Earthslides @ Newcastle!

I have been meaning to write this post for a while, but have been busy behind the scenes sorting out all the logistics. Finally I can announce that Earthslides is to be relocated at Newcastle, as a new facility within the McCord Centre. After many years providing one of the best thin section processing services in the world (seriously!), Earthslides owner Julie Boreham is retiring in June. We have been in discussions since last year about Newcastle taking over the facility. The whole process has taken up a large part of the past year for me, from getting permission from the university, securing the funding to purchase the equipment, to finding a space at the university to put it in (harder than you could ever imagine!), to finally this morning, our first meeting with estates to assess the new space and go over the requirements for getting it refitted.

This has been a long term dream of mine - setting up my own micromorphology lab, where we can train researchers and develop amazing collaborative projects. Sediment micromorphology has become an increasingly important tool in geoarchaeology, but there are few places that offer training in slide production and analysis. We are in the process of setting up a new Masters module that will include both, that we can offer as an external CPD course as well as for training postgraduate students. We will also be able to process ceramic and lithic thin section samples in the facility, building on our expertise in CIAS.

Hopefully the lab will be up and running by the end of the year, and we can begin to take on external projects then. For now, keep an eye out on the new Earthslides twitter profile for updates regarding the lab refurbishment. Part of Julie's retirement plan is producing a manual on thin section preparation, so we hope to keep in touch with her over the coming years!


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