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The University of Portsmouth are happy to host the 56th Earth Science Teachers Association (ESTA) conference. A key focus of the conference will be our mission to prepare graduates for the workplace and engage with industry.

The School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences have a long history of producing work-ready graduates. Doing this through our geoscience courses and building strong relationships with industry. A Degree Apprenticeship is also in development – which will allow employers to recruit students directly from colleges and schools.

The ESTA conference will also focus on engaging with the geoscience industry. Through workshops and breakout sessions, we'll encourage conversations between geoscience teachers and employers – providing key networking opportunities.

Conference themes

  • The need for geoscientists in the workplace
  • The benefits of placements and industry engagement
  • Degree apprenticeships
  • How to provide engaging and authentic geology degrees
  • The future prospects of our oceans, climate, and the environment


The three-day conference will include showcases, keynote speakers, workshops, field trips and lab sessions. You'll also have the opportunity to attend an evening reception on Friday, and a conference dinner on Saturday. There, you'll have the opportunity to network with industry, explore our facilities, and enjoy a three-course meal with views of the most historic parts of Portsmouth.


Friday 29 September

  • Afternoon: University of Portsmouth laboratory tours
  • Evening: Keynote speaker lecture and drinks and food reception

Saturday 30 September

  • Morning: Bring and share and ESTA annual general meeting
  • Afternoon: Field trip to Isle of Wight – Dinosaur Isle
  • Evening: Conference dinner at Still and West pub, Portsmouth (dietary requirements can be catered for)

Sunday 1 October

  • Morning: Workshops
  • Afternoon: End of conference lunch


03/12/21.Faculty Shoot - Day 4...All Rights Reserved - Helen Yates- T: +44 (0)7790805960.Local copyright law applies to all print & online usage. Fees charged will comply with standard space rates and usage for that country, region or state.

Keynote speaker: Dr Nizar Ibrahim

Nizar Ibrahim is a Senior Lecturer in Palaeontology at the University of Portsmouth. Dr Ibrahim is a vertebrate palaeontologist, comparative anatomist, and National Geographic Explorer. He also has a background in biological and geosciences, and a PhD in vertebrate palaeontology from Ireland's leading medical school.

He's hunted for fossils on three continents but is particularly interested in Africa's Age of Dinosaurs. Over the last decade, he's led several expeditions to Africa's Sahara Desert, in search of some of the most enigmatic fossil assemblages.

Crowd on an Isle of Wight beach next to a cliff

Field trip to the Isle of Wight

On Saturday 30 September, you'll travel to the Isle of Wight and visit the Dinosaur Isle Museum. You'll be guided by museum staff as you explore the ancient and modern environments of the island and learn about the island's geology.

You'll also explore the Lower Cretaceous succession from the terrestrial Wealden, through to the Upper Greensand Formation-Chalk Group transition (tides permitting).


  • Degree apprenticeships: In this workshop, speakers from industry and universities will discuss how degree apprenticeships work and their experiences of them from both an employer and university perspective.
  • The role of Earth Scientists in the Energy Transition: This workshop, led by Gary Nichols, a sedimentologist, and Global Head of RPS Energy, will focus on the role of Earth Sciences as we transition away from petroleum-based energy into renewables.
  • Crisis and disaster management: This workshop will provide a taster activity related to disaster response.
  • Critical elements for green technology: This workshop will be an opportunity to see first-hand the variety of minerals required to build and operate electric vehicles, wind turbines and even your smartphone.
  • Engineering Geology materials testing: The material properties of soils and rocks are an integral aspect of engineering geology. This workshop will provide an introduction to materials testing and an overview of our lab testing capabilities.
  • Breathing life into fossils: This workshop will include an introduction to different applications of palaeontology, including reconstructing climate change, dating and correlating strata.


  • Full conference: £190
  • Friday and Saturday: £150
  • Sunday: £130

  • Full conference: £230 (including a 1-year ESTA membership)
  • Friday and Saturday; £190
  • Sunday: £170

  • Friday night: £25pp (buffet and drinks)
  • Saturday: £10pp (lunch)
  • Saturday night: £40pp (conference dinner)


The conference will take place at the University of Portsmouth and will be held in Portland Building and Burnaby Building.

  • Portland Building, Portland St, Portsmouth PO1 3AH
  • Burnaby Building, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3QL

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Earth and Environmental Sciences

We're researching our planet and the evolution of life, from the very beginning to the present day, to better understand the future. Explore our earth & environmental sciences research.

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Centre for Applied Geosciences

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Contact us

For further information please contact Amy Musker-Heaton, ESTA Conference Manager.

Stay updated

For the latest updates about the ESTA conference 2023, follow The Earth Science Teachers' Association's Twitter page.