GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 226-2
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM


WESSEL, Gregory R.1, WHITE, Kasey S.2, GREENBERG, Jeffrey K.3, SHIMAMOTO, Mark4 and UDU-GAMA, Natasha4, (1)Geology In The Public Interest, PO Box 1135, Vashon, WA 98070, (2)Director for Geoscience Policy, Geological Society of America, 1200 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 400, Washington, CO 20005, (3)Department of Geology and Environmental Science, Wheaton College, 501 College Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187, (4)American Geophysical Union, 2000 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009

The Geoscience and Society Summit, held in Stockholm in March this year, brought together about 80 people from 20 nations to discuss ways to build bridges between geoscientists and others to enhance the contributions of geoscientists in advancing resilience and sustainability worldwide. GSA was a partner to the meeting, which was hosted by the AGU, Geology in the Public Interest, and the Bolin Center for Climate Research. Other partners included the AGI, the Geological Society of London, Geoscientists Without Borders, the International Association for Promoting Geoethics, Geology for Global Development, and the Geology and Environmental Science Department at Wheaton College.

The goals of the meeting included assessing the role geoscience can play to inform solutions, facilitating interactions between the science and user communities to advance foundational capability, and developing processes to improve interdisciplinary engagement and science diplomacy.

Five workshops were held over three days, with the first four advancing discussions toward a final session designed to summarize conclusions and suggest models for the future. Discussions were wide-ranging but there was general agreement on the importance of certain aspects of our work, such as the effectiveness of communication between stakeholders, the need for education about the geosciences and sustainability at all levels (particularly grade school and middle school), the criticality of uniform standards to measure sustainability, and the value of making successful actions scalable.

The final session highlighted the need for new programs to enhance the impact of the geosciences at the grassroots level by 1) combining creative science with effective outreach, 2) increasing local geoscience education within affected communities, 3) reducing barriers to collaboration, and 4) providing pathways to a better understanding and appreciation of the common good. One suggestion was to create a new internet-based platform for collaboration that allows easy participation while promoting sustainability, an idea that is currently being considered.

We invite the geoscience community to help us further the mission of the Geoscience and Society Summit. Additional meetings are envisioned as well as publications and extensive outreach. We can use your help.