After the forced break in 2020 due to the prevailing pandemic, we celebrated the fourth edition of the Geoweek, the Geoweek 2021… Once again, a huge success. Seven busy and hectic days and full of learning. Another first for us at CERG… doing an online event, not to mention the virtual gallery and the Geotales. Increased awareness, global participation, and an increasing acceptance and appreciation of CERG and of our objective to build Geoscience awareness in every man’s life. Fourth year running, this year’s Geoweek revolved around the theme “Earth Science & Sustainability”. It was conducted from the 15th to 21st of November 2021.
The week-long celebration included a range of activities like Talks, Exhibitions, Visual arts (Geoart), video (Geoshorts), photography (Geosnap) and creative writing (Geotales) contests, Online Quiz (Geoquest Enlinea SE), and a day long field traverse (the Geotrail).
The Geoweek online celebrations were inaugurated on the 15th of November 2021 by Prof Iain Stewart, – Jordan-UK El Hassan Research Chair in Sustainability. In his keynote address, Prof. Stewart spoke about Sustainability and the work being done by Earth scientists in reaching the UN Sustainable development goals.
Prof. Iain Stewart also inaugurated the ‘virtual exhibition, one of the highlights of this year’s event. The virtual exhibition showcases two galleries, one displaying educational posters on the theme Earth Science & Sustainability” and the other displaying selected entries of visual art and photographs received.
The visual arts (Geoart) and the photography (Geosnap) contests received an overwhelming response from across the globe. In keeping with the times, the selected entries were displayed in the specially created virtual gallery which was available online. The galleries enabled a live virtual walk through the exhibition space where one could get the feeling of experiencing the display in a live manner. Woo Juyeon (Korea) and Siddharth Damle (India) bagged the first and second place in the Geoart drawing and painting contest and Rayhan Ahmed (Bangladesh) and Charlie Villagracia (Philippines) won first and second prizes in the Geosnap photography contest.
A special edition of our popular Geoquest Enlinea with theme “Earth Science & Sustainability” was held online on 17th November 2021. Open to everyone across the globe the quiz evinced a big participation. The top scorer was Tanish Dantale (India) and the second place was bagged by Madhuri Chavan (India). Besides the winners only three participants scored above 70% in this very challenging quiz on sustainability.
The presentation by Prof. Anil Kulkarni, on 18th November 2021 on the topic of Sustainable development and Mining was in a sense an eye-opener. Prof. Kulkarni, Principal of the College of Non-Conventional Vocational Courses for Women, and a noted expert in the environmental management of mines, introduced many facets of sustainable development in the mining industry and how mining an essential aspect of the economy can be done keeping in view sustainability.
The highlight of the event was the Geotales – the creative writing contest, another first. With global participation, keenly contested and very well written and presented the contest was well received and complimented by all the audience. This was held on 19th November. The objective of this contest was to encourage people to articulate important areas of Earth Sciences and understand the importance of Earth Science in sustainability. Ten entries were selected for online presentations by the authors of the creative writing piece. Gauri Khanna (India) and Onugbolu Vivian (Nigeria) won the first and second prize in the Judges choice awards whereas Rajshree Biwas (India) and Gauri Khanna (India) bagged the first and second place in the Popular Choice awards.
The valedictory session was held on 20th November 2021. The valedictory address was given by Dr Debashish Sen, Director at the People’s Science Institute, Dehradun on Earth Science & Sustainability. The talk on SDGs and Sustainability was presented with examples of work done at grass roots level by the People’s Science Institute and the important role that Geologists could play in working towards the UN SDGs. The awards for the various contests were also announced during this session.
The week-long event culminated with our ever-popular Geotrail, the Geoweek’ s piece de resistance, a field trip to nearby geologically interesting locations. This day long field traverse was organized around interesting Geosites in parts of Ahmednagar district. Besides getting an introduction Deccan Basalts and to some of their common features, the participants in the trail got to visit segments of the lava tube/channel which are believed to be parts of the ancient lava feeder systems and the spectacular tufa waterfall at one of the margins of the lava channel. The last stop of the trail was Nighoj which is famous for its potholes.