Some of the feedback messages I received over the years as an educator and science communicator from scientists, teachers and the public:
Julian’s dedication to engaging and educating our children was truly remarkable. His creativity shone through in the fantastic activities, videos, and trips he organized, making learning both fun and insightful. The visit to Napier to explore the 1931 earthquake and Lake Tutira’s formation was fantastic and everyone, even adults learnt something new that day. Thanks to Julian’s expertise and passion for teaching which has created a memorable and enriching experience for our kids.
Thanks heaps Julian
Anna Drinkrow, Principal, Putorino School
Julian is helping our school shape its Science Curriculum. Julian has a very engaging way of working with both adults and children. He brings science alive through stories and is passionate about sharing his knowledge. At the same time Julian is providing practical, fun ideas for both in the classroom and out on field trips.
Julie Jones, Deputy Principal, Southend School
Julian came to Wairakei Primary School and visited for over 3 days. He worked throughout the whole school alongside classroom teachers and two teachers for PD purposes. He was a wealth of knowledge and catered to all year levels within a short time frame. Julian had resources related to all tasks, including follow-on ideas for staff to take on themselves, leaving teachers confident. He also came prepared with hands-on experience to share with the students and staff. Julian made it easy to communicate ideas and plans and was friendly with the various staff around the school. We felt privileged to have Julian in the school and share his knowledge with us. We appreciate him giving us his time to help extend our own knowledge within science. After visiting, he gathered more resources in his own time in order to help further the science development within the school. Thanks again, Julian. We really appreciate everything that you have done for us.
Look forward to working with you in the future.
Teagan and Tayla.
…The class, and myself, thoroughly enjoyed our time with Julian. We gained so much knowledge by having him in the class and then out in the field. The children often exclaimed how amazing it was to be able to ‘see in real life what they were being taught’. What a gift! Julian had an amazing rapport with the children… On return to school, the children were buzzing about all they learned through Julian’s guidance and expertise. He has a wonderful way of telling the children where to look, but not what to see… They were so engaged by the way he shares his knowledge with enthusiasm, and through real-life stories. One of the children even thanked Julian at the end for giving him the inspiration for his future job, and many of the parents shared that their children had been talking a lot about geology and earthquakes at home (and checking that they have civil defence kits)
Thanks again! We truly appreciate every moment of Julian’s time, thanks to you at East Coast Lab.
Chrystal R Kaiako – Lower School Teacher
Had such an inspiring time that I’m even thinking of looking into geology and those kinds of fields in terms of a profession. Couldn’t have wished for a better way to learn and experience new things. Really, totally and completely enjoyed the trip and feel like I learned a huge amount. Would be so great if others were given the same opportunity.
Thank you Julian, that was incredibly inspiring. You are clearly a born teacher with a tremendous passion, and how wonderful it was for the children to experience that.
A B, Te Ra School
Subject: Do you see Julian Thomson much?
If you run into him, please tell him that his blog is THE number one source of photos that my first years are putting in their essays! He’s internet-famous!
K C – VUW
Re GNS Science Outreach Map
Thanks for that. It’s very interesting and useful.
C L, Napier Aquarium
I had some “ask a scientist” questions from Tainui Primary School, Dunedin on how mountains are measured, and I sent them a link to your YouTube video on measuring Mt. Cook’s summit (as well as other concepts on pre-GPS concepts of triangulation). Here is some of the feedback from the teacher whom showed the clip to her class:
The youtube clip about measuring Aoraki Mount Cook went down well, especially when it was mentioned that the GPSs were not placed right on the summit out of respect for the Ngai Tahu respect for the mountain – one of the Ngai Tahu children in my class was nodding wisely when we talked about that – he knew what that was about!
I know you don’t often see the comments on these things, so I thought I’d forward this to you.
This is a really good video (its the first time I’ve actually watched the whole thing, I admit!). Thanks for making it!!!
many thanks for the tour and your enthusiasm.
Lily is now even more inspired and enjoyed the visit very much.
it was a real insight for me as well as I had a keen interest in geology when I was her age. I even took geology at ‘O’ level GCSE.
she is still talking about it and is looking forward to telling her teacher Matt Bouchet about it.
I am sure he would be keen to talk to you about your roll in GNS
many thanks again
good to see you
Thanks so much for coming to visit my class! They really enjoyed it and I’m sure they will be going rock hunting and bringing me all sorts of stuff to look at!
Hope to catch up again soon.
Rose t B
TEACHER OF SCIENCE
I just wanted to say thank you for coming in to the school and sharing your fossils and the stories behind them. The children are still talking about the Moa bone and it just helped for some of their learning to become more cemented. You were really great with them and we really appreciate you giving up your time to head into school.
The children did compile a list of questions but I wont forward them on as we can research most of them ourselves in class!
Thanks again Julian,
Thanks again! You are really amazing. I can’t believe what you were able to do with the video and in such short time! thank you, thank you!
Have a great trip!
