About Professor Simon Haslett

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Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Professor of Physical Geography and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Journey to Canada

Arrived in Canada for the 36th Annual Colloquium of the Atlantic Geoscience Society (AGS).

The 11.05am Air Canada flight from Heathrow was a little delayed, but otherwise was fine. Most of the Atlantic was blanketed with cloud, and flying above it at around 10,000 m in the noonday sun gave a good insight in cloud albedo - incredibly bright.

The cloud started to break up south of Greenland as we approached Newfoundland. I had a window seat and had great views of fragmented sea ice, with some interesting flow structures.

We flew down the middle of Newfoundland and had great views of the coast and inland landscape. The glacial heritage is clearly visible, and some evidence for isostatic rebound going on took the form of series of isolation basins perched above the coast to the west of Deer Lake. Also, saw some beautiful fjords near Corner Brook.

Landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, around 2pm where the ground temperature was only -4 degrees C. We decended through cloud at around 1700 m, but there were some breaks that opened up to blue skies and quite warming winter sun.

I was met by Dr Rob Fensome of Natural Resources Canada. He and I are co-editors for the AGS journal Atlantic Geology, and he kindly offered to put me up tonight before we both go to the Colloquium tomorrow. Rob had visited me at the University of Wales, Newport, in June 2009 to speak at the Newport NEXUS Conference, so it was good for me to be making a return visit.

Rob and his wife took me for dinner at a pub called Jamiesons in Dartmouth, which served excellent fish and chips (haddock not cod), washed down with a couple of pints of IPA (Indian Pale Ale).

Rob is currently editing a book - Geology of Canada - as a Canadian contribution to the UN's Year for Planet Earth (2009). It sounds a great project and the book should be published this year. He's had previous success when he helped put together a popular geology book called the Last Billion Years.

As both Rob and I have palaeontological backgrounds, we have been invited to sit as panel members of a Colloquium session tomorrow on the Teaching of Evolution, so I'm looking forward to that.

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