7 Magazines An Earth Science Student Must Read!

Earth Science: ” The science of earth and its neighbour in space”. It is a widely embraced term for the field of science related to planet earth.
Here are 7 of my favourite magazines that a serious Earth Science student must pore into without second thoughts and consider subscribing to!

1.NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE
Categories: Geography, Science, History, Nature, Cultures

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The iconic yellow rectangular border, photography that draws you into the scene and compelling writing that blows your mind with every word: The National Geographic  Magazine is the official magazine of the National Geographic Society and continues to  enjoy a global and dedicated readership ever since it was published in 1888.

2.DISCOVER MAGAZINE 
Category: Science

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Discover is a science magazine for the layman. It intelligently explores subjects like science, archaeology, ecology and astronomy. Breakthroughs in research, invention and innovation are a central theme in every issue.

3.SKY AND TELESCOPE MAGAZINE
Category: Astronomy

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A monthly American magazine for global astronomy fans! Grab an issue if you want to read about space exploration, books, amateur telescope magazine and events in the astronomy community. The articles feature detailed dicussions by frequently participating scientists from all over the world.

4.MINERALOGICAL RECORD MAGAZINE
Category: Mineral science
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An authoritative collector’s journal , it cannot be done away with by any serious mineralogy student or expert. It is the official magazine of the Mineralogical Record Inc and is issued six times a year.

5.GEOLOGY TODAY
Category: Earth Science

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Geology Today provides an entertaining and instructive read for all Earth Scientists.The magazine features articles on topics of current interest in the earth sciences,geological happenings, discoveries and geological conferences.A lively correspondence section in the magazine allows readers to air and share their views and to respond to items appearing in the journal.

6.ALL ABOUT SPACE MAGAZINE
Category: Science

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Published by British Publications, it features all ongoing space missions and the future technology sections has details about the capacity space exploration in the future. It is issued monthly and focuses on everything that’s going on in space!

7.DIRECTIONS MAGAZINE
Category: Geospatial Science

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The No.1 GIS Industry resource for news, articles and webinars, the magazine was first published in 1998 and is a for geospatial professionals.


This is Himani Garera’s first post on this blog as a co-author . Nicknamed Mannie, she will be a regular contributor to this blog . She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Geology at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and is an alumnus of Banaras Hindu University.

We hope you look forward to cool, original posts from her ! 🙂


Written by- Himani Garera & Nikita Nayak.

 

From one Earthling to another

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Dear people of the Earth,
Do you know what “Gaea” means?
One definition is: A personification of Mother Earth; an ancient greek goddess Gaea from whom all other human beings (gods) birthed
Another meaning is that the Earth is a self-regulating system. It is regarded as a living organism made up of both living and non-living parts that together, in beautiful harmony, make life possible for every living thing that exists or will exist.
How magical is that? Did you ever think of your planet like that?
Every single atom around you – the earth you walk upon, the air you breathe, the water you consume through every cell in your body and feel alive because of – is in existence only for you.
In this busy life, where we are either constantly lost and scared, or running away from being lost and scared, we forget to appreciate – truly appreciate – what we mortals have been blessed with.
We have forgotten how the  earth feels beneath our bare feet, we keep running so fast we do not notice how sultry and spring-like the air smells, we are so lost that our naked bodies also lose touch with the therapeutic power of water against skin.
We want to diminish pollution, increase afforestation, reduce plastic, etc. but we do not know where to begin.
How can refusing a plastic straw make any difference, you say?
500 million plastic straws are used in the U.S. alone, each year.
How can supporting one eco-friendly company and buying your products from only there make a difference?
Millions of oil, plastic, toxic fumes are generated by mainstream companies that evade/violate federal environmental laws each day.
“Poverty and population cannot be helped nor regulated.”
Each time you support a company that donates it’s proceeds to charitable causes, or plants trees for every product sold, uses recyclable, bio-degradable products, or you sponsor a child somewhere, you save “something”.
And that one thing, one person, makes all the difference.
Don’t think about the big fix.
The truth of life is – if we want a change, we must be the change.
Be more attentive and cautious about each thing you do, speak, buy or use.
That is how we start to heal our already hurting planet.
This Earth Day, let us train ourselves to untrain ourselves. Let’s go back to our innate selves and be more mindful of living.
Notice. Listen. Breathe and truly breathe. Close your eyes and feel. Let’s give our Earth the love it constantly and incessantly gives us.
Fall in love with the entity that holds you, continues to give you life, and I promise you- you will find yourself again. You will finally love yourself as Gaea loves you.
Yours humbly,
Garima Singh.


