The IUGS is proud to support the UN International Day of  Women and Girls in Science, 11th February 2022 and International Women’s Day 8th March, with a line-up of amazing women in geoscience. As part of our IUGS@60 calendar of events, we are delighted to showcase IUGS activities alongside the works and experiences of inspiring female geoscientists from around the world. We hope this material will inspire IUGS members and geoscientists and citizens world-wide to celebrate geosciences’ contributions to addressing global challenges.

A special thank you to the IUGS Earth Stewards, early-career environmentalists, who put their science communication and media skills to the test and brought some youthful energy along!

Geoethics/Natural Hazards

Guest Soil Scientists and Climate Expert

Dr Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is a soil biogeochemist and political ecologist who is the current nominee to serve as the Director of the Office of Science at the US Department of Energy. She is currently Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry and the Ted and Jan Falasco Chair in Earth Sciences and Geology in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences; University of California, Merced. Her research group works to understand how soil helps regulate the earth’s climate.

IUGS Remote Sensing Expert

Professor Jennifer McKinley, from the department of Geography, Queen University Belfast

Chartered Fellow of the Geological Society of London, Past President of the International Association of Mathematical Geoscientists (IAMG) and Councillor of the IUGS; her research interests include exploring the use of spatial data analysis in ground and remote sensed earth processes, health and the environment.

Dr. Judith Hubbard is an Assistant Professor at the Asian School of the Environment.
she is a structural geologist with a focus on earthquake hazards. She studies geophysical problems ranging in scale from the hazards of particular faults to the construction of the Tibetan Plateau. She incorporates a wide range of datasets in her research, including seismic reflection data (either from the oil and gas industry or personally acquired), well logs, surface geology, rupture maps, and relocated aftershocks. She uses quantitative fault-related folding techniques to interpret these data and develop realistic geometric and kinematic 3D fault models.

Most recently, Judith received the 2019 Nanyang Education Award, the highest honour conferred by Nanyang Technological University to faculty members in the field of teaching.

Guest Hydrogeologist

Christine Rivard obtained her PhD in hydrogeology in 2001 from the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) in Quebec City (Canada). She then joined the Geological Survey of Canada as a research scientist, where she further developed her expertise through regional characterization projects. In the last 10 years, her work has mainly focused on the potential impacts of hydrocarbon development on shallow groundwater. She has recently added cumulative effects and geothermal energy to her research interests, two themes close to her heart.

IUGS Leader of Heritage Stone Subcommission

Assistant Professor Gurmeet Kaur, is an educator, working at the Department of Geology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. Current Chair of IUGS-Heritage Stone Subcommission. Passionately involved in promoting geoscience, mentored numerous school kids through an endeavor of Department of Science and Technology-Inspire Programme, an initiative of Govt. of India. Co-leader of a UNESCO-IGCP Project 637 on Heritage Stones. Authored a book Natural Stone and World Heritage: Delhi-Agra, India (CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Gp). Editor-IUGS e-Bulletin’.

Guest: Mining & Sustainability

Prof. Nellie Mutemeri: Mining Practice Director at MutConsult and Associate Professor in the School of Mining Engineering, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. She has more than 30 years in the mining sector mostly in Africa, but also in Latin America and Asia. She has worked as a geologist and applied mineralogist, and in sustainable development focusing on strategy, mining policy & governance, legislation and strategy, artisanal and small-scale mining formalisation, responsible supply chains and gender equality.

Chairing this conversation is Kombada Mhopjeni who has over 16 years of scientific experience in the government, including various roles in geosciences and management. She is currently the Deputy Director of Geo-Information at the Geological Survey of Namibia (GSN). She began her career as a mapping geologist and holds an MSc in Geology from the University of Western Australia.

Halleluya Ekandjo is a second-year PhD Candidate working on the geochemistry and mineralogy of the Rosh Pinah Zn-Pb-Ag (Ba) deposit, Namibia. Halleluya graduated with MSc in Economic Geology from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2017, and a BSc (Honours) from the University of Namibia in 2014. She has spent most of her professional time exploring for base metals in Namibia and Zambia. She enjoys geoscience communication.

Guest: mathematics and geophysics

Guest: Foraminifera

Dr. Haruka Takagi is an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Department of Earth Sciences, Chiba University. Her research interest involves species ecology and its interaction with the Earth’s environments through geologic time. She uses planktonic foraminifera both fossils and living organisms in her research. Her particular interests are in understanding photosymbiosis in planktonic foraminifera and its evolutionary role across their deep history.

Haruka received the Promising Young Scientists Award 2019 (Paleosciences Society) and the Okada Prize 2022 (the Oceanographic Society of Japan). Most recently, her research project was selected for FOREST (Fusion Oriented REsearch for disruptive Science and Technology) Program –a long-term funding support for challenging and fusion-oriented diverse research for young scientists–­ by JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency).

Guest: tsunamis and natural hazards

Dr. Jessica Pilarczyk’s research explores how coastal environments have been altered by extreme events and gradual environmental changes. Aiming to improve hazard mitigation for coastal communities, Jessica examines the clues left behind by past earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, and sea-level change. These clues are preserved in coastal sediments and answer questions regarding the type, duration, frequency, and intensity of hazards impacting a given coastline. New knowledge generated through her research provides insight into the long-term variability of coastal hazards over the last centuries to millennia. This improved understanding of long-term processes and impacts informs models that can be applied to forecast the risk of hazards to coastal communities. Governments in Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Vanuatu, and various Caribbean islands have utilized data generated by Jessica and her students to update national seismic and coastal flooding hazard maps and to develop safe evacuation strategies.

Guest: Venus

Professor Katherine Boggs, Director for the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences

Her main research interest involves working with a team to start a Canadian version of the US Earthscope program with a focus on the “other geosciences” similar in nature to the Canadian Lithoprobe program. Her research interests include mapping dike swarms on Venus, improving our understanding of potential sites for future geothermal energy development, guiding citizen science projects intended to improve community preparedness for natural disasters and understanding of multi-dimensional aspects of our local green spaces.

She is also driven to improve the general public’s perception and understanding of the geosciences. She believes her discipline has been and continues to be critical to Canada and the future of human sustainability. Technological advances are not possible without geological materials. This is what has driven her to spearhead the development of a high school geology program for Alberta in addition to the Geological Bumble Bee program.

Dr.  Anna Ladenberger is the 1st Co-Chair in the Commission on Global Geochemical Baselines. She is a senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Sweden, with PhD in geochemistry, working with geochemical mapping, analytical data management and interpretation.

Guest: Earth Observation Expert


Dr. Tanya Harrison is a geoscientist who has worked in science and mission operations on multiple NASA Mars missions over the past 13 years, including the Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance rovers, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. A respected thought leader in the commercial space sector from her previous role as Director of Research for Arizona State University’s NewSpace Initiative, she currently works as the Director of Science Strategy for Planet where she where she leads engagement and messaging for the global research community. 


Images are copyright of Planet

Guest Meteorite Expert


Dr Katherine Joy is a Royal Society Research Fellow and Professor in the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry Group in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Manchester. She studies meteorites (rocks from space), which provide invaluable clues about the formation and evolution of planets and planetary bodies in the Solar System.



IUGS Kids Corner

The IUGS wants to inspire a younger generation to develop the passion and interest in Earth Sciences so one day they too can use their skills to help solve the environmental challenges that face Planet Earth.

We wish the UN and Women and Girls all over the world a happy UN Women and Girls in Science Day!!!!Together we can change the world.

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