Candidate Profile

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Earth Sciences, Geology & Geography
History - General
Travel & Destinations
Alan combines a life-long passion for travel, mountains and geology with his 40+ years experience as a mining professional to bring a unique perspective on earth sciences and how we better understand and develop the natural resources of which we are stewards.

As a geometallurgist with a bachelor’s degree in metallurgy and a masters in geology, his work covers the alchemy of how we convert the minerals and metals well-hidden in the rocks to the actual products we use in everyday life.

He was born in north-east England, and through his work in the international mining industry has lived in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, New Caledonia and Spain, and has been recently living in Peru. He has worked in every continent except Antarctica, and has been fortunate enough to have worked in such diverse countries as Russia, China, Congo, Mauritania and most of the South American countries. He has a strong appreciation of not just the technical aspects of earth sciences but also the human/cultural aspects of developing our global resources.

He has mastered Spanish, resuscitated his schoolboy French and also achieved some understanding of Brazilian Portuguese.

A General List of Destination Lectures per Region (can be customized)

Northern Europe and Baltic
• UK geology - a geology that changed the world (series of 2)
New thoughts on how the diverse geology of this small island has had such an influence on the rest of the world
• Iceland - a land of fire and ice (series of 3)
A country literally being torn apart by the rifting of the Atlantic Ocean; its volcanoes and glaciers forming destructive volcanic ash clouds, a new take on Icelandic noir!
• Vikings – some surprising facts of their exploration feats
From Vinland in North America to Russia, the Black Sea and Constantinople
• The Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland – a geological legend
A portal into both geological and mythological history

• The Golden Fleece – fact or fiction?
Gold mining in Spain 2000 years ago and a brief history of gold mining
• Vesuvius – a ticking time bomb
Pompeii buried, Herculaneum burned to a cinder; and modern Naples potentially under threat
• Santorini – the myth of Atlantis?
One of the world’s most beautiful volcanic islands with the eruptions of recent millenia creating an ever-changing geography
• Mediterranean Archaeology – radio-carbon dating turned on its head
How a scientific revolution reversed the thinking on the spread of civilization

North America
• Alaska / Yukon gold mining – call of the wild
From the pioneering gold rush days to modern gold mining
• Volcanoes of Hawaii – a hot spot on the move
Basaltic lavas – deadly but at least slow
• Volcanoes of the Pacific North West
Crater Lake, Oregon; and Mt St Helens, Washington State – explosive mass destruction
• Grand Canyon – not just a tourist destination
Every geologist’s dream – 2 billion years of rock strata and the merits of both the South Rim and the North Rim
• Bristlecone Pine – the oldest living thing
Turns archaeological thinking on its head!

South America
• South American Andes - volcanoes, mines and alpacas
Plate tectonics, hidden mines and the mysteries of high altitude life on the alti-plano
• Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle (series adapted to itinerary)
His discoveries in Patagonia, Chilean Andes and the Galapagos
• Glaciers of South America
The Chilean Lake District and the Beagle Channel
• Peru - a study in diversity
La costa, la sierra, la selva; and pre-Inca history too
• The Falklands – or to some, still Las Malvinas
Their natural and military history; from ‘Fortress Falkland’ to cruise ship destination, penguins and all!
• Super-continents – their formation and break-up
N. Argentina, Uruguay and SE Brazil – joined at the hip with Africa
• Brasil – its natural resources (series adapted to itinerary)
From diamond and gemstones to gold mining in the Amazon and environmental issues facing Brazil
• Rio de Janeiro and its harbour
The unique geology that gave rise to Sugar Loaf Mountain

Pacific and Oceania
• Captain James Cook and the Pacific
The sheer daring of his voyages
• Easter Island and Pitcairn Island – 2 isolated outposts
Unique Pacific islands, both with enigmatic histories
• Volcanoes of Hawaii – a hot spot on the move (series of 2)
Basaltic lavas – deadly but at least slow
• Sub-sea mining in the SW Pacific.
Black and white smokers, ore deposits in the making - or just a dream?
• New Zealand - geology writ large!
An active landscape of volcanoes, earthquakes, glaciers and vertical weetbix
• Australian gold mining – Eureka!
From the early gold rushes in Kalgoorlie and Ballarat to modern large scale mining.

• Climate Change – a left field approach
Why man is now a player on the stage
• Whisky on the rocks
The science of whisky distilling from the rocks, the water, the peat to the shape of the stills – the makings of a good wee dram.
* Literature related to destination themes
Examples: Icelandic Noir, Scandinavian Noir, James Michener in the South Pacific, writings on Samoa

Note that all lectures are supported by many original photos and with a list of suggested background reading, both fact and fiction.
I am a well-travelled bi-lingual (English-Spanish) executive mining professional (geologist) with global experience including recent presentations at several international conferences. Have worked in every continent except Antarctica, and have lived in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Canada and most recently in Peru, and therefore am well -qualified to deliver destination-specific and earth-science thematic lectures in several regions. Also a seasoned cruiser having amassed over 400 days in the last 9 years, including assisting my wife, Kerrie-Anne Riles, who was a Craft Instructor on Celebrity and Princess.

Recent cruise ship experience:-
Azamara Pursuit Feb 2019 Santiago to Buenos Aires, Special Interest Lecturer (Geology/natural history: 'In the Wake of Charles Darwin')
Azamara Pursuit Feb-Mar 2019 Buenos Aires . Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires Special Interest Lecturer (Earth Sciences: 'Brazil's Natural Resources')
Windstar Star Breeze Aug 2019 Reykjavik to Reykjavik (x2) Special Interest Lecturer (Earth Sciences) 'Iceland , Land of Fire and Ice'
Celebrity Eclipse Dec 2019-Jan 2020 Buenos Aires-Santiago-Buenos Aires (2 voyages), Special Interest Lecturer (Geology/Natural History: 'In the Wake of Charles Darwin'
Azamara Journey Jan-Feb 2020 Papeete-Auckland, Special Interest Lecturer 'Pacific Islands and New Zealand'
Azamara Journey Feb 2020 Auckland-Sydney, Special Interest Lecturer 'New Zealand, Tasmania and Blue Mountains NSW'
No Addional Information details provided.