Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:15 PM
SUSTAINABILITY AND THE EARTH SCIENCES
The use of sustainability principles in the earth sciences have been common long before the term sustainability entered the common lexicon of our modern world. The field of sustainability emerged in the late 1980’s in response to growing concerns over globalization and worldwide impacts of resource use. But it must be noted that geologists have long been interested in how to utilize resources wisely to allow future generations to prosper. This paper reviews the development of aspects of pure and applied geology and seeks to demonstrate how the field supports many of the themes emerging from sustainability studies including water resources, energy, food, building, and urban design. These are all key areas that have received considerable attention as of late within the context of the three e’s of sustainability: environment, equity, and economic development. As will be demonstrated, earth scientists have made substantive contributions to the understanding of these areas. It is recommended that geologists take a larger role in sustainability discussions in order to provide clear scientific information about resource use and availability.