions so that they can ask whatever they want with no such thing as a silly question! Attendees were rotated so everyone got to speak to as many different geoscientists as possible.
After all that chat, it was time for refreshments before we headed into the second interactive workshop GiGie’s “What Lies Beneath”. This workshop demonstrated how geoscientists uncover what the Earth looks like beneath our feet! Using cores, real rock samples, thin sections and geophysical surveys (all tools used by geoscientists), attendees had to work together to solve the mystery of the disappearing gold and help Galway City council find emergency water supplies.
Luckily all teams were successful and graduated as gold explorers and hydrogeologists!! The day wrapped up with all attendees getting a certificate of completion and a big thank you to all the tired but inspired team of volunteers!
The day was a great opportunity to share the amazing opportunities awaiting everyone in geoscience and we’re already looking forward to the next event in Dublin in November 2019! Make sure to check this space for more on the next event and check out the Girls into Geoscience website for even more coverage!
Girls into Geoscience – Ireland was co-organised by Earth and Ocean Sciences (EOS), NUI Galway, Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG), Irish Association for Women in Geosciences (IAWG) and the Geological Survey Ireland(GSI).
Irish Women in Geoscience: Past, Present and Future
Earth & Ocean Sciences, NUIG, June 21st 2018
On the longest day of the year what should you do? Why not learn all about the amazing trailblazers that came before us, discover what other people in geoscience think about gender parity, and discuss the future of our community? That’s exactly what we did last night at our summer showcase! Funded via the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund at NUIG, our evening showcase aimed to explore the roles of women from past to present and consider what the future of women looks like in Irish geoscience.
Kicking off the night, Associate Professor Patrick Wyse Jackson (TCD) delved into Irish women of the past, many unbeknown to most, and their contributions to Irish geoscience. The evolution of women’s roles in Irish geoscience is fascinating with Prof. Jackson noting that Ireland was ahead of the curve in terms of women’s education and employment in geoscience!
Indeed, in the early 1900’s many female geologists came from Cambridge and Oxford universities to Trinity College Dublin (TCD) to have degrees bestowed upon them, as their universities refused to confer degrees upon women, despite having completed the course work. Affectionately known as “Steamboat Ladies“, these women’s journeys demonstrate the progressive nature of Irish institutes towards women’s education. However, women have been contributing to geoscience long before they had degrees.
many women came from Cambridge and Oxford universities to Trinity College Dublin to have degrees bestowed upon them, as their universities refused to confer degrees upon women, despite having completed the course work
In Ireland many women initially aided their husband’s effort using their artistic skills, with many examples of beautiful outcrop illustrations in early publications being completed by women. It was only later in the mid 1900’s that women really began to have a holdfast in the geoscience community!
Our second speaker, Taly Hunter Williams (GSI), began by asking the all important question of the need for the IAWG and presented some important arguments based on recent research she carried out. Taly discussed fascinating results from a pilot survey answered by a wide range of people at all different levels in the Irish geoscience sector in the last month including academics, consultants, and directors in the public and private sector. The survey results show that while not all respondents perceive there to be disadvantages for females in geoscience, there is a clear sense of challenges for women to overcome.
Taly also explored cultural influences at a society level including stereotyping which need to be tackled if upcoming generations of women are to rise up the ranks. But the future is bright and solutions are within our reach! Mentoring, improved work-life balance and more family friendly environments are key goals which if achieved will help more women to progress.
After hearing about the present attitudes and experiences of women in Irish geoscience today, our final speaker Fani Papageorgiou (iCRAG, UCD) gave her thoughts on the future of women in geoscience and discussed her personal experiences of challenges since starting in the field over ten years ago. Despite these challenges, Fani insists there are great opportunities for women and that we all need to do our part to change any lingering biases towards women in order to make sure the geoscience sector is inclusive and progressive. Fani’s concluding advice? Be resilient and follow your dreams, they know the way! Great advice for us all!
After all the invigorating talks we opened up the floor to the audience and a great discussion ensued with our speakers forming a panel, answering any questions the audience had. From the responsibilities of different bodies to tackle the acknowledged challenges to inherent and learnt biases, the discussion ranged widely with all agreed that the event was a great platform for these important topics to be discussed.
And after all that talking? Well of course we needed refreshments! Discussions continued during our reception. All in all a great night of talks and debate!
Innovating Women in Geoscience, May 16th 2018
What a night! With sold out tickets and pints, the “Innovating Women in Geoscience” event was a great success bringing the ground-breaking research of three inspiring female geoscientists to the public at the Roísín Dubh Pub in Galway. The event was part of the Pint of Science Ireland Festival in partnership with the IAWG and a wonderful way to bring geoscience to the public!
The truly inspiring line-up, all researchers at National University of Ireland, Galway, introduced us to the world around us like we have never known before! Pint of Science co-organiser Jess Franklin started the night introducing the festival and the line-up of speakers.