This is Garima Singh’s guest post on this blog. She is a psychology student with a flair for writing and a compassionate heart for all things nature.
She has written this letter, hoping that it would strike a chord with you and that you would become more conscious of your impact on this fragile planet. 

One Earth, One Family!

I tried to do something substantial for Earth Day, which is today, and helped build a network of passionate geology students from colleges and universities across India!
I interviewed each one and it was simply great!
You can read their replies to my questions below.
Presenting, 14 determined geology students from 10 institutions of higher learning !
As prospective geologists, they are finally getting the limelight they deserve! 😀

 

1.BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY,VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH

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Interested in: Micropalaeontology and Oceanography.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Shimla and Dharampur. Here,one can see the Dagshile Kasauli Formation and observe indications of the presence of the Main Boundary Fault.
She loves college because, the Igneous Petrology Laboratory has an EPMA instrument which we use for inspection of minerals and rock identification.

Message for Earth Day-
“Our Earth is full of adventures and mysteries, and I am trying to discover them all by studying about them one by one!”

2.HEMWATI NANDAN BAHUGUNA GARHWAL UNIVERSITY, SRINAGAR, UTTARAKHAND

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Interested in: Structural Geology and Sedimentology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Nahan, Himanchal Pradesh. There, one can get a chance to recognise the Nahan Thrust.
He loves college because, he gets to study his favourite subject, Geology!

Message for Earth Day-
“Consider the Earth as your own body. You have to keep it clean and love the way it is. ;)”

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Interested in: Engineering Geology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: The Shiwaliks. One can find so many vertebrate fossils there, it’s simply amazing!
He loves college because, his university is situated in the heart of the Himalayas and he gets to admire and study about the Himalayas and its formation. 🙂

Message for Earth Day-
“Earth is not just a planet.It is a heavenly playground and it is us to us to choose to be either its guardians or its destroyers.”

 

3.NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, ROURKELA,ODISHA

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Interested in: Coal Petrology
Memorable Field Trip Location: Ramgiri Gold Field,Gadag,Karnataka.
He loves college because, at NIT-Rourkela, he doesn’t study just ‘geology’,but gets to study it as an amalgamation of different sciences; Earth Science.

Message for Earth Day-
“If the Earth were a piece of art, a geologist would be ‘Picasso’.”

4.UNIVERSITY OF LUCKNOW,LUCKNOW, UTTAR PRADESH

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Interested in: Structural Geology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Almora and nearby areas like Kausani.
She loves college because, the rock garden at her department has the best rock samples from various regions in India.They have a geology museum too that has many expensive minerals, fossils and rock samples.

Message for Earth Day-
“We don’t inherit earth from our ancestors but we borrow it from our children. Therefore,we must protect it and preserve it.”

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Interested in: Oceanography.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Undoubtedly, Almora. It’s a great place to study and understand structural geology. Besides, it offers excellent views of the higher Himalayas.”
He loves college because, he believes that his department is home to experts in all major branches of geology.

Message for Earth Day-
“Let’s keep our surroundings clean, conserve electricity, learn as much as we can about the home which we call Earth and love it and leave it a better place for the future generations !”

5.ST.XAVIER’S COLLEGE-AUTONOMOUS,MUMBAI,MAHARASHTRA

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Interested in: Remote Sensing.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Balasinor Dinosaur Fossil Park.  One can see the fossils of dinosaur teeth, bones and skull. What really wowed him were the fossils of Rajasaurus and a well preserved clutch of dinosaur eggs.
He loves college because, he get a chance to get himself acquainted with GIS software,which will help him get basic knowledge to further his studies in Geographic Information Systems.

