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Geoscientists Make a Difference

Published on: Jul 24, 2023

A new special report demonstrates that geoscientists’ knowledge, skills, and competencies can be used to advance every one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In this article, AGU and UNESCO have  co-published a special report, Geoscience in Action: Advancing Sustainable Development, demonstrating how geoscientists can contribute to the sustainable development agenda. 

Students studying vein arrays on the limb of a Variscan fold in Loughshinny, Co. Dublin, Ireland. © Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG)


From this report, professional geoscientists can see how their research and activities can play a role in working towards a more sustainable future; geoscience students can get ideas for careers that work directly on the Sustainable Development Goals; and non-geoscientists can better understand geoscience’s relevance to the sustainability agenda and identify ways to collaborate. Educators and those teaching geoscience can teach students about the myriad of ways to further develop their career paths and that all geoscience pathways matter.


 Chapter 3 of the report specifically  highlights skills needed to be improved in future  geoscience training. It categorizes  these skill sets into 3 main categories  featuring  technical, conceptual and social competencies. Among the identified under social  competencies:


  • Multidisciplinary teamwork
  • Negotiation
  • Mentoring
  • Understanding societal relevance
  • Preparing communities
  • Storytelling
  • Cultural literacy 

As either a current geoscientist, or an aspiring one, these are all great skills to hone in on and develop. They can not only bolster your resume, but prepare you to be an even better working professional in whatever field you choose. This list proves that its not just the "science" knowledge behind your success as a geoscientist, but the variety of skills and they way you utilize them that can help make your career successful within the Earth and Space sciences.