Teaching and training program



GEMOC's teaching program aims to:

  • provide undergraduate and postgraduate students with a broad, integrative understanding of Earth architecture and processes, bridging the discipline boundaries of geology and geophysics
  • train undergraduate and postgraduate students in new conceptual approaches and the applications of advanced technology, including geochemical analysis techniques and the integrated field and laboratory use of geographic information systems (GIS)
  • develop international links in teaching programs (especially postgraduate) relevant to GEMOC's goals
  • develop formal tailored course work components at postgraduate level which also can be packaged for distance education delivery and as short courses available to the mining industry
  • enhance the pool of high quality geoscience graduates by restructuring academic programs to attract a new clientele

HIGHLIGHTS 1999 - 2000

curriculum development

  • A new degree, the Bachelor of Environmental Science in Environmental Geology is ready for its launch in 2001. Initial indications are that this will be a popular degree for both new and existing students. Students are also able to opt for a more flexible but similar program under the current Bachelor of Science degree. The BEnvSc program is aimed at producing professional Environmental Geologists equipped with skills for employment in both urban geology and the resource sector. Third year units to be taken by these students include GEOS 315 Environmental and Groundwater Geophysics, GEOS 377 Exploration and Environmental Geochemistry, and GEOS 399 Soils. Students are routinely exposed to the state-of-the-art equipment in GEMOC's Geochemical Analysis Unit. The program was constructed with advice from the GEMOC Advisory Board.

This degree can be combined with Law or Economics to complete a BEnvSc/LLB, BEnvSc/BEc, or undertaking postgraduate studies within the Department or the Graduate School of the Environment.

  • The Department of Earth and Planetary Science is co-convening a strand of a second new degree, the Marine Geoscience strand of the Bachelor of Marine Science. The Department is introducing a new first year unit GEOS 116 Marine Geoscience, restructuring an existing second year unit in 2002 that will become GEOS 260 Marine Depositional Environments, and taking part in another broad second year unit, Marine Science in 2002. These changes are in line with both the long and short term aims of the GEMOC teaching program and in particular will include the further integration of geology and geophysics.
  • An increasing number of Earth and Planetary Sciences units is coming on-line and including the use of computer packages in teaching to assist student learning. A new interface is being implemented to present a consistent format for the teaching sites to make them more accessible.
  • Routine use of the GIS approach in undergraduate teaching continues. Students are introduced to computer-based mapping in their first field unit and use portable computers to construct maps. Macquarie funded replacement of these portable computers for 2001 ($61,960).
  • The upgrade of teaching microscopes at Macquarie was completed in 2000 with a grant of $120,000 (in addition to $89,000 from 1999).


  • Collaboration in teaching and research between GEMOC and Geophysics at the University of Sydney continues.
  • The named degree, Bachelor of Geophysics, continued after its inception in 1998 to increase the visibility of Geophysics.
  • The Bachelor of Technology in Exploration Geoscience has a Geophysics strand initiated in 1999, streamed from the second year level (see flow sheet on Appendix 6).
  • Use of an extensive pool of GPS units for undergraduate (and postgraduate) fieldwork continued. Subscription to time signal allows real time differential applications with mapping resolution of less than 5 metres.
  • Extended implementation of new seismic, gravity and resistivity equipment for student field projects in exploration, groundwater, environmental and engineering geophysics.
  • Equipment upgrades funded by Macquarie University have resulted in an excellent array of new instrumentation. Acquisitions in 2000 include:
    • GEOMETRICS G856 Proton Precession Magnetometer
    • GEOSOFT, MODELVISION, EMVISION Software upgrades
    • Bartington MS2 magnetic susceptibility-temperature system upgrade
    • Seismic trigger cable modifications
    • ARTEMIS TEM system with system upgrade ordered


The introduction of new units and restructuring of existing undergraduate units at Macquarie as described in each Annual Report has achieved the goals of attracting new clientele and increasing the visibility of geoscience. However, this is within an environment of a contracting pool of science undergraduates. Despite this, GEMOC core units at 100 level have maintained average enrolments; 200 units have maintained average retention rates of 33%; and 300-level units had retention rates for 2000 of 49% and 91% for Geology and Geophysics core subjects respectively.

