Seasons Greetings

Looking back is not something you do every day. Once a year is probably about right, and how better to balance extravagant festivities than with moments of deep reflection. And if you are lucky, both go hand in hand. Among those lucky few are the geoconnectors.

When we look back, we first of all ask ourselves if we have been ambitious… We focus silently and turn our thoughts inside, realizing that we were oh so enthusiastic, promising the moon and the stars, setting the bar frighteningly high. That is a clear, but also rather stressful ‘yes’. GeoConnect³d is now half-way, 18 months of work, still 18 months to go. About time to deliver at least a part of the moon.

We promised a new way of organizing and visualising geological information for both experts and non-experts (structural framework), allowing to cross-check the robustness of our knowledge with known geological processes (geomanifestations), in order to come to a science-based approach for subsurface management. Indeed a scarily ambitious promise.

So the real question is: Are we, geoconnectors on track? Tension builds as we go silent again… And then we look up, eyes opened in full honesty and with faces radiating heaps of confidence. Yes, we are where we wanted to be. Although not public yet, the first version of the structural framework has been realized, and several of the studies on geomanifestations are already in advanced stages.

So you can look forward to a 2020 full of public releases on structural frameworks and geomanifestations. That must be more than you dared wish for.

And we are of course already planning ahead. GeoConnect³d is a dynamic project with lots of room for bottom-up initiatives and input, resulting in some non-planned activities. Up until know, we have successfully tested the scientific soundness of the structural framework on experts. In 2020 we will trickle down communication in a variety of ways. This will include putting it in the hands of two master students, frustrated with their friends and family not understanding what they are studying, who will use it to communicate geology to a wider audience.

In the same dynamic spirit, young and promising talent must be allowed to bubble up, freshening the driving forces. I’m honestly happy to announce Renata Barros as the new coordinator of GeoConnect³d, allowing myself to become a bit more sabbatical and focus more on content. Congrats to Renata, for who the change will be far less drastic than it may seem to outsiders, and also to all other young scientists for who GeoConnect³d hopefully is becoming one of the corner stones of their careers.

Signing of with best wishes,

Kris Piessens
Geological Survey of Belgium

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