Julian’s Blog

Julian connects with earth scientists and educators in New Zealand and overseas

What’s on our Plates?

Researching tsunami deposits on the East Coast

New Zealand has thousands of active faults each of which will produce an earthquake of some magnitude when it ruptures. However the two giants are the Alpine Fault and the Hikurangi Subduction Fault. They each form a segment of the plate boundary – the Alpine Fault can be traced across land, the length of the South …

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Where to explore the Wellington Fault

Wellington Fault at Thorndon

The Wellington Fault is one of several large active faults in the lower North Island of New Zealand. From the Tararua Mountains and Kaitoke it runs the length of the Hutt Valley, the edge of Wellington Harbour, through Tinakori in the City and across the hills to Cook Strait. Earthquakes occur on the Wellington Fault …

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Geology of Bitou, Lailai and Beiguan, Taiwan

Bitou – this small fishing village is about 70km north of Yilan City. Right next to it is the Bitou Geopark. Here you can take a clifftop walk above steep sandstone cliffs, or descend to the shore platform to see some strange mushroom like features at close quarters Here the shore platform is festooned with …

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Geology on the Yilan Coast, Taiwan

To find worthwhile locations that offer great learning opportunities in geology, you have to spend time exploring outcrops, trying to make sense of the geological features that are exposed and then think of ways that students can explore and make sense of them out of their own activity. This inquiry learning process can work well …

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In the Snowy Mountains Forest, Taiwan

The teachers of CuXin school in Yilan, Taiwan have been interested to find a location for a week-long wilderness camp for the year 9 class. We wanted to design a camp where students will have to rely on good survival skills and self management. We also want them to be able to learn the lore …

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Jinguashi – Gold and Copper mining in Taiwan

During my stay in Taiwan I have been invited by the teachers to visit several areas that they consider to have educational potential for school camps. Iron and Copper minerals have stained the famous “Golden Waterfall” The first area was on the NE coast around Keelung Mountain which is an old dacite volcano. This area …

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A nature connection curriculum in Taiwan

Fresh water in Transylvania / J.Thomson In my view there are compelling reasons to increase the amount and quality of outdoor education in schools. We have an unprecedented environmental crisis that is accelerating the decline of ecosystems worldwide on the one hand, and a crisis of mental health, disconnection and loss of hope in many …

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Why we need to find a way to reconnect with Nature

Receiving theSCANZ science communication prize for 2019

After 12 years living my dream job at GNS Science in New Zealand, I left the organisation in early January 2020 to become a self employed educational consultant and science communicator. So why leave GNS and expand my horizons? Here is my Why: There have been so many incredible highlights from my time being connected …

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Developing a nature and outdoor education programme in Taiwan

Stone circle art at Nanao River, NE Taiwan

I have been asked to work with a group of teachers and school administrators in Cu Xin school, Dongshan Township, Yilan, Taiwan, to help them develop and refine their nature and outdoor education programme in the high school. I will be there for the month of February 2020 and this will be the first visit, …

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