Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Trend-Spotting in the Geosciences

Peter T. Bobrowsky

Geological Survey of Canada
Natural Resources Canada
601 Booth Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1A 0E8

Geoscience Canada, volume 40, 235-241, 2013 

“… As a community we can celebrate centuries of success, we should accept the competitive economic realities that exist today between disciplines and we must avoid questioning the raison d’ĂȘtre of geology.
Disciplinary self-doubting, lamenting over days long gone and an intransigence to adapt will not sustain our discipline’s relevance and longevity. Indeed the 'geoscience train' left the station a long time ago. New ideas, interesting questions and fantastic possibilities are available to all of us in geosciences if we accept a significant shift in our paradigm of collaboration …”

Download the article:

Picture at the top 
Train spotters in the UK. Digital image photo credit: Peter Van Den Bossche, 13 September 2002. Accessed 28 August 2013 (

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Geoethics: what is it and why should I care?

Max Wyss

Earth, vol. 58, no. 11, 8-9, November 2013 

The new field of geoethics deals with the ethical, social and cultural implications of geological research and practice, including everything from natural hazard “prediction” to resource exploration and production. The hope is that by discussing geoethical issues, this growing movement will contribute to a better stewardship of our planet.

Read the article here below (click on images to enlarge):


Monday, February 17, 2014

A new proposal for establishing the first Geopark in Jordan: 
a new step toward the lowest geopark in the world

Mamoon Allan

The Natural Resources Authority (NRA) in Jordan has prepared a proposal for setting up the first geopark in Jordan and The Arab World. This project is supported by the UNESCO which has contributed to the establishment of standards for the foundation of a list of geoparks in the world. The proposed area for this project is located in Wadi Al Mujib, 90 Km near Amman. The director of this project proposal is Dr Mamoon Allan, the IAPG (International Association for Promoting Geoethics) coordinator for Jordan. He indicates that the rationale behind selection of Wadi Al Mujib is based on abundance of its superb geological features, the richest of its biodiversity, density of its cultural, historical and heritage resources and the opportunity to link it to geology, and providing a great opportunity to enhance the wellbeing of the local community adjacent the selected area. The success of Al Mujib geopark project will pave the way to set up the lowest geopark in the world (420 M below sea level).

Photo gallery:



Friday, February 7, 2014

Teaching GeoEthics Across the Geoscience Curriculum


The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (SERC)
10-13 June 2014
Chico Hot Springs, Pray, Montana (USA)

This workshop will explore the many dimensions of ethics education for the geosciences (GeoEthics). A major goal of this workshop is to begin to develop a community of scholars interested in developing a GeoEthics curriculum for use in geoscience courses at all levels. The workshop is designed to bring together innovators and early adopters to: 

a) survey, aggregate, organize and disseminate the instructional resources that are currently available, 
b) create a collection of case studies on GeoEthics that can be used in introductory courses, embedded into "core" courses for geoscience majors, or in dedicated courses on GeoEthics, and 
c) expand the network of colleagues who are interested in including a GeoEthics component in their own course work. 

The workshop is limited to 35 participants and we encourage those from the geoscience research and education communities, as well as the STEM ethics education community to apply.

Workshop Conveners

David Mogk, Montana State University (IAPG member)

Sue Kieffer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Vice President of the IAPG-International Association for Promoting Geoethics)

John Geissman, University of Texas, Dallas

Daniel Vallero, Duke University

Shaun Taylor, Director of Course Development at 

Michael Reidy, Montana State University

More info

This workshop is funded through the National Science Foundation Ethics Education in Science and Engineering (EESE) program, grant number NSF 1338741.

Message for the US colleagues from the IAPG Vice President, Prof. Susan Kieffer.

Dear colleague (with apologies to those who may have already registered for the workshop):
I am contacting you as a U.S. member of the IAPG to call attention to the workshop of the above title in Bozeman Montana this June. We hope that you will consider coming, and are also requesting your help in publicizing the workshop amongst your colleagues. We are particularly interested in finding people from other disciplines (e.g., biology, ecology, engineering...) who might lend experience/perspectives. 
Here is the WWW site for the workshop:

Thank you in advance for consideration!
Sue Kieffer