Reading the rocks: GEOS 224 Introduction to Field Geology, held near Tamworth NSW


Testing the rocks: GEOS 306 Exploration Geophysics, held near Parkes NSW

GEMOC honours

GEMOC OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS for students with excellent undergraduate records who are carrying out GEMOC-related projects.

The following projects were completed in 2000 with GEMOC Honours Scholarships or assistance.


Peter Glenn Andrews: Breadalbane iron deposits and their geological environment (part-time)

Brendan Cahill: The evolution of the Sentinel Range Igneous Complex and its relationship to the Red Hill Skarns

Amanda Hensen: EMP and LA-ICPMS raster analysis: a new method for analysing fine-grained metasediments? A geochemical study of the metasediments of the Wongwibinda Metamorphic Complex, southern New England Fold Belt, Ausralia

Deian Humphreys: Ore and alteration zonation at the Browns cobalt deposit, Rum Jungle, NT

Matilda Thomas: The remote sensing of the Mount Painter hydrothermal system


Alex Johnston: Trace elements in molybdenite - implications for depositional environments

Marita Sloan: Low temperature melts and their relationship to mineralisation at Broken Hill, NSW


The following Honours projects are relevant to GEMOC in 2001.


Martin Candy: Geochemical signatures of mafic and ultramafic rocks and their chromites from the Great Serpentinite belt

Sylvan Dolye: Comparative study of the Flin Flon Cu-deposit Canada and Cu-deposits in NSW: trace-element budgets and Cu-isotopic signatures (with Anglo American assistance)

Mark Edmiston: The 3D character of the Yeoval Batholith by gravimetry

Maureen McMahon: Multiple isotopic signatures of mineralised granites

GEMOC postgraduate

Two of the 2000 PhD graduands: Elena Belousova and Xisheng Xu with Sue O'Reilly.

See advertisement for GEMOC postgraduate opportunities in Appendix 7.

GEMOC POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS again had a high profile at national and international conferences through 2000, including the Goldschmidt Conference in Oxford, the New Frontiers Isotope Conference (Lorne), the Australian Geological Convention (Sydney), the Western Pacific AGU in Tokyo and the Fall AGU in San Francisco.

Five GEMOC PhD students graduated in 2000 (listed below). Xu Xisheng was awarded the Dean's commendation for excellence for his thesis.

As part of GEMOC's international exchange program with the University of Jean Monnet, St Etienne, Guillaume Delpech from Macquarie participated in the 2000 Fieldwork Program in the Kerguelen Islands, Bertrand Moine was awarded his PhD under the Co-tutelle program, Stephanie Touron has been awarded an International Postgraduate Award by Macquarie to undertake geochemical (including isotopic) studies on the mantle beneath the Massif Central and Raynald Ethien commences a study of silicic igneous magmatism on Kerguelen.

Mark Pirlo was selected by the Judging Panel for the Minerals Council of Australia Student Research Award to give a presentation at the 2000 Environmental Workshop in Perth on "Applications of geochemical modelling to groundwater management at the Honeymoon Uranium Project". He was also given a travel award to attend the 2000 Symposium of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (Sustainable Australia).

Will Powell was awarded an Antarctic Science Advisory Committee (ASAC) grant to collect xenoliths and basalts from Heard Island during the 2000 field season of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (see front cover and Research Highlights).




Rondi Davies (PhD): East Australian Diamonds: Characterisation and origin; Sponsored by Rio Tinto, Kennecott Canada (graduated 1999) (see Research Highlights)

Joanne McCarron (MSc): Mantle xenoliths from Queensland and South Australia (graduated 1997)

Elena Belousova (PhD): Zircon and apatite geochemistry: applications to petrology and mineral exploration; APA and sponsorship by Rio Tinto (graduated 2000)

Oliver Gaul (PhD): Composition of the lithospheric mantle beneath Australia; APAI collaborative with Stockdale Prospecting, CSIRO EM (graduated 2000)

Bertrand Moine (PhD): The role of fluids in the genesis, segregation and crystallisation of intraplate oceanic mantle magmas: implications for crustal accretion; Co-tutelle with University of Jean Monnet (graduated 2000)