Message for Earth Day-
“We, geologists, must join hands to protect the very Earth that we study.”

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Interested in: Remote Sensing.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Jaisalmer. One can find and abundance of fossils and a few dinosaur footprints.
He loves college because, the field trips are so much fun and these field visits are the subject of envy for other departments at his college.

Message for Earth Day-
“Since Earth day is all about sustainable development, we as geologists understand the situation of our earth’s resources, be it fossil fuels or groundwater and we can do our part in preventing their exploitation from an ‘Environmental-Geological’ perspective.”

6.THE MAHARAJA SAYAJIRAO UNIVERSITY OF BARODA,VADODARA,GUJARAT

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Interested in: Earth Structures and Dynamics.
Memorable Field Trip Location:Heran river bed, Rangpur. I got to observe three different compositions of volcanic dykes that are found cutting each other.
She loves college because, her department is one of the leading centres for geological research in western India. Moreover, there are numerous geological wonders for one to visit in the state of Gujarat.

Message for Earth Day-
“Earth is a never ending mystery, revealing its secrets in the most  beautiful and wonderful of ways. Solve it, learn it and Respect it.”

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Interested in: Exploration Geology and Mining Geology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Recently, I got a chance to visit Narukot, near Champaner, Gujarat, India. We were taught structural and litho-contact mapping, which was quite interesting to learn.
He loves college because, his department excels in research in Quaternary Geology and Neotectonics.

Message for Earth Day-
“The more you get to explore the Earth, the more you start loving it.”

7.INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (INDIAN SCHOOL OF MINES), DHANBAD,JHARKHAND.

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Interested in: Geotechnical and Petroleum Geology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Bhutinda Falls, near Dhanbad. Here , one can witness the active fluvial system for hydrocarbon preservation.
He loves college because, the name of his college is a legacy in itself! 🙂

Message for Earth Day-
“Learn, Grow, Evolve”

8.NOWROSJEE WADIA COLLEGE,PUNE,MAHARASHTRA

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Interested in: Geophysics.
Memorable Field Trip Location:Karnataka, Ghokak. I got the opportunity to observe intercalated shale, 3 dykes of hornblende and amphibolite at a single place.
He loves college because, he really enjoys practical assignments in the department laboratory. 🙂

Message for Earth Day-
“The Earth and all its beings are one large family, lets keep it that way!”

9.ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY, ALLAHABAD,UTTAR PRADESH.

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Interested in: Hydrogeology.
Memorable Field Trip Location: Madan Haveli, Jabalpur. One can see the famous balancing rock there!
He loves college because, there are dinosaur egg fossils in the department laboratory and it also boasts of the National Center of Experimental Mineralogy and Petrology.

Message for Earth Day-
“Geologists don’t need a laboratory, the entire Earth is our laboratory.”

10.SAVITRIBAI PHULE PUNE UNIVERSITY, PUNE,MAHARASHTRA.

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Interested in: Petrology
Memorable Field Trip Location: Malvan and Kankavali in Maharashtra and Goa. The locations show such a contrasting variation in geology from 3.2by old pre-cambrian rocks to Kaldgis to Deccan traps as well as sedimentary rocks. The metamorphic terrain is amazing and observing everything has added to my knowledge, be it small scale structures or large scale structures.
He loves college because, the professors at his university are encourage research based thinking along with analytical skill development.There is availability of sophisticated instruments and support from teachers makes it one of the best universities to study geology in India.

Message for Earth Day-
My message for Earth Day 2017 is that the planet has formed over billions of years and shows contrasting and striking difference in geology and various type of resources. Our aim as geologists should be to make effective use of resources available with proper care of environment and most important of all preservation of our heritage, geological structures for the coming generations.


I cannot express how elated I am to have finally written this post! I am so grateful to EVERYONE who sent in their responses,trusting me with their answers!
We’ve built a beautiful geology family and have celebrated Earth Day truly. 🙂
Thank you for being a part of this!