Since then i have had about 10 others tell me how much they learned from your talk, and enjoyed it. A very good response. This morning on our monthly walk/tramp I had to explain in detail to one lady about depositional processes and rock formation. She was keen to know more. You might get contacted by other Probus Clubs as word gets around. Best wishes,
Hi Julian, Thank you so much for giving us such an interesting presentation about the work done by GNS. Everyone was most impressed and some indicated that it would be interesting to hear about the work done at your other base at Gracefield. I spoke to you briefly about this and wondered if you were available during the week of 5th or 6th or 8th or 9th November any time of the day to suit Let me know how you are placed and I will confirm it Once again thank you for your assistance
Thank you Julian for the most interesting tour and talk you gave us today. The students were blown away by everything they learned today. I have to say though – the ice core was the top of the list for experiences! They loved it! Thank you Des for allowing us to come and be with Julian for the morning.
I hope you might be up for this again when we have another group visit.
Thanks! I love your blog–very informative, lots of variety in what
you present it and the formats (photos, videos, maps, etc. in addition
to your written posts). We’re very lucky to have such a good page and
video to link to.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The staff were talking very positively about your presentation at
morning tea this morning, they were particularly impressed with how
you were able to gear it down for the littlies. Well done!
Thanks so much for the tour yesterday. The kids had a
fantastic time (and so did the adults)!
It was great to have some hands on activities too. A great
Thanks again on behalf of Explorers,
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me last week. I was impressed with all that you are doing and I look forward to sharing web products and ideas in the future.
You’re doing a terrific job of clearly sharing available knowledge, thank you! Unadorned, true communication like this is exactly what the region needs.
Your talk was was well received by Wellington Men’s Probus.
Our thanks and congratulations.
Thanks again Julian that was absolutely FANtastic 🙂
I will forward remaining questions to you once I have collated them all and I’m sure you will be receiving a few “thank yous” from from the classes you met today.
Many thanks again for your time – will be in touch soon.
C J Tawa School
Brilliant Julian, really well done! So much good will gained from a
few visits, a talk, and some baseball caps!
Thanks for the regular blog and facebook updates on both the Alpine Fault drilling project and Rotomahana Lake project — it’s the perfect way for someone like me to be kept in the loop, all the way across the globe in Scotland!
I have just read the exciting news about the pink terraces at Rotomahana through your blog… very interesting and exciting stuff. Thanks for the great article.
there is so much going on and it is good to be able to keep track!
PhD Student (Heriot-Watt University, Scotland)
(Via Alex Malahoff, CEO of GNS)
Alex, I today received the GNS 2011 diary and I am grateful to whoever put me on the mailing list. But the main thing I wanted to say is that GNS does an absolutely superb job with its photography. World class. My congratulations to whoever is responsible. Magnificent stuff
Peter J C
Thank you for your prompt response. We are most appreciative. It is an amazing video (I peeked!) and will be quite helpful in our classes.
Hi Julian, thanks so much for all your help last week and leading up to
the Geo Hazards field trip. Your time, effort and knowledge were much
appreciated, especially at a time when you were so busy. We have had
really positive feedback about the trip from both students and teachers
and were pleased with how smoothly it went. I will send a disc with the
photos and videos on it this week.
I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did and that you have enjoyed
looking back over the website and videos.
Hope to work with you again soon.
Thank you again for your assistance in allowing Alasdair to participate in the GNS/CapitalE children’s holiday programme this week in association with the visit of the ‘JOIDES Resolution’. Alasdair loved the experience of looking at interesting rocks, the ship visit and all the activities, and I’m sure the knowledge gained will be extremely helpful as he goes into college this year and provide a platform for thinking about all sorts of issues facing our stewardship of planet Earth.
Congratulations to GNS for your initiative in establishing this programme, and particularly for the effort involved from no doubt numerous people in taking this giant step in public geoscience education. Best wishes for future programmes.
Hi Julian. It’s G here, original author of the brochure. Just wanted to let you know that I think you have done a great job of the revised edition. The new photos are awesome and I am sure it will have a long life in the shops on the Coast. Cheers, G
Thank you, Julian and Kate, for giving up your time to help us with our Family Day and for providing our visitors with such a fantastic talk. I was so pleased to see a good sized crowd and such great participation. The day wouldn’t have been as big a success without you.
Thank you again.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Just wanted to pass on a big thumbs up for all your efforts at Te Papa. My parents took my two boys along (8 and 5) – they all really enjoyed the whole day but in particular the presentations you guys gave. My parents were really impressed with your skills as a communicators (they come from education backgrounds) they learned a lot and thought how you managed a rnage of kids ages was really impressive. The kids had a great time too – and talked about it a lot when I got home.
Dalso wanted to say thanks for helping him dress up in all of the cold weather gear!
Just wanted to thank you for yesterday. Very appreciative of the work
you and John put into organising things. Too bad the visit was so
short! I’ll be using the bread idea myself next time the class looks
at fossils and earthquakes etc for Science!
