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Geoscientist Online

A Code for Geoscientific Fieldwork in Africa

Davies Africa fieldwork codeFieldwork has always been an important part of a good geological education. For most in the UK, this has involved visits (usually in less than ideal weather) to the western islands of Scotland, the Lake District, Pembrokeshire and South West England. But, in an age of cheap travel and the globe being comparatively smaller, more exotic locations can be planned.

Africa has long held fascination for those with a sense of adventure, not just for those who live there but for other travellers as well. So it is that Theo Davies has written a book not just for student field trips, but also to cover research and geotourism.

The book is laid out in a clear, logical fashion and covers very practical issues of safety and conduct in the field, as well as perils more specific to Africa such as travel, personal health and safety, accommodation and catering, insurance requirements, legal considerations and a section on ethical conditions and behaviour. Overall, the book is a useful guide to those planning a trip to Africa, especially with students.

The breadth of the topics that are addressed in one volume is over whelming and, sadly, this has led to variable levels of coverage. In some cases, important aspects are given scant comment, for example, road traffic accidents, whilst others such as the use of a compass are given in pain staking detail—quite unnecessary in the context of the book. Even then, the topic is not dealt with particularly well and is only illustrated by a web obtained photograph of a standard Brunton compass-clinometer. This is a pity because most students in Africa will only have seen a Silva style compass-clinometer.

Other frustrating sections include one on drilling that really does provide much information, but is highly unlikely to form part of student fieldwork or geotourism. I personally found the case histories unhelpful and the illustrations and photographs in the book are generally of extremely poor quality. Hopefully, when this volume runs to a second edition the case histories can be removed and replaced with better illustrations. The volume would also benefit from more careful editing to remove the scattered spelling errors. Overall, the volume is useful. I enjoyed reading the book and found it to be a novel and informative publication. Certainly a must for anyone who is likely to do fieldwork in Africa.

Reviewed by Rob Bowell

A CODE FOR GEOSCIENTIFIC FIELDWORK IN NIGERIA AND AFRICA: GUIDELINES ON HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES IN MAPPING, MINERAL EXPLORATION, GEOECOLOGICAL RESEARCH AND GEOTOURISM, by Theophilus Clavell Davies 2018, Published by: Nova Science Publishers Inc., 305pp., ISBN: 978-1-53613-033-1 (hbk.) List Price: $230.00 W: https://novapublishers.com/