We’ve been introducing you to a couple of new faces on the GfGD blog, bringing fresh ideas and perspectives on topics relating to geoscience and sustainable development. We’re delighted to have their input, and look forward to their posts. Today we interview the final of our four new recruits, Bárbara Zambelli Azevedo.
Hello! Could you introduce yourself?
I finished my graduation in Geological Engineering at the Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil, in June of this year. As a student, I’ve spent one year doing an academic exchange at University College Cork, Ireland. In addition, I was part of the Excursionist and Speleological Society (SEE-EM/UFOP) since 2012, having worked in over 150 caves!
During the past 6 years, I had the opportunity to visit, travel, study and work in more than 20 countries, in America, Africa and Europe. After that, my interest on the relationship between geology and society was significantly enhanced.
Recently, I saw the opportunity of getting involved with GfGD as a science communicator. I got really excited about it! As I see, science communication is about shortening distances by connecting people with the same interests, building a strong network worldwide. I’m passionate about travelling, photography, cooking, engaging with other cultures and experiencing other ways of living. I love to spend time outdoors, hiking and climbing as much as I can.
How did you find out about GfGD?
The first time I heard about GfGD was while researching for my graduate thesis, at the end of last year. Before that, I’d experienced some different areas within geology. I was tutoring structural geology for one semester, and have done some research on geochronology, speleology, field geology and geological mapping. When I came back from Ireland and started to write my thesis, I decided to stray from classical geology to explore “social geology” , the overlap between “geology” and “development”. At this moment I came across the GfGD blog, with many useful open access papers and posts on different topics. I also heard about the 5th GfGD Annual Conference. After finishing my thesis, I got in touch and decided to get involved with this charity!
Can you give us a glimpse of your grad thesis?
For sure! The title of my thesis is “The role of geology in Ouro Preto’s development”. It tells the history of Ouro Preto, its occupation, the relationship with the geology in its very beginning and also today. The data collected showed that many problems faced by the city are due to chaotic urbanisation since the 1960’s and the historical economic dependence of the mining sector. Supported by the papers Stewart & Gill (2017) and Gill (2017), I proposed some actions to be taken by geologists working at Ouro Preto’s public administration to achieve some of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. If you want to know more, please contact me, or come along to the 5th GfGD Annual Conference where I’ll be giving a micro-presentation on my work!
What themes will you be writing about?
Widely, as expected, I would say that I’m keen on writing about how geoscience can address the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I would love to learn more about hydrogeology, climate change and urban geology. In this sense, I’m looking forward to the 5th GfGD Annual Conference on “Cities: Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Development” to see what pops up from there. I expect to produce a range of article types, including paper reviews, free online resources and data, study cases, among others.
Ideas for the future?
Presently, I have plans to do a Master in Hydrogeology next year. Since none of my field experience is directly related to hydrogeology, I also hope to engage in field work for a while before that. Ideally, I would love to work towards poverty relief, gender equality, access to clean water and sanitation using hydrogeology, geoscience education and science communication in as many parts of the Global South as I can. I’m also eager to keep on writing posts for GfGD blog!
You can contact Bárbara via geol.zambelli[at]gmail.com
**This article expresses the personal opinions of the author (Bárbara Zambelli Azevedo). These opinions may not reflect an official policy position of Geology for Global Development. **