About the author

You can see from the history pages which ones I have created. Although I established this wiki, I am happy for others to contribute.
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I gained a MSc(Hons) in geology from Auckland University in 1986 (my thesis is listed in Google Books here). I decided to take a break after finishing, and did some relief teaching as an unqualfied teacher (I had enjoyed tutoring at university). It became increasingly clear through the year that securing funding to do a PhD in NZ was becoming increasingly unrealistic in the deteriorating economic climate - my Masters was solid but not a prizewinner.
During the year, the then Government decided to offer no-strings attached funding to train as a teacher. I applied to Auckland College of Education and was accepted, taking science and chemistry as my majors. I also took the course to qualify me as a teacher of Religious Instruction in a Catholic School.
At the end of the year, I applied for a number of jobs and was accepted at Sacred Heart College (I believe the then Music Master, the late Brother Gerard Crotty, pushed quite hard for me, even though Principal Brother Roger was a bit reluctant to take a beginning teacher, because he knew I was an organist at St Patrick's Cathedral - he liked the idea of having an experienced organist on the staff).
In the intervening years I have taught variously science, chemistry, physics and religious education, all to senior levels. When the new senior science course, with its inclusion of earth sciences and astronomy, came along, I was the natural choice to take charge of it.
I bought a house within walking distance of SHC, so would now require quite a bit of incentive to move on. I am coming up to 25 years teaching at the school, so am one of the longer-serving staff members.
I enjoy travelling the county in my little campervan, getting to know firsthand the rocks I learned about at Uni all those years ago.

I got the idea for this wiki at the LEARNZ conference in Rotorua in 2006 - as an alternative to printed material for my students (besides which, printing in colour is still prohibitively expensive). In the time it has been up, it is being increasingly used by other schools and even geology students in other countries. With the changing syllabus, I am hoping to be able to expand this site to cope with the new NCEA Level 2 Earth and Space Science course. I hope it continues to be useful.

You can contact me at pkeestra@sacredheart.school.nz

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My trusty steed, a few years ago, at Moleworth Station. Both it and I now look a bit more battered. A 4WD people mover has proved a very good choice for the type of travelling I do.

I maintain a number of other educational wikis, including one in my role as music co-ordinator at St Pius parish, Glen Innes.

And yes, geological time and related concepts do not pose a problem for the Catholic Church or for teaching in a Catholic school. A few fundamentalists (mostly non-Catholic) go for a literal interpretation of Genesis. Most students I teach have a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of the relationship between religion and science. The Religious Education syllabus dicusses this material in Year 11. If you want to know more about this, the Wikipedia article here is quite useful.