An award-winning initiative designed to encourage girls to consider a career in earth sciences will be showcased at an international conference next month. 

Girls into Geoscience was founded at the University of Plymouth in 2014 and has since become a popular and expanding annual event.

Almost 400 students have been to the events in Plymouth, attending talks and workshops led by University academics and other women who have forged successful careers in a range of geoscience professions.

Sister sessions have also been successfully held in Ireland and Scotland, with the first Junior Girls in Geoscience (aimed at younger students) having taken place in Leicester earlier this year.

Dr Sarah Boulton, Associate Professor in Active Neotectonics and Co-Founder of Girls in Geoscience, will be speaking about that success at the Dorothy Hill Women in Earth Sciences Symposium, being hosted by the University of Queensland.

Taking place on November 14 and 15, it is held in honour of Australia’s first female professor and brings together leaders in earth and environmental sciences from both academia and industry.

Dr Boulton, who will be delivering the opening keynote at the symposium, said:

“It is a great honour to have been invited to give the opening keynote at an event celebrating women and earth sciences. Professor Dorothy Hill was a pioneer in terms of showing women of all ages they could succeed in the field, and her efforts in that regard echo the ethos of Girls into Geoscience. It will also be an amazing opportunity to showcase the success of our programme to an international audience.”

Since its launch, Girls into Geoscience has achieved a number of successes in encouraging girls to continue on to geoscience degrees.

In 2016, 75% of those attending said at the end of the event that they were more likely to consider studying geology. A year later, 78% of those responding to a follow-up survey said they were off to study geoscience or related courses at university, with 100% of those saying they would recommend GiG to others.

In 2018, it was also awarded The Geological Society’s R H Worth Award, presented in recognition of achievements in outreach, public engagement and/or education.

Planning is already underway for the 2020 event, which will take place over two days in July and again feature a series of talks, workshops and field trips.

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