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Community Engagement

Within our Community Engagement portfolio the Department of Geology has been involved in a number of activities. We welcome invitations for school visits and presentations to the public that help to raise the awareness of the geological heritage of the Eastern Cape and South Africa. Prof Steve Prevec is involved in this work annually.

We invite interested members of the community to participate in our field excursions to geological sights in the vicinity of Grahamstown. On occasions we have offered such field trips during SciFest Africa , and we are happy to organise such trips for small  groups at request. A short Field Guide and a geological map provide further information. Please contact the Department's secretary in that regard.

Steve Prevec, in collaboration with other staff members and colleagues from the Albany Museum has organised the Geology Internship Program over the last few years. Students in the program, usually senior highschool learners, will be introduced to what it is that a geologist does, and how they go about it. Interns will learn about the various rock types that are exposed in the Grahamstown area, and what they tell us about the geological history of the area. Such rocks include folded and faulted quartzites, shales, clay deposits, and rocks containing fossils of ancient life forms. Interns will experience how geological samples are prepared for study, both fossils and rocks, including some hands-on sample processing and data collection. The interns will also see how we use geological information to create a picture of how a rock, or a living plant or animal, existed through Earth history. They will be mentored by geologists and technical staff undertaking their geoscience careers, some at their beginnings, some ‘matured’, and find out why we do what we do.

Activities include:

  • A tour of the rock sample preparation lab (A. King, T. Royi)
  • A half-day tour of the rocks of the Grahamstown area (S. Prevec)
  • An introduction to the fossils of the Eastern Cape; Geology Department & Albany Museum (Dr R. Prevec, Ms K. Mzanza)
  • An introduction to how geologists describe rocks and minerals
  • What minerals look like under the petrographic microscope
  • How we prepare samples for chemical analysis using an Electron Microprobe, and how the Microprobe actually works (Dr van Niekerk)
  • Geological field visits have included paleontological field work in the Ecca Pass, an environmental impact assessment visit to a fossiliferous quarry near Colchester, and visiting the quartzites & paleo-channels below Toposcope Hill; including learning how a geological compass works.


Last Modified: Fri, 30 Apr 2021 20:35:02 SAST