If you like this post,and the efforts that went into writing it, please leave a comment below! I’d love to read them!
Happy Earth Day everyone! 😀 ❤

This post is meant to be short

Today, I would like to share just a single 3 minute long video.
The song was composed by Ludovico Einaudi for a Greenpeace campaign to spread awareness about Climate Change.
I do not intend to write much because I want you to watch the video for yourself, listen to the music, take it all in and ponder. Deeply.
P.S. It is critical that you write a comment for this post and share what you thought and felt while watching the video.

“Elegy for the Arctic”- Ludovico Einaudi

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Ludovico Einaudi performing “Elegy for the Arctic”, live.

Ludovico Einaudi is an Italian pianist and genius musical composer whose soul-stirring music touches the very heartstrings .

Heroes and Heroines of the Earth!

Only 8 days to go until Earth Day and we decided to pay our respects to those who have glorified the Earth with their great deeds!
Here is our list of heroines and heroes who have championed the cause of the Blue Planet and you MUST know about them!

5.Midnight Oil
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This alternative rock band from Australia drew the world in with songs that give a pro-environment message! With exotic album names like ‘Capricornia’, ‘Blue Sky Mining’ and ‘Red Sails Sunsets’, they gave environmentalists, their very own anthem, ‘Pictures’.

4.Roz Savage

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Roz Savage is a British ocean rower who is the only woman to have….wait for it…..rowed SOLO across the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean!
She read law at the University of Oxford and is an environmental advocate who also hosts fantastic motivational speech sessions!

3.Alphonse de Lamartine

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Alphonse de Lamartine was a 19th century French poet who romanticised Nature best. His poems have a certain mystical attribute to them and are truly unforgettable. His poem, ‘Le Lac’, written in the language of love, French, expresses his love for Nature and paints a melancholic tapestry of ‘The Lake’ that takes one on a blissful poetic journey.

2.Sir Ernest Shakleton

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Ernest Shakleton was a fearless, dauntless explorer of the Antarctic. He is a brilliant example of a ‘leader of science’ and his survival story of an epic failure which led to an epic example of courage was covered by and published in the National Geographic Magazine is a must read!

1.Nellie Bly

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In 1889, NELLIE BLY COMPLETED A JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD IN 72 DAYS! In 1889, Nellie Bly completed a journey around the world in 72 days!!
Yes, we meant to write that sentence twice! She was an American journalist, who made Jules Verne eat his words as she broke the fictional character, Phileas Fogg’s faux world record of completing a journey around the world in 80 days. and it is no wonder that she is at the top of our exclusive list of Earth’s heroes and heroines! 🙂


We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of inspiring people from the past and present! Let us know what you think in the comment section!

To Gaea, the Earth goddess – with Love

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There are only 9 days to go until Earth Day and I invited fellow earthlings to write a message for Gaea, the Greek Goddess of the Earth. The responses received were phenomenal!

I decided to share a quote!

There couldn’t be a more appropriate day for me to dedicate these beautiful lines penned by one of my favourite poets.

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Then there were some who sent in meaningful messages.

“Mother Earth- abode for millions of life forms. It nourishes and cherishes us, shelters and protects us.”
-Dhruv Maniktala

“We have exploited you for our gains since times immemorial but the new generation is slightly more aware and educated and we are going to try our best to protect you and repair the damages caused.”
– Roshan Adarsh Shukla

“Mother Earth, you have taken a lot on yourself. You have been the most humble when it comes to taking the pain what we all have given to you for all these years.
Thanks a lot for everything!
Whatever you are doing can never be replaced with any efforts of the whole mankind!”
-Harshvardhan Singh

“This Earth Day, let’s celebrate it by taking action. An action is a real contribution towards positive change. Now, that action could be anything and we all know about it, the point is to create something for a sustainable future and for positive change today. So let’s not complain about air pollution, but create companies like ‘Tesla’ or lets not complain about solid waste but set up recycling plants. 
Let’s create a habit to think and care about the planet where we live. The future will be much brighter if we turn over a new leaf now!
Let’s come together to make our planet better!”
-Ankit Maisuriya

 
Some decided to share beautiful poetry written by them!

“What a wonderful joy it is to see,
The Beauty of nature and its majesty.

