Name: Aerona Moore
Job Role: Tutor
Organisation: Leeson House Field Studies Centre
- BSc (Honours) in Geoscience, University of St Andrews, UK, 2010
- MSc (Research based) in Igneous Petrology, University of Victoria, BC, 2013.
1. What inspired you to take up a career in the Geosciences?
Throughout high school I really had no idea what I wanted to do…. I took a crash course in geography in my final year to fill out my timetable a bit and I really got into the geological side of it. I chose to do Geoscience at St Andrews University, and it was after our first field trip to the North coast of Scotland that I really got hooked on it. It was the only subject that I got to actually learn outside the classroom for a large proportion of time, which I found so refreshing. The people and lecturers there made those four years some of the best I have had.. there is no half measures in geology, the people that get into it end up loving it!
2. Can you give more detail about your path to your current job role?
After my undergraduate degree I wanted to move abroad. I ended up in Canada where I started my research Masters studying the magmatism beneath the East Pacific Rise mid ocean ridge. The combination of living right next to the mountains and rugged coastline of BC and studying geology in a new place was amazing!
Alongside my MSc I taught various undergraduate geology labs and field trips around Vancouver Island. I found I really loved inspiring people to become interested in geology. Once I completed my MSc, I spent nearly a year continuing to teach at the University in addition to working as a research assistant for my supervisor.
After spending so much time working inside at a desk, I began to crave working in the outdoors. I knew that unlike many geologists, I definitely didn’t want to work in the oil/mining/engineering industry. I made the move back to the UK and got a position as a tutor at Leeson House Field Studies Centre on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. This was a big change in many ways – switching from igneous rocks to sedimentary rocks and from teaching older students to primary and secondary aged students– but I have learnt lots through my job here.
3. What does your current job role involve?
As a tutor at Leeson House I teach a range of curriculum based field work (geology, geography, and biology) from KS1 up to A2 level. I get to teach fieldwork skills in lots of incredible places along the Jurassic Coast, including beaches, Durdle Door, Kimmeridge Bay and Old Harry Rocks. We also do a lot of teaching on site with younger children. This can involve studying what lives in our ponds, learning about how fossils are made and what makes a volcano explode! When I am not teaching I keep the teaching resources up-to-date by helping to design new fieldwork opportunities and updating our activities.
My job allows me to travel to different conferences where we keep up to date with new teaching methods (e.g. the Geographical Association and the Earth Science Teaching conference). I have also had the opportunity to volunteer at the Geopark conference in Torquay.
4. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love being outside all the time! Even if I am feeling really tired, working outdoors instead of sitting behind a screen completely changes my mood for the better. I find my job extremely fulfilling, as I get a chance to inspire people to learn more about earth science – whether that’s through teaching in my job, or taking friends and family fossil hunting or up an active volcano!
5. Why do you think it’s important to encourage more girls into Geoscience?
You would be stupid not to think its essential to encourage girls into the Geosciences! It is such an important subject, as it underpins everything else we study and do on this planet. Diversity is what drives science, If we shut out half the population then we are limiting what science can achieve. Anyone with an interest in geoscience should follow it. I believe this starts with capturing peoples interest in science at a young age and allowing them to follow it.
6. If you could give a piece of advice to girls currently thinking about a career in the Geosciences, what would it be?
The most important thing is to enjoy what you are doing. No woman should feel scared or intimidated to study or work in a subject they are interested in. In my experience, no one loves their subject more than a geologist! Don’t forget that what you enjoy doing can change – you don’t always have to follow a standard ‘career path’. Don’t be afraid to explore new things and make sure you follow your interests, no matter what.
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