Last Wednesday, the School of Earth and Environment and Geoscience Foundation welcomed guests to a sundowner at the Edward de Courcy Clarke Earth Science Museum to acknowledge the generous donation of 12 state-of-the-art microscopes, used in teaching and by research staff and students.
‘Sponsor a microscope’ was initiated by former Chair of the Geoscience Foundation Board, Jenny Archibald, leading to a total donation of $96,000 by 9 donors. The donations from alumni and industry were matched jointly by the School and the Faculty of Science. The School and Board also acknowledged the significant discount provided to the school by the manufacturer, Nikon.
The Head of School, Matthew Tonts and current Chair of the Geoscience Foundation, Tom Ridsdill-Smith thanked donors for their contributions, without which the purchase of this equipment would not have been possible. They also acknowledged the efforts of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations in raising the funds.
Tony Kemp, Head of the Geoscience Division, said, ‘We are confident that the new microscopes will enhance the learning experience of Geoscience students here at UWA.’
He went on to explain, ‘The new microscopes have been heavily used this semester in two third year geology units ‘EART3343 Structural Geology and Tectonics’ and ‘EART3342 Geochemistry and Petrology’ and a level 4 unit 'GEOS4411 Mineralising Systems'. The strength of the new microscopes lies in their superior optical performance, and in their flexibility to switch between transmitted and reflected light modes. They provide a much clearer view of fine-grained minerals, such as occur in rapidly cooled volcanic rocks, and allow us to better observe micro-scale features in minerals resulting from deformation deep within the Earth. As a result of this, we have been able to introduce a microstructures component into EART3343. They also help greatly in the examination of opaque ore minerals using reflected light microscopy, making it easier for students to appreciate the processes of mineralization.'
The school is still seeking donations for a further four microscopes. Further information can be obtained from Halina Dorward at the Office of Development and Alumni Relations on 6488 3420.
Helen Pelusey (School of Earth and Environment) (+61 8) 6488 3594
Halina Dorward (Office of Development and Alumni Relations (+61 8) 6488 3420