The Energy Transition: Implications for Geoscience- a View from the North.

Hitzman, Murray1

1Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG)

The plenary will examine the surprisingly rapid transition from fossil fuels in the North at the end of the first decade of the 21st century and its current and expected impact on geoscientists, geoscience education, and the public perception of geoscience. It will also discuss the potentially important implications of the energy transition for both technology development and raw materials production north and south. Finally, the role of geoscientists in the circular economy will be investigated.


Murray Hitzman holds an SFI Professorship in the School of Earth Sciences at University College Dublin and is also the Director of the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG).  He served as Associate Director for Energy and Minerals at the U.S. Geological Survey (2016-17) and was the Charles Fogarty Professor of Economic Geology at Colorado School of Mines from 1996-2016 where a primary research focus was the geology of the Central African Copperbelt (Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia).  Dr. Hitzman served in Washington, D.C. as a policy analyst in both the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1994-96) during the Clinton Administration and the U.S. Senate (1993-94) for Senator Joseph Lieberman (CT).  He worked in the petroleum and minerals industries from 1976 to 1993 primarily conducting mineral exploration worldwide and was largely responsible for Chevron Corporation’s Lisheen Zn-Pb-Ag deposit discovery in Ireland (1990).  Hitzman has B.A. degrees in geology and anthropology from Dartmouth College (1976), an M.S. in geology from University of Washington (1978), and a Ph.D. in geology from Stanford University (1983).  He has previously served on the boards of a number of mineral exploration and mining companies and currently serves as technical advisor for the private company KoBold, focused on utilizing machine learning for cobalt exploration. He has received a number of awards including the Chevron Chairman’s award for the Lisheen discovery (1992), the Society of Economic Geologists Silver Medal (1999), the Daniel C. Jackling Award by Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration and the Des Pretorius Award by the Geological Society of South Africa (both 2015), and the Haddon Forrester King Medal by the Australian Academy of Sciences (2016).

About the GSA

The Geological Society of Australia was established as a non-profit organisation in 1952 to promote, advance and support Earth sciences in Australia.

As a broadly based professional society that aims to represent all Earth Science disciplines, the GSA attracts a wide diversity of members working in a similarly broad range of industries.