Geology students have been practicing where dinosaurs dwelled

A group of students from the Faculty of Geology and Geography and University of Lille 1 (France) had field practice in the area of Shestakovo village, which is one of the largest sites of dinosaur and mammoth fauna in Russia. Geology students studied young and ancient rocks and explored objects that most clearly reflect the activities of wind and water.

Like last year’s, the group of interns turned out to be international. This time there were students from Russia, France, and Zambia. The camp where 30 students and teachers of the Faculty of Geology and Geography lived stood on the banks of the Kiya River. It was here that the most interesting finds of TSU paleontologists were made earlier. In particular, two completely preserved skeletons of psittacosaurus and remains of a sauropod, the largest of all ancient pangolins, were found.

- This place was not chosen for field practice by chance,- says Stepan Ivantsov, the curator of the group, a researcher at the Laboratory of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Continental Ecosystems. - At the base of the Shestakovsky Yar on the bank of the Kiya are quite compactly located various geological objects formed under the action of natural elements - water and wind. Among them there are both young formations with an age of up to two million years, as well as ancient breeds of the Upper and Lower Cretaceous period, numbering 100-120 million years old.

Students learned to describe in detail rock outcrops and bodies of rocks and determine the conditions for their occurrence and other characteristics. At the same time, they managed to visit the excavations of Moscow and Kemerovo scientists who are searching for the bones of ancient pangolins.

- This was my first field practice, and I think that it will be remembered for a long time. At first, it was very hard to rise every day from the camp on the river bank up to the hill where we studied different objects. And here, for the first time in my life, I was burned in the sun! - says Sheila Shamayya from Zambia, a first-year student of the Faculty of Geology and Geography. - Most of all, I liked the master class on working with ropes on a rock. This expedition is a wonderful experience and not only in geology but also in the study of the Russian language.

The agreement on the double diploma Master's programme Geology - Historical and Regional Geology - was signed between the Tomsk State University and the University of Lille 1 in 2013.