James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator researching how people and nature can adapt to environmental change.

Citizen Science Challenge #9: Geology

Geology rocks. With that out of the way, onwards to explore the surprising variety of citizen geo-science projects that you can get involved in.

If you need convincing (and admittedly, I did), then start off with some of the clips from Anturus, on their recent Expedition Etna. Volcanoes are of course a great place to start when extolling the virtues of geology, but scroll down and see the variety of citizen science projects that you can get started with, right in our back garden. You’ll never look at the ground beneath your feet in the same way!

For a whole variety of clips Expedition Etna, click here.


Extreme Exposures:

The BGS are calling on all adventurers, intrepid geology fans and keen photographers to help enhance their knowledge of our geological landscapes. In some parts of the UK the BGS photographic coverage is limited due to extreme terrain or difficult to reach vantage points. The BGS is asking for your help to photograph these ‘EXposures’!

So will you be working outdoors this summer?

Are you planning expeditions to climb crags or kayak round sea cliffs?

Will you be flying or trekking over remote landscapes?

YES? – Then double check your camera is packed because you’re on your way to being an integral part of BGS Citizen Science.

School Seismology:

The school seismology project enables schools to detect signals from large earthquakes happening anywhere in the world.

The sheer destructive power of earthquakes has always held a fascination for children. This project capitalises on this natural interest by making use of earthquakes and seismology as a unifying theme to teach a range of basic science concepts.

You can view the most recently recorded earthquake here.

mySoil App:

mySoil is a new free smartphone app from the BGS and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

mySoil lets you take a soil properties map of Britain with you wherever you go, helping you learn about the soil beneath your feet. With your phone’s GPS you’ll know exactly where you are.

mySoil also enables the general public to upload information about the soil where they live, helping to improve our knowledge about the properties of soils and the vegetation habitats that they provide.

Please help us to improve our soil map and build up a community produced collection of soil information by sending us photos and details about the soil where you live by using mySoil.

More Useful Links:


Have you given the Secchi Project (or any of the other citizen science projects!) a go? Share your experiences with everyone else in the comments below.


Huge thanks to Huw James for sending my the cracking photographs in this post.



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