MGPV webinars

The Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology and Volcanology division (MGPV) webinar series, organized by the MGPV Student Representatives, aims to provide resources for students in areas including career and professional development, graduate studies, and science communication. This bi-monthly series includes virtual panels and round table discussions geared towards fostering greater student engagement within the MGPV community. We welcome ideas for future webinars, as well as any suggestions for making this series more accessible to our community. Please reach out to with your ideas.


Mineral Education and Science Communication for the Energy Transition
3 April 2024

Speaker: Thomas Hale, Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences, University of Delaware


Mounting government and private sector interest in critical materials and economic deposits for the energy transition is ushering in new opportunities for early career professionals who want to apply their technical knowledge to practical issues facing society. However, the gap in mineral education in our society and the need for expanded science communication puts pressure on scientists to secure funding and produce new knowledge while also translating their research to the public and policymakers. This presentation will explore the opportunities and challenges surrounding mineral education and the role of the MGPV community in raising awareness about materials in our everyday lives while also being key thought leaders for policy development and education about the energy transition.

Thomas is dedicated to driving change within the critical minerals industry. He is the founder and executive director of Minerals in Context, a grassroots non-profit dedicated to raising public awareness and investing in education about minerals and their importance to society. He is especially passionate about science communication and what he coins "mineral diplomacy," or the use of minerals and materials as a tool for engaging global communities about the importance of mining to achieve shared energy futures. He has served as an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies advising on the nexus between the mining industry and national, environmental, and human security and is currently a PhD student at the University of Delaware in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences. He focuses on the politics of the extractive sector, bridging the gap between the technical science and the social and economic challenges surrounding mineral resources. His research has covered Central Africa, South Asia, and he is currently working in the Arctic, specifically Greenland, Finland, and Sweden. Thomas has extensive experience in community engagement and education, two necessary skills for establishing social license and making policymakers aware of these critical challenges that lie ahead.