fbpx Meet Dr Kate Pedley | LEARNZ

Meet Dr Kate Pedley


Lecturer (Teaching & Admin) for the Department of Geological Sciences, University of Canterbury.

Job description: 

I teach labs and lecture for our 1st year introductory courses and also teach labs and field courses for 2nd year. I’m coordinator for 100 level, outreach, timetabling, and co-chair of the teaching and learning committee.

Work background: 

I came straight into teaching at university level while completing my PhD in geology. My expertise and research is in structural geology, geomorphology and landscape evolution (in both marine and onshore settings), tectonics and earthquakes, field mapping and 3D visualisation, geoscience education.

Favourite part of job: 

Teaching and fieldwork! I love watching my students grow in their understanding and helping them along that process. I really enjoy the challenge of trying to explain complicated things simply, both to students and the general public! I adore exploring the outdoors – my favourite part of the day when doing fieldwork is sitting down for lunch on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere, soaking in the spectacular views that the landscapes of NZ have to offer, and visualising how it all formed and the stories behind it!

Least favourite part of job: 

Marking! Needs to be done and so important to provide detailed helpful feedback to students to improve their learning, but it therefore takes AGES!

What I am working on now: 

Too many things, lol! My current research projects I’m involved with include the fault mapping and landscape effects of (and rupture history leading up to) the Kaikōura Earthquake, mapping the glacial geomorphology of the Waimakariri Valley, Virtual fieldtrips and digital devices in fieldwork for geoscience education, sedimentation in the marine Hokitika Canyons, and designing a geoscience garden for the UC campus.

My primary role is teaching though so I’m currently coordinating and running classes, doing outreach projects, presentations and fieldtrips with schools and community groups and doing quite a lot behind the scenes on developing best teaching & learning practices and curriculum with our teaching & learning committee.

A quick story about a job well done: 

Honestly, my involvement as part of the fault team with the aftermath of the Kaikōura Earthquake has been one of my career highlights so far and left the biggest impression. After a very trying and personal experience with the Christchurch Earthquakes (I grew up and lived in East Christchurch at the time), to be able to work directly with the rural communities affected by the Kaikōura Earthquake, them know that we genuinely understood what they were going through, be able to explain things relevant to them and work with them in a way that very few scientists have previously done, has been very powerful and rewarding.

In order for our scientific community to re-evaluate how we might approach and interact with a potentially traumatised community when gathering earthquake data after an event, being able to then present my experiences to other earthquake geoscientists (and have it well-received), has also been a highlight.


BSc Honours in Geology, PhD in Geology, Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Outdoor First Aid.

Interests outside work: 

I grew up doing a lot of hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing, mountaineering, general outdoor adventures with my family and also competed in running, multisport and represented New Zealand in orienteering.

My husband and I have 2 young sons who we love to take camping and exploring the countryside with.

I have been an avid amateur and semi-professional landscape photographer for many years and am a regular member at my local Rangiora Photographic Society.

I love gardening, sci-fi/fantasy and adventure movies and books, singing, lego and good food!

Dr Kate Pedley is a Lecturer for the Department of Geological Sciences, University of Canterbury. Image: Supplied.