Congratulations – I’ve heard you went down a treat at the Lower Hutt primary school this week. Apparently they want you back
to talk to other classes.
Just wanted to say thank you very warmly for organising and taking the trip
to the glaciers. J came back on Sunday afternoon filled with a new sense of what is happening on the planet, and the buzz of being out in a remote part of the New Zealand landscape. He talked about some of the scientific learning, and is inspired to think about scientific study for uni next year 🙂 Lots of brilliant input towards his Class 12 project … And he loved being out of the classroom and physically active every day.
It’s a real highlight of his experiences to date, and has stimulated genuine interest in climate change and scientific research for him.
Warm thanks for giving J all this and more,
I am writing to thank you for the link to your amazing youtube footage – it’s fantastic! I also wanted to find out a little bit more about what the GNS team does, the purpose of your visit to the Tasman Glacier. If it was for research -were there any interesting findings? Any feedback you can offer on the trip in general would be very helpful as we would love to create a post about your teams’s visit and subsequent footage on our blog.
Thanks very much Julian. I was impressed by how accessible the material
on your website was.
Re: Mt Cook Flight video
Paul Andrew Mayewski
Climate Change Institute
University of Maine
Julian…you are a genius!
The notes are brilliant.
And special thanks for the Mitchell’s Bay stuff. It will be used for the
small kids because of the very creative shapes of those gorgeous
water-shaped rocks at the bottom of the out- crop.
I’ve watched kids playing in those crevices/caves every time I walk along
the beach. It’s a perfect, safe and interesting spot to do a bit of basic
I want to most sincerely thank you for everything you did up on Tongariro. You made the trip absolutely amazing.
I still cannot believe I made it to the top of Ruapehu.
The video you have put together is absolutely fantastic.
Thank you so much for doing this, I have sent the URL to Charlotte to pass on to Jamie and Lily. It is a great momento to have.
Thanks you once again for everything.
D M, RSUK
Just had a quick look (at the video). I think its brilliant, and a clever choice of soundtrack.
Hope all is well down there and you’re getting lots of interesting trips.
Just got back from the field and opened the DVD..
Awesome !! What an excellent record of the trip.
Superb editing and music. Great stuff! Hey – you could earn serious $ with those skills.
What is the music by the way ? film soundtrack? Sounded a bit like we were saving mankind using airborne GPR 😉
just to say my son enjoyed your talk that you did at Silverstream School last week.
Thank you for doing it. I get the idea it was very helpful for their work.
I’ve had several members both children and adults, who came to your very interesting presentation last week telling me how much they learnt and enjoyed it. My children certainly had a lot to say about the afternoon since.
Thank you again for your time and energy.
Julian and Jeff,
Firstly, let me tell you how great I think these Wellington Fault pages of yours are – they are excellent. Our web site should be full of stuff like this. You both have done a phenomenal job.
That was the biggest turn out for Explorers I have ever seen! A well
put together talk aimed at the right level.
From a teacher feedback form:
We are so fortunate to have had access to Julian Thomson for the past 6 years. His ideas and enthusiasm has meant that we have developed a programme of earth science trips from yr 10 to 13. All at different sites and all very interesting.
Teacher feedback re a school visit:
Julian Thomson. Brilliant.
Thank you so much for organising our visit today. It went smoothly and efficiently and we all enjoyed it (including our bus driver!). Would you please convey our appreciation and thanks to Chris and Brian for their instructive and enjoyable presentations.
I debriefed the students on our return and they had all enjoyed the visit and considered it most worthwhile. George, the accompanying science teacher, quizzed them on the lines of “So, what is an isotope?” and most of the students had actually learned and retained something.
As organiser, I was really pleased. Although the actual science was beyond some of our students (we do not study any physics until year 11 and they were years 9 or 10) the brightest had followed everything, and all benefited from seeing real experts, and real enthusiasts, showing their work.
I will pass on our feelings to Des Darby, who was our initial point of contact. He will, I am sure, be very pleased.
Thanks again for coming in today, your presentation was right on the
mark, I wish it could have been longer!
Keep me posted!
See you soon, and take care,
So much easier to find general material (for geology teaching) now with youtube and GNS material from Julian T
(feedback from a teacher)
Having access to Julian Thomson at GNS is a god send.
Brenten Higson, Saint Bernard’s College
For me the glacier trip was a physical realisation of what is only hinted at in the classroom. To stand before the massive body of ice out in the wilderness gives the study a real and applicable context. Personally, after the glacier trip, I was inspired to take a second look at earth sciences. When I went to the Vic Uni open day I placed myself in a lecture theatre that I would have otherwise never visited, I now find myself enrolling for an earth sciences course next year. I fell this to be a direct cause of visiting the Brewster Glacier, which was a turning point in my view of the natural world. Trips like these are, in my view, invaluble, and should the opportunity be given to future classes for a similar trip I would wholeheartedly encourage them to go.