Sustainable geoscience in UK HE: evidencing transition through the analysis of student-led project topics.

ROBERTS, Jen, JACKSON, Christopher, BOND, Claire, ANDERSON, Mark, DOWEY, Natasha, JOHNSON, Gareth and STEINER, Benedikt (2022). Sustainable geoscience in UK HE: evidencing transition through the analysis of student-led project topics. In: Tectonic Studies Group Annual Meeting, Online, 05-07 Jan 2022. TSG.

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Structural geology, and geoscience more generally, play critical roles in tackling the climate crisis and enabling sustainable development. However, the geoscience discipline has an increasingly problematic public image, being associated with industries and practices that have contributed to environmental change and related ecological and social harm. There has been a long-term downturn in student uptake of geoscience subjects in higher education, which might result in a future skills gap. To instigate the changes needed to support the transition to net-zero, the geoscience discipline needs to be more attractive to STEM-engaged students who are considering higher education. We need to celebrate the positive contributions that geoscience makes to tackling global challenges including climate change, from emissions and waste reduction, to sustainable and resilient resource management, to protecting communities from hazards. Related to this, sustainable geoscience practice and applications must be emphasized in geoscience education. Here, we look for evidence of how geoscience degree programmes are shifting towards sustainable geoscience problems, with particular focus on structural geology and the energy transition. We examine and classify topics for independent student-led research projects undertaken as part of undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes at five Universities across the UK (MSc Integrated Petroleum Geoscience at the University of Aberdeen, MSc Petroleum Geoscience at Imperial College London, MSc Petroleum Geoscience at the University of Manchester, BSc Geology and BSc Geophysical Science at the University of Leeds, MSc Mining and Exploration Geology at Camborne School of Mines). We combine our experiences with insight on drivers of change from programme organizers. These early outcomes provide topics for discussion, reflection and action within the Tectonics and Structural Geology community and beyond.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2022 12:43
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 10:45

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