Media Releases

UTSC professors leads amazing geologic journey around the world

October 21, 2010

TORONTO, ON – University of Toronto Scarborough professor Nick Eyles leads CBC’s award-winning documentary program The Nature of Things with David Suzuki on an unforgettable journey.  Beginning Thursday, October 21, on CBC-TV at 8 pm, The Nature of Things presents GEOLOGIC JOURNEY II, a five-part series on world geology hosted by Dr. Nick Eyles.

To produce Geologic Journey II, Dr. Eyles worked with the CBC team for over two years as their “resident geologist” developing stories, locations and episodes.   For a seven-month period, Eyles left his lab and classroom chalkboard behind and, sporting a fedora, Indiana-Jones style, began the greatest adventure of his career.

Eyles first stop was a mandatory course in surviving hostile environments where he learned how to spot a land mine and recognize when the safety catch is off on an AK 47 pointed in his direction.  Guiding a film crew through 22 countries at an exhausting pace Dr. Eyles climbed volcanoes, took harrowing helicopter rides, crossed the desert by camel, stood on the ocean floor and delved deeply into the geological processes that shape our world and our lives. The crew traveled to places in Africa, the Middle East, Nepal, India, Japan, Iceland, along the length of the Americas, and more, and visited many difficult-to-access and dangerous sites, such as Erte Ale on the Eritrean border of Ethiopia, the Merapi volcano in Indonesia and Chaiten volcano in Chile.

“It was an extraordinary opportunity as an Earth scientist to connect together evidence of how the Earth works as a giant tectonic machine in a mere seven-month period,” says Eyles.  “Surprisingly, I found the real story is that of the people who live on the restless surface of our planet. I spoke to many who live day to day under the threat of volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes and landslides, yet choose to stay and adapt.  I have a new appreciation for the resilience and adaptability of humankind, which is going to forever influence my research and teaching.”

Frequently employing helicopters and HD cameras to capture the story, the series has some stunning landscape shots.  “The opportunity to share the Earth’s history with millions of viewers, using some of the best media technology available, is one of the greatest professional experiences I’ve had as an educator,” adds Dr. Eyles. “Working with CBC has been the highlight of my career. “

“It is fitting that one of UTSC’s research stars is collaborating with the country’s longest-standing, premier science broadcaster, The Nature of Things,” says Malcolm Campbell, professor and vice-principal, research at UTSC. “Like the very best of scientists, professor Eyles is a gifted communicator.  The CBC and professor Eyles deserve wide praise for partnering to bring to life the remarkable scientific story of Earth’s evolution for the benefit of countless viewers.”

Geologic Journey II was co-produced by CBC’s Science and Natural History Unit with 90th Parallel Productions. Executive producers are Michael Allder and Gordon Henderson.

Join Nick Eyles and Michael Allder, the Executive producer at the Nature of Things at UTSC for a special evening screening of episode three, The Western Pacific Rim, on November 4, 2010.  Dr Eyles will also share his personal account of his journey around planet Earth.

The Western Pacific Rim is one of the most tectonically volatile and dangerous regions of the world.   This episode leads us from the volcanoes of New Zealand to the “Earthquake Nation” of Japan.  We’ll hear from other world leading geologists to understand why this region’s considered the “Pacific Rim of Fire”.

Dr. Eyles will also be available to answer questions live via Twitter from 8-10 pm ET October 21, during the series premiere. Twitter users should use the hashtag #geoworld when asking questions.

Through a unique partnership between UTSC and CBC a blog will give visitors a glimpse into the academic life of students and scientific researchers. UTSC is also sponsoring a 60-page Teacher Resource Guide to accompany the educational version of Geologic Journey II, which will be available to Canadian schools in early 2011. The first series Geological Journey Canada is now incorporated into the curriculum of 45 per cent of Canadian schools.

Geologic Journey II will be seen around the world via National Geographic International and in the United States on Discovery Science, and will be released in its entirety on DVD to the public early next year.

For information on the series, go to: www.cbc.ca/geologicII.

Members of the public are invited to join Dr. Nick Eyles and the Series Executive Producer Michael Allder at UTSC for a screening of The Western Pacific Rim and a talk on “The making of Geologic Journey II”,  on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010,  7  to 9 pm, AC223, University of Toronto Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto M1C 1A4.  Admission is FREE.

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For more information, please contact:

Karen Ho
Media and Communications Assistant
Communications and Public Affairs
University of Toronto Scarborough
(416) 287-5149