The inaugural Girls into Geoscience – Ireland event took place last Saturday March 10th at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science in University College Cork. The exciting one day event was specifically designed to introduce female school (Senior Cycle) and university students to Earth Sciences and demonstrate the world of careers open to geoscience graduates today.
At the event, attendees heard from a variety of speakers including Marie Fleming, associate engineer at Arup, Dr Siobhan Power of the Geological Survey Ireland, Dr Anthea Lacchia of iCRAG at University College Dublin and Dr Una Farrell of the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. The speakers covered their career paths to date and gave excellent insights into the day to day activities of professional geoscientists. A highly successful “speed-dating” session was held in association with the Irish Association for Women in Geosciences. Two hands-on, interactive workshops also took place: the first on fossil and mineral identification led by Dr Maria McNamara of the UCC School of BEES and Girls into Geoscience – Ireland co-organiser, and the second on the use of Geographical Information Systems for examining geoscience data led by Dr Fiona Cawkwell of the UCC School of Geography.
Speaking at the event Dr Fergus McAuliffe, co-organiser and Public Engagement Manager at iCRAG, said: “Today’s event was about showcasing the vast array of careers in geosciences that are waiting to be discovered. Attendees got the chance to meet professional female geoscientists, hear their amazing career journeys that have taken them around the world, and also to try their hand at mineral identification, fossil examination and Geographical Information Systems. On behalf of Girls into Geoscience – Ireland we are delighted that the event has been so well attended and we hope to see some of today’s attendees in our first year university lectures in the next few years!”
‘Co-organiser Dr Maria McNamara said ‘It was very exciting and inspiring to see so many young women who are passionate about geosciences and it was great fun to share experiences with them. It is so important to have informal opportunities like this to pass on our knowledge and experience to the younger generation, and this is really setting a precedent for making this a regular event in the national calendar for geoscience and schools.’
Girls into Geoscience Ireland 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: http://girlsintogeoscienceireland.wordpress.com/