Xu Xisheng (PhD): The lithospheric mantle beneath eastern China; Formal exchange PhD, Nanjing and Macquarie (graduated 2000)

Shixin Yao (PhD): Chromite as a petrogenetic indicator in ultramafic rocks; Collaborative with Rio Tinto (graduated 2000)

Submitted January 1999 to March 2000

Olivier Alard (PhD): Trace element geochemistry and mantle domains, emphasis on PGE and Re/Os; IPRS with MUIPRA stipend (commenced 1997)


Kari Anderson (PhD): Defining the APWP for early to mid Palaeozoic eastern Gondwanaland: paleomagnetic pole information from the northern Tasman Orogen; IPRS with MUIPRA stipend (commenced 1999)

Eloise Beyer (PhD): Contrasting characteristics of Proterozoic and Phanerozoic mantle types; Field assistance from Ashton Mining (commenced 1997)

Will Powell (PhD): Nature of the lithospheric mantle in the New England Region, NSW; APA (commenced 1997)

Jyrki Pienmunne (PhD): A geochemical and isotopic study of Co-Ag-Ni-As mineralisation, Cobalt, Ontario (part-time commenced 1998)

Mark Pirlo (PhD): Australian groundwater geochemistry; applications to heat flow and exploration; APA and Queen's Trust for Young Australians Award (commenced 1998)

Esmé van Achterbergh (PhD): Trace-element fingerprints of metasomatic processes in lithospheric mantle (part-time, commenced 1998)

Sonja Aulbach (PhD): Depletion and metasomatic processes in cratonic mantle; IPRS with MUIPRA stipend, (commenced 2000)

Michael Cook (PhD): Chalcophile elements in East Australian Granites; APA (commenced 2000)

Guillaume Delpech (PhD): Isotopic characteristics of lithosphere processes beneath Kerguelen; Co-tutelle with University of Jean Monnet, IPRS with GEMOC stipend and EURODOC scholarship (commenced 2000)

commencing 2001

Raynald Ethien: Origin of differentiated magmas from an oceanic island: petrology and geochemistry of volcanic and plutonic silicic from Kerguelen Island (Indian Ocean); Co-tutelle with University of Jean Monnet, St Etienne pending

Bin Guo (PhD): An integrated geophysical investigation of the Hunter-Mooki and Peel Fault; IPRS with MUIPRA stipend

Stephanie Touron (PhD): Geochemical fingerprints of the mantle beneath the Massif Central; IPRS with MURAACE scholarship

Kathlene Oliver (MSc): Depth and subsurface shape of the Dundee Ignimbrite (part-time)




Colleen Bryant (PhD): Geochemistry of volcanic ashes from the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc systems, and a geochemical traverse of the Kurile-Hokkaido arc (completed 2000)

Ulrike Troitzch (PhD): Experimental investigation of titanite solid solution Ca(Ti,Al)(O,F)SiO4 in the assemblage titanite-anorthite-fluorite (completed 2000)


Tony Kemp (PhD): In situ partial melting and petrogenesis of igneous rocks of the Glenelg River Complex, western Victoria: a field, isotopic and geochemical investigation (commenced 1996)

Helen Degeling (PhD): A study of Zr/Th/U equilibria and the growth of zircon (commenced 1998)

Cromwell Qpoto (MSc): Base and noble metals trapped in phenocryst-hosted glass inclusions of the various lava suites of Bougainville (commenced 1998)

Andy Tompkin (PhD): Gold mineralisation in the Gawler Craton, South Australia (commenced 1998)

Carl Spandler (PhD): Subduction zone fluid loss - an experimental approach (commenced 2000)

Patricia Wallace (PhD): Petrological evolution of Rabaul (commenced 2000)

Anthony Budd (PhD): Petrology and geochemistry of the mineral deposits of the Gawler Craton (commenced 2000)

commencing 2001

Fiona Holgate (PhD): Hot Dry Rock geothermal energy in Australia.

GEMOC Postgraduate students and Sue O'Reilly in the laboratory. Left to right: Will Powell, Sue O'Reilly, Olivier Alard, Eloise Beyer, Guillaume Delpech.

2000 Annual Report