Ambassador Spotlight ‘Tom Backhouse’

Introducing our latest Brand Ambassador Tom Backhouse, a geologist from the UK.

What is your job? I am a Geologist, but also an entrepreneur, having started my own business at 23 to help digitally transform GeoScience, how we map the underground and to provide graduates and young professionals with an opportunity to be free-thinking, creative and innovative. I am also a passionate communicator of GeoScience to the public and non-geoscience professionals, promoting the value of geologists and earth scientists in society and in transitioning to a greener, more sustainable future. 

 How long have you been in the industry? 6 years.

 Are you part of any associations or organisations you would like us to mention? I am the youngest member of the Council of Geological Society, the oldest learned society in the world.

I am also the energy behind the FutureGeo Initiative, which seeks to inspire a generation of geoscientists, to take bold and progressive steps towards a modern, inclusive, diverse and connected geo-community in the UK and across the world. We are a thousand islands in an ocean, spread across geographic, language, ethnic and racial borders and FutureGeo’s goal is to bring people together, into a community that can work together to make a positive difference. 

FutureGeo outlines a clear manifesto for change and is rallying support to create a taskforce of open-minded, passionate and energetic individuals, who collectively will drive positive change across industry and academia. 

Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador? I have a passion to inspire others to see the amazing world of GeoScience and to get engaged and involved at a young age. I have focused my career so far on students and graduates but I would love to support outreach and education activities for

Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry?  Geospatial 1.0 was the integration of geospatial data and tools as a business support tool but GeoSpatial 2.0 will be the development of business models with geospatial at their core. As kids grow up, more and more of what we know in the world around us will become a digital twin and geospatial data and services will be integral in how we go about our day-to-day lives. GeoSpatial is still a periphery subject in schools and even university so getting kids interested in this subject at a young age through outreach and extra curricular activities is so important, then they can be more inclined to take it as a subject later in their education and be more aware of the entry points to work. 

 What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS? I am going to spread the word of the amazing posters and resources that have already been produced, as well as provide a platform form GKIS at any opportunity I can. Through my FutureGeo Initative and the work I am doing with the GeoSpatial Commission Skills Forum, I will promote GKIS. I would also like to get into schools in 2021 and do some local outreach activities with a geoscience twist on the GKIS brand. 

 What are your hobbies? Climbing, surfing, trekking, scrambling, wild swimming and wild camping. Anything where there is an element of risk and it is outdoors. Also love Liverpool Football Club and football

 If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be? Mammoth

What poster or resource would you like to see next from GKiS? There are so many amazing posters that we can do with a GeoScience twist on surveying. Mapping in the mountains to identify how the landscape formed, glaciers, rivers, geological history exploring what the UK used to look like millions of years ago – but also mapping in cities and towns to identify what buildings were made from and how the towns grew around local mining and quarrying. Posters can be made on fossil hunting and exploring (and mapping/surveying) cave systems and understanding how they were formed. Many other ideas!

Anything else to add? Tom was involved in the Sinkholes Documentary on Channel 5, here’s the link if anyone fancies a watch!