Two exciting sessions were held this week as part of Earth Science Week. Teaching in a school that is in the ‘heart of the hinterland’ and in the centre of Kanawinka, Australia’s only, and the world’s largest GeoPark, it is fitting that Hawkesdale P12 College could be actively involved in these sessions and continue to form a partnership with the Kanawinka GeoPark community. Here is a summary of the two sessions hosted.
Establishing a geopark in a metropolis: the Hong Kong Geopark
Few people would know that the bustling, heavily populated city of Hong Kong actually features a GeoPark. Young Ng, our expert presenter, has an impressive biography including:-Designer, proposer and advocator of Hong Kong Geopark; Member, Hong Kong Geopark Taskforce, HK Government; Member, Hong Kong Country and Marine Parks Board, Hong Kong Government and is an advisory member on many global GeoPark advisory boards.
Young introduced the interesting and stunning geological features of Hong Kong GeoPark and told us why a geopark is needed in such a small and densely populated international city. He discussed the problems encountered during the process of designing and advocating his urban geopark idea and highlighted the principles and characteristics of the Hong Kong Geopark. They have indeed made the impossible, possible. It was great to learn how earth scientists can work together with community and government in protecting our natural environment.
Fittingly, there was a global audience for his presentation. How fascinating, that students and classes can join in a virtual classroom with other experts and interested parties around the world. How much richer is such a learning environment! Students of course, were fascinated with some of the stunning geological formations that Young’s images showed and the innovative approaches by restaurants in presenting food on their menus, to represent the geological formations eg golden hexagonal rock columns (fried tofu), layered sedimentary pudding etc
Caves and Volcanoes- Australia’s Kanawinka GeoPark
Ian Lewis who gives his bio as such:- I was born on the side of a volcano! The Mount Gambier volcano has four large craters, one with the beautiful Blue Lake in it, and is surrounded by a huge large area of limestone plains, full of caves and sinkholes. Some sinkholes have very deep clear water in them which flows slowly underground from the Blue Lake. A bunch of us are scuba divers who dive in the deep sinkholes for exploration and the Blue Lake for research into water quality and freshwater aquatic life. There are over 400 volcanoes and 1000 caves across our region here in southern Australia. They are all part of the Kanawinka Global GeoPark, one of 60 GeoParks around the world, all recognised by UNESCO. I am a limestone and groundwater geologist, helping to run the Kanawinka GeoPark. I also count and record bats in all our caves and will show you photos of all the beaut stuff we do here.
Ian, with his experience in teaching, led us through some wonderful images that showed the richness of the Kanawinka park. The virtual audience consisted of interested global adults, classes of students and many students individually logged onto their netbooks. This kept the chat lively, with many comments published with feedback and then questions, especially when it got to the photos of the bats. It is hoped that Ian will return and finish his presentation as we did not get to cover the sinkholes around the Portland area and the wildlife that exists there.
Indeed it is hoped that both presenters will continue to partner with us. Thank you, Young and Ian!