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VolcanicKED is a learning-based company providing knowledge, education and discovery activities in Aotearoa / New Zealand natural environments.

VolcanicKED is currently a one-man team of Sam Hampton, that formed at the end of 2020 due to Covid-19 impacting Sam's previous employment with study abroad programs.


In developing VolcanicKED Sam, a trained volcanologist and Canterbury local, reflected on his academic career and adventures in the environments of New Zealand and now looks to encourage individuals to look and delve deeper into the landscapes of Aotearoa New Zealand.



VolcanicKED seeks to be the leading provider of geo-centric engagement and learning in New Zealand’s natural environment.


Stimulate lifelong learning using the environment of New Zealand.


Engage local expertise and knowledge to provide authentic experiences.


Celebrate Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula as an area of significance.



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Behind VolcanicKED is Sam Hampton (PhD). 


Current Roles

Sam is the Director of VolcanicKED.

Sam is also currently Director of Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula Geopark and a Trustee. The Geopark looks to engage people in the landscapes of Banks Peninsula by connecting stories of geology, ecology, communities, and human histories.


Previous Roles

Prior to Covid-19 Sam was the Director of Academic Programmes for Frontiers Abroad Aotearoa, and a Lecturer in the School of Earth and Environment (previously Department of Geological Sciences), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

In working for Frontiers Abroad (2011-2020), Sam organised field programmes in New Zealand for Frontiers Abroad (a study abroad programme), and taught a research methods course at the University of Canterbury. His key role in the field programmes was leading field modules in Kaikoura, Castle Hill, the West Coast, the volcanoes of the Central Plateau and Banks Peninsula. This work involved heading out into the field and undertaking different exercises, i.e. geologic or geomorphic mapping, sampling, and describing outcrops and rocks.

At the University of Canterbury, Sam was coordinating a research methods course (Geol356) and supervising research projects for our study abroad students, with topics ranging from volcanology, geomorphology, geo-hazards, geo-education, geo-archaeology, to geochemistry to name a few. He also supervised Hons, MSc, and PhD thesis students, and continues to do this.


Work Background

Sam classifies himself as a physical volcanologist. He has a PhD (2010) from the University of Canterbury and his research specialises on the volcanology of Banks Peninsula and development of a UNESCO Geopark on Banks Peninsula. Sam has a broad geological background being involved in geo-exploration on the West Coast (NZ), geological engineering projects, geological hazards, extensive undergraduate teaching, geo-education, and course development and teaching at the University of Canterbury.


Favourite Part of Job

Being out in the field, exploring and understanding processes which formed the landscape.



Bachelor of Science with Honours, PhD in Volcanology from University of Canterbury (2010).


Interests Outside Work

Sam enjoys travelling and the adventures that come from that, especially those in the outdoors of New Zealand.

Outdoor activities are always high on Sam's list, including building, landscaping, fishing, waterskiing, and coaching rugby.

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