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Emer Caslin - Progressing the Geoscience Sustainability Atlas

Updated: May 12, 2022


The interest in Geosciences is enhanced if the value it adds to society, the environment, and the economic development is appraised, communicated, and understood.

One way to enhance the value proposition of geosciences is to map Geoscience activities, applications, and practices to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Atlas shows geosciences have a pivotal role to play in advancing the SDGs.

The journey to generate the first Geosciences Sustainability Atlas included the following working loops:

- The shaping of a multi-national, multi-ethnic, and multi-discipline team of professionals, aimed to cover most geographical areas.

- The establishment of timelines, workflows, and goals for the project that ensured an alignment of all professionals involved.

- The envisioning and selection of the audience to whom the Atlas was to be directed, as this shaped the length, depth and focus of the work at stake.

- The implementation of communication strategies to ask for examples of the utilization of geosciences to advance SDGs, in a worldwide consultation

- The selection of a publishing platform non-associated with single affiliations, and free for users of any professional affiliation.

- The active seeking of endorsement of relevant geosciences-related professional associations and organizations.

- The activation of promotional activities to raise the geosciences community awareness about the creation of the Atlas, inclusive of podcasts, articles, social media posts, and webinars.

The Atlas involves mapping geosciences to the SDGs, a process that was done by defining three clusters: People, Planet, and Prosperity.

Selected case studies, initiatives and projects in which geosciences play a fundamental role are being used for each Dimension. The examples are selected to facilitate the representation of all disciplines in geosciences, private and public initiatives, and considering geographical distribution, with the purpose of showcasing the prime role geoscientists have.

The Geosciences Sustainability Atlas has been endorsed by the UNESCO, and is aimed to become a platform of communication, that enables to approach larger audiences with an inspirational message, showcasing the tremendous value Geosciences bring to advance the SDGs, and inspiring younger audiences to pursue careers in geosciences.

Fig. 1 The “Geosciences Sustainability Wheel”, that summarizes the mapping of Geosciences to each one of the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is an infographic crafted for communication purposes.



Emer Caslin*1; Ludivine Wouters2 and Maria A. Capello

1 iCRAg Centre, Ireland

2 LatitudeFive, South Africa & UK

3 Red Tree Consulting, LLC, USA

MARIA ANGELA CAPELLO - A renowned leader and author in the energy sector, Maria Angela Capello (“MAC”) is a relentless fighter for Sustainability and Equity across the industry. She is an active collaborator of the United Nations, in numerous other non-profit geo-centric organizations such as the SPE, SEG and AAPG. She is Managing Director of Red Tree Consulting, Director of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Foundation.

MAC’s passion lies in promoting the juxtaposition of the geosciences and the future of the energy industry through training, mentoring, corporate resilience, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Her work has been recognized by the Italian Government through the “Star of Italy” honor (knighthood), and by the UNESCO endorsing her work leading the “Geosciences Sustainable Development Atlas” to advance the SDGs across the geosciences. She is an Honorary Member of the SPE, the top individual award of this organization, a Lifetime Member awardee of the SEG, and is the only person to have been Distinguished Lecturer of SPE, AAPG and SEG.

She is a geophysicist from the Universidad Simon Bolivar, (Venezuela), MSc in Geophysics of the Colorado School of Mines (USA) and is certified in Sustainability and Circular Economy by Cambridge University (UK).

Emer Caslin

Emer has 19 years’ experience in the energy industry working internationally as a Geoscientist specialising in reservoir interpretation, structural and property modelling. She has held roles in technical consulting, business development and Portfolio Management; ranging from daily technical operation support to advising on corporate-level geoscience strategy. Emer is the Business Development Manager with iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences. She works with over 100 researchers developing innovative geoscience solutions to create a sustainable society covering themes such as environmental and climate change, sustainable earth resource exploration and earth science in society.

Emer’s focus areas are advancing solutions for the energy transition, social acceptance of the extractive industry and achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – collaborating with industry, academia & professional societies.

She volunteers with a range of energy and geoscience professional societies to augment action on sustainability within the sector and within the broader geoscience discipline and is currently on the committee for the EAGE Energy Transition Conference, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and SPE Gaia Sustainability programs.

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