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Meet the Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences Reference Module Editor-in-Chief Scott Elias

By: , Posted on: May 15, 2014

EES Ref Mod bigIn April we had the pleasure of hosting the editorial board for our new Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. This was a great opportunity for our international team of experts  to discuss many topics related to a module that has over 4,200 currency-checked articles and almost as many contributors – and of course have some fun in the process.

The Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences is a giant umbrella, covering the history of the planet, its geology, soils, atmosphere, oceans, energy and other natural resources, and the ecosystems supported by the planet.

While he was here our Editor-in-Chief and subject expert in earth history took a few minutes out of a busy schedule to answer a few of my questions about the module.

Introduce yourself and explain your role as part of the editorial board for the Reference Module Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences:

My name is Scott Elias and I’m the Editor-in-Chief of the Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. I supervise the editorial board responsible for each of the sections of the module.

Why do researchers at all levels need access to foundational content and how do they use it? What’s the value of this type of content?

In the case of Earth and Environmental Sciences, they are very large and complex topics and no one person is an expert in all of the major areas,  so in order to broaden your horizons and learn about other areas you really need reliable content that you can go to and trust because it has been written by professionals, and gone through a peer review process.

What are the challenges that researchers typically encounter when looking for this type of content?

One of the challenges researchers and scholars all face is finding reliable content quickly and easily.  Most journal articles focus in on a very narrow aspect of a topic.  In contrast the articles found in the Reference Module are intended to give a broad introduction to a topic and fill you in on enough level of detail that you can then launch your own investigation.  It is also key that it is hosted on ScienceDirect so there is no need to search endlessly on the internet, instead by typing just a few key words in the module you will find a whole suite of information pop up in front of you that you can quickly and easily find the key articles that you need.

Please describe some of the key benefits of the module

It’s got all the material you need in one place, you can search through it quickly, you can find topics of interest you can explore interrelated topics and key down into individual articles that each provides a review of the subject that has been time stamped to so you can clearly see when it was last checked for currency by our editorial board so you can be sure that everything that is there is up-to-date.  This is very important for fast moving aspects of science whether its economic geology, fracking water oil pollution, some topics may change month by month so it is very important that we keep the module updated.

About the Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences

The module brings together a broad range of research concerning the history of the planet, its geology, oceans, atmosphere, energy and other natural resources, and the ecosystems supported by these environments and resources. The unifying theme linking these widely disparate branches of science together is our concern for the health and sustainability of Planet Earth.

If you’re a researcher interested in using this reference module, you can recommend to your librarian or institution here.

About the Editor

Scott Elias biopicScott A. Elias grew up in Colorado, USA, and received both an undergraduate degree (1976) and PhD (1980) in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado. His PhD dissertation concerned Paleoenvironmental reconstructions of Holocene insect fossil assemblages from two sites in arctic Canada. He went on to do postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Waterloo, Canada and the University of Berne, Switzerland. Scott returned to the University of Colorado in 1982, and became a research associate of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. He remained there for the next 18 years, becoming a Fellow of the institute, before departing for England to take up a lectureship in Physical Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he remains, today.

Scott became Professor of Quaternary Science in 2007, following the publication of the Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science that same year. He continues to do research in Quaternary insect fossils, having studied fossil assemblages from more than 175 localities in North America and Europe. The focus of much of his research has been in Beringia: the regions of the Yukon Territory, Alaska, and north eastern Siberia that were linked together by the Bering Land Bridge during glacial intervals of the Pleistocene. Scott has authored or edited 10 books and 130 journal articles and book chapters. He has now taken on the role of Editor-in-chief of Elsevier’s Reference Module: Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences.


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Earth & Environmental Science

The fields of Earth science, planetary sciences, and environmental science encompass disciplines critical to the future of our world and its inhabitants. Our well-being depends on a thorough understanding of air and water resources, soil chemistry, atmospheric dynamics, geology, and geochemistry, along with a myriad of other aspects of the environment we live in. Elsevier supports the efforts of researchers and scholars in these areas with content that meets their cross-disciplinary needs: journals, books, eBooks, and online tools that span computer science, chemistry, energy, engineering, biology, agronomy, ecology, environmental impact and many other topics fundamental to the study of our world. Learn more about our Earth and Environmental Science books here.