Everything blends, entwines and embraces,
Spaced precisely in their desginated places.
The scent of fresh rain in spring,
The fresh air gasping through your skin.
The view of fascinating landscapes when you walk outside,
The humming of birds and glittering fireflies.

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.

We rise from Earth, subside in the Earth.
We are a part of Her, Not apart from her.
May we always value her worth.”
-Jay Vyas

There were some who sent messages that were on point!

“One tree can make a million matches, one match can destroy a million trees.”
-Uttam Sakhreliya

“For 200 years we’ve been conquering nature. Now we’re beating it to death.
The Earth is what we all have in common.
Earth has given us so much to cherish! So why wait forEarth Day?
Let’s take a pledge today to save our planet and for future generations to cherish what we have cherished.”
-Samarth Tandon

“Dear Mother Earth, you are feeding all of us. It is our responsibility to take care of you!”
-Madhukar Bhat

“This Earth Day, let’s celebrate the beauty of Mother Earth as we do with our mothers!”
-Samiya Rahman

“Sorry for being a bad son, Mother.”
-Kedar Gokhale

And some, who thanked us for inspiring them to care for the Earth! 
Oh, we’re so grateful!

“Goddess Gaea,
I would like to express my gratitude for presenting us with the most alluring place to spend our lives, you have really done a splendid job caring for mankind, credit goes to this blog, which made me realise that how much I took the environment for granted and ignored it. I really hope you bless the people behind the blog with the utmost happiness and joy, and I shall henceforth do my part to take care of the Earth.”
-Abhinav Paliwal


Thank you everyone for being a part of this! We’re so glad that there are people who share a deep love for our planet! 🙂 We’re still accepting responses for this post because we’d like to spread the love!


Do you have a message for Earth ? 
Send it to us via the ‘Contact Us’ page or by posting it below in the comments section

 

The Earth is Yours

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In 10 Days, we will be celebrating Earth Day and we are super duper excited to create some hype about it!
Have you ever dreamed of naming a star after a loved one or adopting a patch of rain-forest to help in forest conservation efforts? Well, you need not wait any longer.

Today, we would like to share news about this ultra cool initiative by NASA; their ‘Adopt the Planet’ Campaign for Earth Day 2017 allows you to virtually ‘adopt’ a piece of the Earth’s surface and name it yourself!

When you visit the official campaign website, you will be asked to enter a name and will be randomly assigned a unique ‘piece’ of the Earth’s surface out of 64,000 such ‘pieces’. You won’t exactly be buying it or be a legal owner of the area alloted to you but it is this sense of knowing that you love your planet and own a part of it that takes your appreciation for the Earth and its resources to a whole other level.

The area assigned to you will be 55 miles wide and will have data associated with the area of land or ocean you have adopted.

I could not contain my excitement and  went ahead and claimed my share of the Earth and have posted a screenshot for you all to see!
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Furthermore, the best part about this campaign is that you get to understand your adopted area better because NASA has compiled data from 18 of their Earth Science  missions for you to have a look at. This data has been collected from watercraft, aircraft, ground observation stations and satellites from varying international space agencies.

You also get the opportunity to check out their Worldview tool which is from  NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System or EOSDIS. This fantastic tool allows the general public to view high quality data in great resolutions and download it for further study and analysis.

Having said this, we would like to encourage you to check out NASA’s campaign page and adopt your very own share of the Earth so that no part is left unclaimed!

Lets share our love for our beautiful blue planet. ❤


We would love to know about your piece of the Earth! You can share a link to it in the comments section below. 🙂 

Unlock Your Potential With OpenLearn

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The ‘World Wide Web’ is precisely that. It is a vast interconnected web of useful resources, people and ideas from around the world at YOUR sole disposal.

You can either choose to let a great learning opportunity as this, pass or use it to better your future!

I believe that ‘science’ is a subject, fit for the innately curious.

Geology enthusiasts must constantly exceed their expectations and gather knowledge from varied sources during their foundational years. Prospective geologists should have a good mind to always try and make their fundamentals rock solid, not rocky. 🙂

I chanced upon a great platform called OpenLearn and would like to share my 5 choicest courses for the Earth Science inclined! The best part of these listings is that they’re super short and sweet.