Kicking off with PhD student Megan Dolan talking about “Galway beneath our feet”, we were amazed to learn all about the hidden geology of Galway. Megan’s research on preserved but hidden pockets of glacial derived material beautifully showed how understanding the geology of the landscape is critical to modern structures including motorways.
Following a great discussion session, some great free swag, and a quick refill of pints, the second speaker, PhD student Gráinne Baron, began her talk appropriately entitled “You are here!”. Gráinne told us all about her outreach projects introducing river catchment mapping using GSI to secondary school transition year students. This amazing project aims to bridge the gap between the real world landscape and the school curriculum, allowing students to map their own areas developing important skills, building confidence and becoming curious about the world around them.
A great discussion about what’s next for Gráinne and the outreach project followed with some amazing questions and suggestions from the audience. Anyone curious got lots of great swag, including awesome t-shirts, for asking questions ensuring lots of great discussion. With a mandatory refilling of pints we were all set for our final speaker!
Dr Karen Molloy introduced us to the fascinating world of pollen and how it’s use to study how the landscape has changed over the last 15,000 years or more! To the annoyance of hay fever sufferers, these amazingly resistant plant spores can survive for thousands of years!
Showing us an example project, Karen walked us through the last 7000 years of plants, trees and shrubs, and the clear influence humans have had on the landscape of the Aran Islands. An amazing walk through time and another footprint left by the human race on the planet. Karen finished up with an amazing piece of poetry by Galway poet Moya Cannon summarising the power of these tiny specks:
All in all an amazing night bring geoscience to the public and showing how geoscience is connected to all aspects of our lives. We can’t wait for Pint of Science 2019! We know we will be there, will you?
Girls into Geoscience Ireland, March 10th 2018
What better way to spend a Saturday than chatting with an inspiring bunch of young women, many of which we hope will go on to become the future of geoscience!? That’s what we got to do at the first ever Girls into Geoscience Ireland event last week in the UCC School of BEEs.
This free, one day event aimed to encourage secondary and early stage university female students to consider geoscience by showcasing all the amazing career paths and exciting opportunities available. The event is co-organised by iCRAG, UCC School of BEES, the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Irish Association for Women in Geosciences. To find out more about the event visit the Girls into Geoscience – Ireland website.
The day kicked off with Dr Maria McNamara (UCC School of BEEs) welcoming attendees and giving a brief introduction to why the GiG event was taking place!
We had an amazing line up of speakers discussing their career pathways including Marie Fleming, associated engineer at Arup, Dr Siobhan Power of the Geological Survey Ireland, Dr Anthea Lacchia of iCRAG at University College Dublin and Dr Úna Farrell of the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin.
With such inspiring talks we needed a refuelling session and what better way to celebrate than with a good old cuppa and biscuits!? Our volunteers had a great time chatting to attendees over tea/coffee about their potential options in geoscience!
After getting to know everyone a little bit better our volunteers sat down with the girls for a great ‘speed-dating’ session. Attendees had up to 5 minutes with at least one geoscientists to ask whatever questions they liked!
Just before lunch, the first of two hands-on, interactive workshops took place with Dr Maria McNamara demonstrating how geoscientists identify and use fossil and common minerals.
After a yummy lunch we heard from Dr Siobhán Power (GSI) and Dr Una Farrell (TCD) about their careers so far before getting busy with Dr Fiona Cawkwell (UCC School of Geography) using GSI to show how technology is becoming an integral part of our work.
The day concluded with a great trip to the UCC Geology Garden led by Dr Maria McNamara before a well-deserved group photo! A wonderful day, the first of many we hope!
If you would like to know more about the event, want to get involved or have a great idea then get in touch with us at irishAWG@gmail.com or check out the GiG Ireland website!
IAWG Official Launch, February 24th 2018
A massive thank you to everyone who attended our official launch on Saturday 24th February at IGRM in UCC! The launch was a great success and we are delighted to say we have a lot of new and excited members!
As part of our launch we asked you to submit clips telling us why we need to encourage and support women in geosciences and boy did we get a great response! We couldn’t show all of the amazing clips but had to select just a few to make our official launch video. Check it out below…
Before we revealed our official launch video, IAWG President Dr Aoife Blowick began our launch with a brief introduction to the IAWG and its goals. We were then delighted to have invited speaker Clare Morgan (Head of Technical Section, Petroleum Affairs Division, DCCAE) give an amazing talk about her experience as a geoscientist and what the future holds for Irish geoscience.
After an inspiring talk by Clare the launch moved on to a reception hosted by #IGRM2018 where everyone had the chance to sign up and get their hands on some sweet freebies from our very own sweet bar…
We also had an amazing showcase of groundbreaking and inspiring women in geoscience for everyone to learn about…
We had so many wonderful people at our launch so thank you to everyone that attended! It was a great event to start us off… Thanks to our very own Siobhán Burke for photos.
A big thank you from the IAWG team (unfortunately not all pictured here) to everyone that came to the launch! It’s just the beginning!
Finally, a massive thank you to our sponsors without whom our launch would not have been possible! In particular a big thank you to the #IGRM2018 committee who facilitated us and the wine reception.