New beginnings: the BGS through the eyes of a newbie... by Grace Davis

Lithology. Inselberg. Colluvium. These are only three of the many, many words that just one week of work at the BGS has introduced me to. Every time I come across a word that seems like it could come in handy I make a note in my nice fresh notebook. I’m building up quite a glossary (incidentally, inselberg is my favourite so far: for those who don’t know, it’s an isolated hill or mountain rising abruptly from a plain).

I'm Grace Davis and I started at the BGS on Monday 3rd July, joining the Communications team on a fixed term contract. My first day was a fairly unusual one, mainly involving helping to clear up from the Open Day on the Saturday before. A lot of balloons had to be popped and I was the woman for the job – unfortunately this did mean many people’s first impression of me was a loud ‘bang’ followed by a grimace and a ‘sorry!’

I managed to attend the Open Day on that Saturday (along with my boyfriend, parents and friends who were all eager to have a nosy at my new place of work) and was really glad to have a chance to get to know my way around and learn about some of the work that goes on here. I particularly loved the ‘Walk like a Dinosaur’ stand. After all the excitement and ice cream it was a fairly surreal contrast to then come back on Monday, without my friends and family in tow, and actually start working.

The rest of the week was a whirlwind of meeting people, starting on my very first tasks, and doing a lot of learning, exploring and absorbing. I’m starting to feel a little bit like a sponge…
On Wednesday I attended my first lunchtime lecture – hosted by Graeme Taylor, a flood expert from the local council. It was a great opportunity to learn more about what happens when a flood hits and the defences we have against them. I’m definitely going to be looking out for more of these.
I’ve also been working with Impossible Views, a new art exhibition created by the BGS and Quarrylab, a local artist development group. The exhibition is open from now until 13th August and showcases pieces that bring together art and science, looking at the similarities between the two. Keep an eye out for my blog post on the exhibition next week.

And that brings us to today: the end of my first week on the job. It’s been an amazing first glimpse into a whole new world, whetting my appetite to really get stuck into some of the fascinating projects going on here. Look out for my weekly blog posts taking you along for the ride, through the eyes of a complete newbie!