Here we go-

1.Life in Paleozoic
Duration- 12 hours

Palaeontology studies require a systematic approach. For students, a well-structured course as this will help put the chronological order of evolutionary events in the clear. You will then be able to truly enjoy the wonderful world of lifeforms in the Paleozoic era as much as I did.

2.Energy Resources: Alternative Energy in Perspective
Duration- 3 hours

Fossil fuel divestment and investment in climate solutions is on the rise. We need to understand our alternative energy options better and this course will help you do exactly that.

3.Unclear about Nuclear
Duration-20 hours

This introductory course is for those who would like to enter the high energy, power packed, nuclear industry.

4.Energy Resources: Geothermal Energy
Duration- 4 hours

Geothermal energy is an alternative energy source that has immense potential to meet our power demands without contributing to global warming and pollution. One ought to study it so that we can harness it to our advantage.

5.Earth’s Physical Processes: Petroleum
Duration- 12 hours

The course is slick. If you’re dreaming of a career in drilling and living on camp at a rig-site, you would want to know a bit about the geological characteristics of petroleum, drilling methods and safety measures at the rig-site. The course covers all these details in as succinct a way as possible.


There are only good things to say about the OpenLearn platform; the list given above is an exhaustive one! Browse the website yourself for a brilliant range of courses in the Nature and Environment section.

On course completion, you are rewarded for your efforts with a ‘Statement of Participation’. That way, you can list proof of your learning on your resume and get recognised for it in all the right circles!


This is Nimesh Kotadia’s debut post on this blog. Kotadia is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Geophysics at the Indian Institute of Technology- Kharagpur.


Edited by- Nikita Nayak.

We would love to hear about your online learning experiences! Feel free to comment below.

Abhishek Tiwari is too cool to have just ONE geology job title!

Yes, it’s true.  🙂
Abhishek Tiwari undertook all of his studies in Geology at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and graduated in 2015.
He’s currently working on Biogeochemistry at the Physical Research Laboratory,Ahmedabad; one of India’s stellar scientific institutions AND will be joining the Geological Survey of India as a Geologist in April, this year!
Furthermore, his area of interests happen to be as diverse as can be; Geology, Glaciology and Marine Geology.
He also runs a brilliant Facebook page called, ‘Geology Freak‘ and has his very own website .
I am truly excited to reveal his insightful answers to my questions!

A career in research such as yours, requires serious passion and wise academic planning. Do you agree?

Yes. I completed an undergraduate degree in Geology with Physics and Chemistry as my subsidiary subjects at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.
The reason behind choosing Physics and Chemistry was to avoid Mathematics. One should choose his/her subsidiary subjects from core science subjects i.e. PCM. This selection can help you in understanding Geophysics and Geochemistry as you would learn basics of Physics and Chemistry during the first two years.
I went on to do my Master of Science in Geology at the same university and graduated in 2015.
We’ve heard through the grapevine that you’ve a number of workshops and internship experiences to your credit. Please tell us more about them!
Yes, I have devoted time at several workshops and internships. I’ve listed them below:
(1) Workshop on Remote Sensing, Glaciology and Climate Science at Divecha Centre for Climate Change, IISC (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore), May – June 2014.
(2) Attended Training at IITB (Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai) on Climate Science and Policies, July 2014 .
(3) Attended 15th PLANEX Workshop on “Mars and Moon: Remote Sensing and Analogue Studies” at PRL (Physical Research Laboratory), Ahmedabad, January 2015
(4) Interned at PLANEX for Martian Glaciology Project during the workshop.
That is very impressive! Did you accomplish any research work while at these workshops? 

Remember how eager I was to avoid mathematics from being one of my subsidiary subjects. Well, as chance would have it, I worked on “A Mathematical Model For Calculating Ice Thickness And Volume of Himalayan Glaciers” for my dissertation. A workshop on Glaciology at IISc, Bangalore helped me understand the present models for calculating ice thickness and volume. I soon realized that none of them took the curvature of the glacier valley into consideration.
Thus,to solve this problem I decided to do my dissertation on it. The dissertation involved understanding the geomorphic landscape and invoking mathematical modelling to understand the shape of the glacier valley which has to be incorporated in a new model for calculating ice thickness and volume.
Later, we took this model further to calculate rate of retreat of glaciers with time.

