Energy, Resources and the Environment


Sian Loveless is Early Career Scientist representative for the Energy Resources and Environment Division of the EGU. She is a Hydrogeologist at the British Geological Survey. Following her PhD Sian spent two years working in the Geothermal Energy sector in Belgium. She completed her PhD on the hydrogeological properties of faults in sediment, at the University of East Anglia, during which time she undertook a policy internship at the Centre for Science and Policy. Her BSc was in Environmental Earth Science.

Opportunity for Early Career Scientists

The Energy Resources and Environment Division of the EGU are looking to appoint an Early Career Scientist (ECS) representative in 2016. ECS make up a significant proportion of the EGU membership and it’s important to us that their voices are heard. ECS representatives are the link between the Union and its ECS membership. They give a voice to early career researchers and ensure their needs are met at the Assembly, and throughout the year.

The exact role and tasks of the ECS representative is not fixed but might include running the ERE Division blog, representing the ERE ECS within the ECS group and working with the ERE Committee. The appointment will be made at the EGU General Assembly, 17-22nd April, 2016 and will be for two years. A shadowing opportunity is available at the GA 2016.

If you would like to apply please send your CV and a cover letter with your reasons for wishing to represent ECS in the ERE Division to the Division President, Professor Christopher Juhlin ( by 1st April 2016. If you would like further information please contact the current ECS representative Sian Loveless ( Please forward this opportunity to anyone you think might be interested.

Financial support for Early Career Scientists

As an Early Career Scientist you are eligible to apply for financial support to travel to the EGU General Assembly 2016. Financial support includes a registration fee waiver and a refund of the Abstract Processing Charge (APC) related to the abstract for which support was requested. Additionally, financial assistance towards travel expenditures may be provided at the discretion of the support selection committee to a maximum of €300.

To apply submit your abstract by Tuesday 1st December!


Understanding groundwater – students’ pre-conceptions and conceptual change by a theory-guided multimedia learning program

Words on Wednesday aims at promoting interesting/fun/exciting publications on topics related to Energy, Resources and the Environment. If you would like to be featured on WoW, please send us a link of the paper, or your own post,


Citation: Unterbruner, U., Hilberg, S. and Schiffl, I. Understanding groundwater – students’ pre-conceptions and conceptual change by a theory-guided multimedia learning program. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 12, 11689-11737, 2015

Blog by Sylke Hilberg

Groundwater is a crucial topic in education for sustainable development. Knowledge about groundwater is an indisputable prerequisite for a sustainable use of water as a valuable natural resource. But international studies with students of different ages have shown that the basic hydrogeological concept of groundwater defined as water within porous and permeable rocks is not an established everyday notion. Most popular, however, is the idea of groundwater as a subterranean river or lake. This is what we aimed to change with the help of our interactive multimedia learning program “Zwischen Regenwolke und Wasserhahn” (Between the raincloud and the tap, Unterbruner & Hilberg, 2012) that we developed in an academic cooperation between the faculties of Geology and Science Education/Biology Didactics at the University of Salzburg.

We designed the multimedia learning program on the basis of hydrogeology, conceptual change research and multimedia research. In order to ascertain the effectiveness of the learning program two studies were conducted with Austrian pupils (7th grade) and teacher training students from the fields of biology and geography. Using a quasi-experimental research design, the participants’ conceptions and knowledge regarding groundwater were determined in a pre- and post-test. The results show that groundwater education can be significantly improved by using our multimedia learning program. Both pupils and students, achieved a significant increase in correct groundwater conceptions and knowledge achieved during a one-off session with the multimedia program. The two drawings of a 12-year old boy show the conceptual change by learning with the program.

Left, pre-test: Groundwater as a huge subterranean lake. Right, post-test : Correct drawing of groundwater

Left, pre-test: Groundwater as a huge subterranean lake. Right, post-test: Correct drawing of groundwater

The complete program consists of four chapters (Water in the Ground, Water in the Mountains, Water in Pipes, Interesting facts about Water, language: german) and is available free on the internet at


Call for abstracts EGU 2016!

Call for abstracts EGU 2016!

The call for abstracts is now out for EGU 2016!

Have a look at our exciting proposed programme in the ERE Division under the topics:

ERE1 – Integrated studies
ERE2 – Impact of energy and resource exploitation on the environment
ERE3 – Non-carbon based energy
ERE4 – Carbon based energy
ERE5 – Geo-storage for a sustainable future
ERE6 – Geo-materials from natural resources

The abstract deadline is 13th January, 13:00 CET.

If you are an Early Career Scientist and would like help with submitting an abstract please email me on

Hope to see you there!