Bringing rocks to life in Eastern Newfoundland: A pilot project to align geoscience research and geoheritage in Eastern Newfoundland

Lay Summary 

Geoheritage opportunities are growing fast in Eastern Newfoundland. For example, the recently developed UNESCO Discovery Global Geopark and other sites across Eastern Newfoundland highlight world-class fossil sites preserving Ediacaran fauna – the earliest known organisms, living over half a billion years ago on a volcanically-active microcontinent. Recent geologic mapping by geoscientists at the provincial Geologic Survey highlight a complex but poorly constrained paleoclimatic and tectonic evolution of the host stratigraphy. Serious geoscience research is needed to resolve these details and improve our understanding of the environments that shaped the Ediacaran fauna and thus all animals. These sites also represent local geoheritage and geotourism opportunities, therefore our objective is to develop user-friendly research programs that foster a new collaboration between Memorial University, the Geologic Survey, and the local geoheritage sector.

Quick start funds from the Office of Public Engagement at Memorial University will be used for an initial consultation and field visit to potential research sites to develop a proposal for collaboration with the Legendary Coasts, a not-for-profit destination management organization, and the Geologic Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador. Our aim is to discuss aligning
research goals with geoheritage initiatives, and to create collaborative research proposal(s) that will be used to generate funding through the NSERC Alliance Program.

Start date 
1 Apr 2021
End date 
31 Oct 2021