The impact of the School’s research and teaching excellence is wide ranging beyond academia, due to strong links and working relationships with business and industry, government, education and the public.  Our staff, students and alumni work closely with our outreach initiatives and strive to transform our research into answers for real world problems that will have a positive influence on society today and in the future.


Final GeobusGeoBus

An educational outreach project developed by the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences. GeoBus was set up in 2012 and aims to:-

  • support the teaching of Earth science in secondary schools
  • provide teaching resources that are not readily available to educators
  • introduce Earth science research outcomes and young researchers to pupils and teachers
  • provide a bridge between industry, HEIs, Research Councils, and schools
  • highlight career opportunities in geology specifically, and Earth sciences and STEM areas more broadly

Between 2012 and 2018, GeoBus worked with over 70,000 pupils across Scotland, visiting 65% of public secondary schools and developing and delivering workshops based on School of Earth and Environmental Sciences research outcomes, often in partnership with industry and organisational sponsors.

For more information on the GeoBus project, including access to teaching resources, please see the GeoBus website, or contact the School Outreach Officer, Dr Jen Brooke.

geoHeritage Fife

geoHeritage Fife is a registered charity (SC032509) and a fully-constituted society which was set up in 2000. Members participate in field excursions, suggest new itineraries and “test-walk” new trail leaflets. Its Chairman is Richard Batchelor, currently Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences.

geoHeritage Fife aims to publicise Fife’s geological heritage, to provide educational resources in geology and to promote geotourism in Fife. It also has a duty to inform the local planning authority on new geologically-important sites and contentious planning applications are referred to the group for assessment.

geoHeritage Fife has produced a set of leaflets that explain aspects of Fife’s geology, has built a geological wall in St. Andrews (comprising rocks representative of Fife’s geology), a stone cairn in Ladybank, recreated a Jurassic Garden in St. Andrews and has erected plaques to two famous geologists (Matthew Heddle and Charles Lapworth) in St. Andrews. It also organises excursions to explore Fife’s geodiversity. In 2009, it commissioned grants worth £7700 to produce a plaster cast of a giant fossil arthropod trackway discovered in Fife that was considered at risk from erosion and vandalism. Part of the cast is now on display in the University of St Andrews museum, MUSA. In 2010, it organised a photographic competition that encouraged the public to observe Fife’s geological heritage artistically through the camera lens.

In late-2012, geoHeritage Fife joined a consortium of local groups and charities in Fife, called the “Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership” (LLLP) which bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a 3-year multidisciplinary project to explore the natural, cultural and built environment of the Lomond Hills area of Fife. The bid was successful and geoHeritage Fife’s £11.5k share of this grant (plus match funding raised) allowed four trail leaflets describing the geological features of East Lomond, West Lomond, Bishop Hill and the Building Stones of Falkland village to be produced.

The group has been financially supported over the years by Fife Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Curry Fund, The Royal Society, Scottish Enterprise Fife, The Skene Group, Kinburn (St Andrews) Charitable Trust, Edinburgh Geological Society and by membership subscriptions and donations.

Research Impact

Our fundamental research aims at answering some of the most important questions in the Earth Sciences. However our researchers are also concerned with transforming this research into real solutions that will make an impact in the world today. In particular, we continue to transform our science into solutions for society, government and industry. On-going stories of recent success are described in our research blog, and we are always keen to hear from anyone with an interesting idea that could be linked to our research.


Alumni make an important contribution to the success of the School of Earth Sciences through their continued interest in both research and teaching. Graduate success means that the School’s alumni are located at all corners of the world in all aspects of Earth Sciences from industry to government, from academia to business.

For the past 20 years, the School’s alumni have generously supported our field programme and in particular the School’s undergraduate field excursions.  Over the past few years they have also taken an increasing role as advisors to help in our continuing search for new sources of funding for research and in the placement of students into internships as part of the student’s research dissertations.

The School’s position as a leading Earth and Environmental Sciences teaching programme with the best graduate prospects is partly due to the direct involvement of alumni. The provision of internships or job opportunities and helping with graduate networking has helped make our graduates some of the most sought after in the industry.

The School’s research also benefits by alumni involvement, in particular from alumni in industry.  Many of the applied research questions we have addressed were initiated through the alumni.  If you or your company has a problem to solve then we might be able to help.

Get involved

With an ever-increasing cohort of students, we are always on the lookout for possible work and/or research placements, so if you need an extra pair of helping hands for a particular task or can offer training to an under- (BSc) or post- (MGeol) graduate student please do get in touch.

The School now publish and distribute a bi-annual Alumni Newsletter. If you wish to be included on mailings, please update your contact details via the University’s Alumni website. Contributions are welcomed, and may be submited to the editor at any time. Expected publication dates are February and July each year.

Additionally, alumni are warmly invited to sign up to Saint Connect, the Career Alumni Network for the University of St Andrews. Its purpose is to bring together alumni and current students to facilitate networking, enable informal mentoring, provide industry discussion groups, and enable graduates and students to stay up to date with their student societies and sports teams.

Thanks to the Irvine bequest we have been able to fully subsidise field trips, but the current financial situation means the pot is dwindling much more quickly than anticipated and the continued support of our alumni is greatly appreciated. Just £5 a month (£6.50 with Gift Aid) will cover the cost of the Highland Fling field trip for one first year student; £55 per month would cover a full year’s field trip bursary for a student. For more details on giving, please see the Fundraising section below



The University of St Andrews runs annual fund-raising campaigns. Your support ensures that St Andrews and its students thrive in an atmosphere renowned for inspirational academic staff, a beautiful setting and opportunities to make life-long friendships. Whether you’re a graduate, a proud parent or a current student interested in giving something back, please consider looking through the Alumni Relations page to learn how your gift will safeguard the St Andrews experience for the next generation.