About

I am an earth scientist. We used to call ourselves geologists, but that term has gone out of fashion, because our field has broadened so much. There is a lot more to earth science than just geology, after all.

Earth science knows many specializations. My world is the world of sediments, sedimentary environments and the resulting sedimentary rocks.

I have worked as a government scientist for State Geological Surveys in the United States, as an academic an a dean in the Netherlands (where I am originally from) and as an independent here in Nova Scotia. I am an adjunct professor at the Earth Sciences department of Dalhousie University in Halifax.

One can spend a lifetime reveling in the fundamental aspects of sedimentary environments, but I have a practical mind and tend to see societal issues in the context of earth science: coastal zone management, energy questions, climate change, the world’s water supply, etc. Thus the title of this blog:

Earth          Science              Society.

For further musings on why and how I write, see this blog post

My home page banners are photos from around Minas Basin, an arm of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada. The photos illustrate these three aspects (Earth, Science, Society): the oceanography of Minas Basin, and thus its sediment budget and distribution is still poorly understood. Insufficient understanding of these dynamics has implications for the people living around it because coastal protection measures are haphazard at best and not based in a deep understanding of the environment. The first in-stream tidal power turbine went in a few weeks ago. Do we understand the basin well enough to predict the effects of such laudable efforts on this basin that is both fragile and violent at the same time?

The cliffs surrounding Minas Basin are exposed in a wild variety of rocks with spectacular fossil assemblages. Understanding the geologic history of these sequences, so superbly exposed thanks to our extreme tides, contributes to the understanding of earth history in general and helps us understand rock sequences elsewhere in the world. And this in turn helps us understand the potential and limitations of our natural resources.

Earth           Science           Society

Follow me on Twitter @EC_Kosters

One Response to About

  1. Jan de Leeuw says:

    Ha Elisabeth, gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag. Ik kon je email niet meer vinden dus probeer ik je op deze wijze een goede dag met Dick te wensen. Groet vanuit Baku in Azerbaijan waar ik sinds Oktober aan de slag ben. Jan de Leeuw

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