UFERN SPEAKER SERIES: DRS. BEN KENNEDY AND JONATHAN DAVIDSON

The April webinar in the ongoing UFERN webinar series featured two guests from the geosciences. Dr. Ben Kennedy, Associate Professor of Geoscience Education and Volcanology at University of Canterbury and Dr. Jonathan Davidson, Crustal Modelling Technician at the University of Canterbury joined us from New Zealand for the webinar and shared their expertise and insights on an innovative educational approach, virtual field trips, and hi-tech gaming, as a way to gain access to otherwise inaccessible situations or localities, such as students drilling into a magma chamber. 

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About Ben

Dr. Ben Kennedy worked as teaching and learning fellow (postdoc) doing geoeducation research and academic development at UBC, Canada with Carl Wieman before moving to NZ and is now an Ass Prof Geoscience Education and Volcanology at University of Canterbury. Ben now leads an Earth and Environmental Education group at University of Canterbury, with interests in place based education, community engagement, bi/multi cultural pedagogy and content, and technology and gamification. Ben has/is supervised 3 PhD students, 2 MSc and several undergrad geoscience education research projects relating to fieldwork, and virtual fieldtrips. Ben loves being outside exploring volcanoes with students and with his growing family, and is a keen surfer. 

About Jonathan

Dr. Jonathan Davidson is originally from Montreal, Canada, and has a phd in geology from University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where he researched the structure of geothermal fields in the North Island. He looked at how breaks, faults and discontinuities influence the permeability of geothermal fluids travelling through the crust by measuring gases escaping at the surface and interpreting geothermal borehole geophysical data. Jonathan is at ease with spatial data, and enjoys creating 3d models of everything and nothing, from shiny obsidian rocks all the way to large-scale volcanic plumbing models. Jonathan’s main motivation in becoming a geologist was hearing about the exciting and unusual places that you are required to travel in such a role- Jonathan has worked or been on fieldtrips to all continents on the planet!

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