Janet Thomson: becoming a geologist in the field

Janet Thomson gives an account of undergraduate fieldwork in the Pentland Hills, Scotland, 1962.

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One of the first ones was the Easter vacation trip in the first year. And we went up to Edinburgh to the Pentland Hills and we were going to look for graptolites, these very hard to spot pencil like inscriptions on pieces of slate. And we got out of the coach and we were walking over the moor to where there was an outcrop. And it began to snow, and it was very wet snow. And it was only just starting really as we got to the outcrop, but when you’re trying to look, erm, for a very faint fossil on a piece of slate that’s got snow drops melting on it, [laughs] it’s actually quite difficult. And we were doing our best to sort this one out but in the end the snow got so much that we had to stomp to the coach. But the coach had moved in the meantime because he’d driven around to where we were expecting to come off the moor on the other side, so it was actually quite a long walk. And the snow was pretty thick and a lot of people were getting quite distressed about it, because they were getting cold. But I, I didn’t mind, I had got corduroy trousers on and they were just absorbing the moisture, and whilst I kept walking, you know, it was pretty good insulation, I wasn’t getting cold. And I remember Grace saying, when we got back to the coach, ‘Well I can see you’re going to be a geologist, Janet,’ [laughs] ‘cause I wasn’t moaning, I was just sort of enjoying the challenge of getting out in the elements. So it was a way of sort of showing how the weather can inhibit what you’re doing in the way of fieldwork, and you have to be prepared to take it all in your stride really. So that was a, you know, I sort of enjoyed it, I enjoyed the challenge.
  • Interviewee Janet Thomson
  • Duration 00:02:16
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Paul Merchant
  • Date of interview 5/26/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/20
  • Keywords

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