Dept of Earth and Planetary Sciences | Our staff | Steve Hirons | Teaching and conference presentations
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Teaching and conferences

I teach the first year course Foundations of Mineralogy which gives an excellent introduction to various aspects of mineralogy such as crystallography, mineral systems, to mineral identification using a microscope

I also enjoy teaching metamorphic geology and petrology to our second year students as part of the Igneous and Metamorphic petrology course unit.

I also teach selected lectures on the MRes course that cover analytical techniques applied to the identification of rocks including X-Ray Diffraction and Analytical and Transmission Electron Microscopy. Furthermore, transferable skills are taught through learning graphics packages to produce posters and enhance presentation skills.

Our course material is available on CD ROM and is accessible for distance learners as well as face-to-face students. I have been instrumental in driving this distance learning initiative and have been recognised with various teaching awards.

Teaching awards

  • 2005 HEFCE eLearning Capital Allocations to HEIs. To develop an Interactive Digital Practical Workbook to support distance learners.
  • 2005 Birkbeck Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund. To develop video footage of fieldwork for CD-Rom based virtual learning environment.
  • 2004 Birkbeck Award for Innovative Teaching – BAIT award.

Conference presentations

  • Hirons, S.R. From Mud-Wrestling to Metamorphism. UCL Greenough Society, February 2004.
  • Hirons, S.R. Reaction Progress and development of clay microfabrics in metapelitic rocks of the English Lake District. Timing, Transition and Tectonics. Derby, January 2002.
  • Hirons, S.R., Fortey, N.J., and Roberts, B. Low and very low-grade metamorphism in the English Lake District: An analysis and synthesis. From Magmas to Mud (and back). Reading, December 1999.
  • Hirons, S.R. X-Ray diffraction and analytical transmission electron microscopy used as complementary analytical techniques in a geological context. Geotechniques conference and trade exhibition, Luton, July 1998.

Workshop presentations

  • Innovations in e-learning, Birkbeck, University of London, November 2002.