In early August of this year (2018), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia conducted a field trip for undergraduate geologists from China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT), Xuzhou, China.
Over the last year in my dual roles as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Earth, Environmental and
Biological Sciences, QUT and as a Visiting Distinguished Professor in the School of Resources and Geosciences, CUMT I’ve worked to develop a relationship between the two academic institutions. Both QUT and CUMT are well respected in their countries in providing applied, ‘real world’ experiences to their students.
This geological field trip lasted two weeks and consisted of 16 students plus Professor A.P. Zhenghui Qu. The leader of the trip was Professor David Gust, who has only recently ‘retired’ from QUT – though with his energy, continued teaching and research schedule you’d never know he isn’t full time.
The first three days used Brisbane as its base, with excursions in and around the city as well as to coastal areas south. On the third day we flew up to Rockhampton where over the remaining days of the field trip we meandered southward, back to Brisbane.
We exposed the students to modern coastal processes, volcanic and sedimentary rocks, a coal mine as well as a variety of structural settings. The design of the field trip was less talk and more doing as we had the students measuring sections, correlating fluvial sediments, measuring grain size and coring modern coastal beaches and deltas.
It wasn’t all geology, as in the evenings we made sure the students tasted the local Australian culture – pizza, beer, seafood and music. We hope to run many more of these field trips with CUMT and, fingers crossed, to have CUMT run a field trip for QUT students in China.