Most geologists would agree that Earth science knowledge, experience, and guidance is critical for tackling many of society’s most acute planetary concerns, however, few geologists are directly involved in delivering on sustainable development goals and geoscience education rarely addresses this issue.
So, how can global geoscience better rise to the energy, resource, and environmental challenges of the coming decades?
Our work and our research questions
With few geoscientists directly engaged in decision-making around what a sustainable future for humanity will look like, the GeoSD project confronts this apparent disconnect between the geoscientific and policy arenas.
Integrating the experience of Earth science practitioners across a range of fields, we explore how geoscience and geoscientists are addressing societal challenges at the local, regional and global scales.
The work brings together an international interdisciplinary network of academic researchers, industry professionals and geoscience educators to address three fundamental questions.
1. What are the geoscientific principles and practices that underpin contemporary notions of ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable development’?
2. What are the current sustainability-related practices in real-world sectors of geo-resources, geo-energy, and infrastructure construction that improve livelihoods and build wellbeing?
3. How might these ‘sustainable geoscience’ practices be integrated into education and training, and how can the work of ‘social geology’ be more effectively communicated for publics and policy?
Through these three intertwined areas of scientific inquiry we aim to establish a common framework by which geoscientists can more effectively inform wise decision-making about our planet, and our society’s, future.
Events, workshops, and other activities
- Sustainable Geoscience – a one-day workshop, Convenors: Vimal Singh (University of Delhi, India) and Iain Stewart (University of Plymouth, UK), University of Delhi (29 February 2020).
- Road Maps for a Sustainable Energy Future session at Energy Opportunities 2020 conference, Convenors: Denise Cox (AAPG) and Iain Stewart (University of Plymouth, UK), Mexico City (22–23 September 2020).
During 2019, IGCP project 685 financially supported early-career geoscientists from a range of developing and developed countries to attend, engage with, and contribute to sustainable geoscience sessions at the following international events:
- UN Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals, UN Headquarters, New York, USA (14–15 May).
- Geological Mapping in Andean Geoparks field school , Torotoro Andean Geopark, Bolivia (22 July – 1 August).
- Encuentro de Sostenibilidad y Energía / Energy and Sustainability Summit, Cartagena, Columbia (11–12 December).
Director, Sustainable Earth Institute / UNESCO Chair in Geoscience and Society
University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
Denise M. COX
President, Storm Energy, 702 Bunkers Cove Road, Panama City, FL, 32401, USA
Joel C. GILL
British Geological Survey / Geology for Global Development,
Nicker Hill, Keyworth, NG12 5GG, UK
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
Geological Survey Division, Mineral Resources Authority, PO Box 1906, Port Moresby 121, National Capital District, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Deputy Director – Geo-information, Geological Survey of Namibia,
Ministry of Mines and Energy, P.O. Box 3984, Windhoek, NAMIBIA
Instituto de Geociencias da UFRGS,
Departamento de Paleontologia e Estratigrafia, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9.500 – Prédio 43.127, 91501-970, Porto Alegre, BRAZIL
Science Director | National Geosequestration Laboratory
CSIRO, Australian Resources Research Centre, 26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, WA 6151 AUSTRALIA
Ligia PÉREZ CRUZ
Institute of Geophysics, UNAM National University of Mexico, Laboratorio de Paleoceanografía y Paleoclimas, Circuito Exterior de Cd. Universitaria S/N, 04510, Mexico City, MEXICO
Further resources related to ‘Geology for Sustainable Development’
- Gill, J.C., 2016. Building good foundations: Skills for effective engagement in international development, in Wessel, G.R., and Greenberg, J.K., eds., Geoscience for the Public Good and Global Development: Toward a Sustainable Future: Geological Society of America Special Paper 520, p. 1–8.
- Gill, J.C., 2017. Geology and the sustainable development goals. Episodes, 40(1), pp.70-76.
- Gill, J.C. and Bullough, F., 2017. Geoscience engagement in global development frameworks. Annals of Geophysics, 60.
- Jébrak, M. and Montel, J.M., 2017. Educating the Resource Geologist of the Future: Between Observation and Imagination. Elements, 13(5), 331-336.
- Lubchenco, J., Barner, A.K., Cerny-Chipman, E.B. and Reimer, J.N., 2015. Sustainability rooted in science. Nature Geoscience, 8(10), p.741.
- Schlosser, P. and Pfirman, S., 2012. Earth science for sustainability. Nature Geoscience, 5(9), 587-588.
- Schrodt, F., Bailey, J.J., … Gill, J., Stewart, I., 2019. Opinion: To advance sustainable stewardship, we must document not only biodiversity but geodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116, 16155-16158.
- Stewart, I.S. 2016. Sustainable geoscience. Nature Geoscience, 9 (April), 262.
- Stewart, I. 2020. Geology for Society: Earth science for sustainable development. In: Humanist Futures: Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks on the futures of education. Paris, UNESCO.
- Stewart, I. S., & Gill, J.C. 2017. Social Geology - integrating Earth science into sustainable development. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 128(2), 165-172.