Jack is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a Research Fellow at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. His research has included work on the palaeobiology and preservation of Ediacaran fossils, but mainly focuses on the sedimentology, stratigraphy, and geochronology of the rocks those fossils are found in. Most recently Jack has begun working on the geoconservation of a number of Ediacaran outcrops, bringing together his love of geology, law and politics to help local communities develop sustainable geotourism industries.
Dr. Jack J Matthews, Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John’s, NL, A1B 3X5, Canada and Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW, U.K. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Jack J. Matthews1
Geoconservation, also known as Earth Heritage Conservation, is how we protect important examples of Earth’s physical resources. Geological features can be protected for all sorts of reasons, including being important to cultural heritage, geological education and understanding, or the overall aesthetics of an area.
A great many designations, management frameworks and legal instruments have been used to govern and protect fossil-rich outcrops in the United Kingdom, but these are poorly publicized and, for example, rarely taught to palaeontologists as part of an undergraduate degree. Field work is an important part of palaeontological research, so it is a good idea for everyone who works with fossils, whether amateur or professional, to have a good und