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The BGS, with partners from the universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham and York (National Centre for Atmospheric Science), is carrying out a science-based environmental monitoring programme in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, where a planning application to carry out hydraulic fracturing for shale gas has been submitted. The programme comprises monitoring of water quality (groundwater and surface water), seismicity, air quality, soil gas, radon in air and ground motion.
With planning permission being granted, the monitoring programme will become even more important as it will provide an independent measurement of the baseline against which any future changes can be compared. The monitoring will continue during the different stages of shale gas development at the site. It will provide the UK with a unique dataset for a shale gas operation over its whole life cycle: before, during and after hydraulic fracturing has taken place.
The BGS’s monitoring programme is independent of that being carried out by industry or regulators. It is designed to enhance the scientific understanding and knowledge of environmental baselines and identify any effects that shale gas operations might have on the environment. Information from the monitoring programme will be made publicly available and also support peer-reviewed science.
Professor Rob Ward, BGS Director of Science and project director, said, "If hydraulic fracturing goes ahead then understanding the baseline is a critical first step in ensuring it is carried out safely. Our independent monitoring will enable this and allow more informed decisions to be made."
Jane's legacy extended beyond her scientific outputs – her leadership, with a firm commitment to creating and supporting opportunities for the development and progression of early-career scientists also made a lasting impact; she made exceptional career progress becoming one of the nation’s most senior female scientists in an era when leading female scientists were rare and faced many barriers to progression. As a result of her experiences she became a role model and champion to many younger scientists.
Jane retired from BGS in 2005 when she held the role of Chief Scientist but her career continued to gather momentum in other directions, commencing in 2003, with publication of 'Your life in your hands', the first of a series of books she wrote on the relationship between diet and health. After leaving BGS, Jane held the position of Emeritus Professor of Geochemistry at Imperial College until her death.
Jane attended Ashby de la Zouch Grammar School for Girls and joined BGS in 1967, aged 23, with a first-class degree in Geology from the University of Liverpool and was assigned to the Atomic Energy Section in London under Stan Bowie. Her career progressed rapidly; initially developing methods in the north of Scotland for a regional geochemical Survey to identify resources of economically important metals for which she was awarded, in 1977, a PhD from the university of Leicester for her work "Regional Geochemical mapping in Great Britain with particular reference to sources of error".
By 1983 Jane had achieved Band three Individual Merit Promotion in recognition of her scientific achievement. Following a sabbatical year in 1988-89, spent in Northern Canada developing her skills and experience working as Vice-President of a junior exploration company, she moved from London to Keyworth as all BGS Geochemistry operations relocated. Subsequently, Jane held a succession of senior leadership positions in BGS culminating in 2002 with her appointment as BGS Chief Scientist.
In 1997 Jane was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in recognition of her contribution to science and industry.
BGS welcomes the news from UNESCO today that the UK now has seven UNESCO Global Geoparks. The new UNESCO Global Geoparks programme was announced by UNESCO this morning, in a historic vote that created the first new programme in UNESCO since World Heritage in 1972. The seven existing UK Global Geoparks automatically become UNESCO Global Geoparks, putting them alongside UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
Here at BGS, we have worked with all of the UNESCO Global Geoparks since they were first established in the UK in 2001. This has included helping to develop and interpret geological sites, developing and compiling publications and online resources, providing advice and guidance on site management as well as in many cases helping to write the initial application dossier.
Dr Kirstin Lemon, based in our Belfast office, has a long association with Global Geoparks and is now a member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Evaluation Team as well as the European Geoparks Network Coordination Committee. Kirstin is also the Chairperson of the Irish Global Geoparks Committee and Vice-Chairperson of the UK Global Geoparks Forum.
Congratulations to Dr Liz Bailey from the School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham who has been appointed as Visiting Research Associate within the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry, British Geological Survey. Liz is a specialist in environmental geochemistry and works on urban risk assessment, soil iodine and selenium geochemistry, dynamics of uranium, thorium and heavy metals and Global Food Security.
ICDP have provided US$ 1M funding for a new drilling project on the Paleogene marine record from coastal Tanzania, project TOPIC (Tanzania Onshore Paleogene Integrated Coring).The project will provide a new integrated stratigraphy for the Tanzanian Paleogene which is well known for its excquisite microfossil preservation and palaeoclimate records. Drilling will include new records through the Paleocene/Eocene and Eocene/Oligocene boundaries, and everything in between. Scientific objectives relate to paleoclimate studies and the deep subsurface biosphere:
The project PI is Paul Pearson (Cardiff University) with other UK Co-Is from BGS (Melanie Leng), UCL, Birmingham, Southampton, and Bristol.
Funding success! The ICDP have provided US$1.5M towards the drilling for a project on the Lower Jurassic in Wales/UK: Integrated understanding of the early Jurassic Earth system and Timescale (JET).
The science objectives are to:
The overall PI is Stephen Hesselbo (University of Exeter) with UK Co-Is from BGS (Jim Riding, Melanie Leng and Dan Condon), Oxford and Leeds.