Early on in the expedition I was chatting with Michelle Harris, one of our petrologists, about what kind of outreach she would want to see from me. We got onto the topic of gender and their representation of female identifying individuals in geosciences. It is a passion of hers to bring the wonders of geology to young girls because in her own experience she didn’t even know about it until she had to decide on her major in college. That got me thinking about my own exposure to the geosciences and realized how it never really got its own attention. Geology was only looked at very briefly in my fifth grade science class and then my sciences took on a more biological or chemical focus.
Michelle participates in a program called Girls Into Geosciences that helps expose school age female identifying individuals to geosciences through experiential learning. I learned that she has them study replicas of cores, has meet and greets with different scientists, and takes them on field trips. During Expedition 393 she held a Ship to shore with the group back in the UK and it was great to see her interact with them. The group got to look at rocks they had in front of them and talk about the features they saw as she showed the same features on the rocks we pulled up.
She wrote about her experience and shared it with the UKIODP newsletter. You can read it here.
Here is a quote from the article:
“In 2016 I shared my career story and the role that ocean drilling has had in shaping my research and myself as a researcher. In subsequent years I have run IODP themed workshops using the ECORD core replicas and have introduced the science and methods we use out at sea to study hard rock cores. When Expedition 393 was rescheduled to June-August 2022, I was excited that I’d be able to join our Girls in Geoscience event from sea and combine my passion for my subject with my passion for inspiring more girls to pursue a career in geoscience. As someone that stumbled across geology when flicking through university prospectus’ and could have easily ended up studying geography or chemistry at university, I wish that events like Girls in Geoscience were around to help me find the subject.”