Amazing! We’re curious about what’s keeping you busy currently!

At the Physical Research Laboratory, I am working on, ‘Neodymium Isotopes in Sea Water’. The institute has helped me understand Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry and Oceanography.

Exam-taking can be stressful. How did you cope with stress whilst in college? 

I believe that food and music are the best stress-busters. 🙂

Do you have advice for current students who are burning the midnight oil, studying fortough papers?

Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and try and be excited about what could go right. Try your best. Be content with yourself. Don’t compare.

What is your take on reference books that juniors absolutely must read?

Here are my top picks:
Introduction to Structural Geology’  by A.K. Jain.
The Principles of Petrology: An Introduction to the Science of Rocks‘ by G.W.Tyrell.
Introduction to Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology‘ by Francis J.Turner and John Verhoogen.
An Introduction to Economic Geology and Its Environmental Impact‘ by Anthony M.Evans.
Search for the Past: An Introduction to Paleontology‘ by James R. Beerbower

Great recommendations, thank you!
As the saying goes, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Have you come across books or films that you have particularly liked?
Yes, I’d love my juniors to check the following books and films out. They’re really good.
Books-

1. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
2. 11 Minutes by Paulo Coelho
3. Black Holes and Baby Universes by Stephen Hawking
4. The Mad Science Book: 100 Amazing Experiments from the History of Science by Reto U. Schneider

Documentaries and films-
1. The Cannibal in the Jungle – Animal Planet 2016
2. Years of Living Dangerously 2014
3. Vice (Youtube Channel)
4. The Story of God with Morgan Freeman 2016
5. Inside Job 2010

Last but not the least, as blog tradition would have it, what advice would you like to give to your juniors?

When the winds are not going your way, adjust your sails. Life is different after college. Enjoy it to its fullest.
Thank you for answering every question with utmost patience! How can we reach you in the future ?

Feel free to mail me at abhimaverick19@gmail.com or keep in touch through Facebook.


Abhishek Tiwari is looking to collaborate with bloggers for his website. Please contact him directly if interested.


Like this post? Share it on social media or give your comments below! 

The IELTS vs TOEFL dilemma

For Geology students, the Earth is their classroom and rightly so. It isn’t surprising when these students choose to travel all across the globe to further their education or careers. There’s truly no stopping them, save for the IELTS vs TOEFL puzzle that can put the best of us in a fix.
Having done my research thoroughly and wholeheartedly, let me share my finds with you without further ado.

What are the IELTS and TOEFL tests?

The IELTS and TOEFL are standardized tests to check an individual’s proficiency in the English language. You may take either of them if you are interested in going to an English speaking country for studies, work, immigration or simply put, if you wish to check your progress in learning  English.
You will need to take ONE of these tests. They are both conducted by different organizations and differ in terms of test structure and delivery.
You will need to choose which one you want to appear for, based on the eligibility criteria stipulated by your foreign college,university or company.

Who can take these tests?

Just about anyone!
Students or Professionals who hail from countries that do not have English as their first language are required to take either of these tests to fulfill one of many eligibility requirements.

India is the second largest English speaking country in the world. Why is it necessary to take one of these tests?

True, but our native language varies regionally. This makes learning English as a second language very challenging. We therefore need to prove our English skills to demonstrate that we will be able to survive in an English speaking environment.

What if one were educated in an English medium school throughout?

Unfortunately, if you have studied in an Indian school,college or university  whose medium of instruction was English, you would still have to appear for either of these tests in order to apply for higher education or employment in a Native English speaking country.

Some universities accept Grade XII scores in English from students who studied in schools affiliated to ISC,AISSCE or IB boards but this is rare.

What are my test taking options when it comes to IELTS and TOEFL?

