15 February 2018

Back to the beach with the students

One of the first things I did when my previous contract started was going to the beach with Lynda to support students logging glacial sediments. The beach we visited, Lleiniog, has eroding sea cliffs that show amazing glacial and glacio-lacustrine and/or glaciofluvial sediments.

Like last year, we went there the day before, to delineate the specific profiles we wanted them to log. And like last year, it was awful weather. But like last year, the actual day it was nice!

The recce

I drove on my own; Lynda and Jeff, our American guest, came with the students. I hammered labels into the cliff face identifying the various sections. Then I fetched hardhats, trowels, rulers and clipboards for the students while Lynda did the initial spiel. The we were off!

One student was extremely interested in pretty much everything. Rocks, shells, plants, whatnot. That's great! And quite a few quite nicely went on with things. They appreciated the amazing sediments. We have tills and delta foresets and one thing that's probably and ice wedge. All of this was deposited by an ice stream, and a fast one at that, that filled the entire Irish Sea. It reached the shelf edge, hundreds of kilometers away. Imagine that! And there is black stuff in the crossbedding. It looks like charcoal, but where would you get that from at the depth of an ice age? It probably is coal from nearby coal seams. Very cool!

As it was on the day!

 The mainland in the distance
Students taking the long view

 Lynda does the debrief

No all students agreed; there are always a few that don't know what they're doing and not even want to know. Oh well! But the morning went fine!

For lunch we went back to Beaumaris. The cafe we used to have lunch in didn't exist anymore, but we found a nice tea room further on. It was really snug! And we warmed up a bit.

 Teh tea room we had lunch in

The afternoon group seemed to be a bit less engaged; they were more eager than the first batch to get things over with. But Lynda kept them well in check, even though her voice was faltering.

When she did her debrief, Jeff and I tried to recover the labels But they had been hammered in comprehensively, so that wasn't a sinecure! But Jeff managed even the hardest ones with good palaeolithic technology. And then we had the students dump their hardhats and other materials in my car, and we each went our way! A successful day. And then I had a few hours for lecture prep. The other modules don't wait!

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