IELTS Academic and IELTS General

The IELTS Academic is for students who wish to apply for admission in institutions of higher education i.e. colleges or universities.

The IELTS General is compulsory for people who are looking to migrate to the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or Canada. However, if you are seeking admission in schools, looking for work experience or training in your field in an English speaking country, this is the test you will be require to take.

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL PBT

The TOEFL iBT  is conducted online in its entirety.

The TOEFL PBT is a paper-delivered test. This test type is only offered in select locations where the TOEFL iBT cannot be organised due to the lack of an internet connection. It is not offered anywhere in India so we shall not talk more about it.

How do these tests differ in structure? 

The IELTS assessment has four sections; Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You will be asked to sit at a desk and chair in a spacious hall with other test-takers just as traditional examinations are conducted. The Listening,Reading and Writing components of the test are conducted in one sitting and take a total of 2 hours 45 minutes to complete. There shall be no breaks in between.

The Speaking section is a face-to-face interview and can be held on the same day or on a  different day altogether . Your test centre shall inform you when to come as your Speaking test could take place either in the week before or after completion of your other tests.

The IELTS Academic and IELTS General tests differ greatly from one another too! I shall discuss the differences in detail in a later post.

Your TOEFL test will have four sections;  Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing and these shall be conducted on a computer with a QWERTY keyboard in the said order. There shall be a 10 minute break after the Listening test. The test duration is 4 hours and 30 minutes approximately.

Who conducts these tests?

The IELTS assessment is organised by the British Council and IDP Australia. You may  register for your test with either of these organizations through their website. Be assured that the test structure does not change irrespective of what organization you choose to register with.

The TOEFL is administered by  ETS or Educational Testing Service which is based in California. 

How much is test registration going to cost?

Currently, the cost of registration for both the IELTS and TOEFL are as follows:

IELTS Academic/ General-  ₹ 11,300 until 31st March,2017 and ₹ 11,800 INR from 1st April,2017 , organised either by the British Council or IDP Australia. 

TOEFL iBT- 170 $ , organised by ETS. The fee can only be paid in U.S dollars. 

Can I take these tests in my Indian city?

Yes.

The multiple IELTS test locations in India are split between its organisers; the British Council and IDP Australia.
For instance, the IELTS test in Ahmedabad, is conducted by the British Council but if you wish to take it in Vadodara, it will be organised by IDP Australia. Please check the official IELTS website to see which of these organizers offer the test in your city. 

The TOEFL is organised almost 50 times throughout the course of one year in several Indian cities. Please check the official ETS website for more information.

How are these tests scored? Can we pass or fail these tests?

No, as a matter of fact, you cannot pass or fail these tests. Though, they are scored differently. Your scores indicate your level of understanding of the English language. You need to check with your foreign institute of learning or company to see what minimum scores they accept.

The IELTS is scored in bands. Each section in the IELTS test is scored between 0 to 9 bands. You can also receive a .5 band. Your total band score is your average of the four band scores you received in the individual (listening, reading, writing & speaking) sections.

Say, Veronica receives a total band score of 8.5 and Gregory receives a 5.0. It is implied that Veronica has a fully operational command of the English language and seldom makes errors, whereas Gregory has a partial command of the language and can only make basic conversation.

The TOEFL test has a total score of 120. Each of the four sections (listening, reading, speaking& writing) is scored on a scale of 0 to 30.  

Do these test scores expire? 

Yes. Both your IELTS and TOEFL test scores will expire 2 years from your test date. After score expiration, you will need to re-take the test of your choice in order to prove your English proficiency.

Can one have multiple attempts at these tests?

Yes, there is no limit on test taking attempts for an individual.

You can resit for the IELTS test as soon as you feel prepared enough to take it.

If you’re considering resitting for the TOEFL test, you can only register ONCE in a 12-day period.


The author has taken the IELTS Academic test offered by the British Council in 2013 and 2015 and has scored an overall band score of 8.5 and 8.0 respectively.

Have further questions? Feel free to ask in the comment section below!


Important links:

The official ETS website for TOEFL:
https://www.ets.org/toefl/

The official IELTS website:
https://www.ielts.org/