Dr Marie Cowan pen picture

Dr Marie Cowan PGeo MIoD, Director of the GSNI

Dr Cowan is a Science Director with the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Director at its Belfast office, the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI). GSNI is an office of the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland whose scientists undertake research to advise and support the geoscience responsibilities of NI government departments, Invest NI and councils. GSNI also collaborates closely on research with the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and universities.

Dr Cowan is also a member of the Academy’s Geosciences and Geographical Sciences Committee, where she spearheaded the introduction of an MLA-Geoscientist pairing scheme in Northern Ireland.

Dr Cowan is a certified member of the Institute of Directors and a professional geologist with the Institute of Geologists of Ireland. She is also a member of the NI Assembly All Party Group for Science and Technology and the NI Learned Societies and Professional Bodies Forum. She is a member of the governance board of the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences and was previously the chairperson of Earth Science Ireland and an elected non-executive board member of the Institute of Geologists of Ireland. She is currently chair of Social Development Enterprise in her local community.

Dr Cowan has been a cornerstone in the £6m Tellus and £4.5m Tellus Border soil geochemistry and geophysical mapping projects in NI and Ireland, the communications campaigns of which were awarded five industry awards, from Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and Public Relations Institute of Ireland. The Tellus project continues in Ireland and is expected to complete in 2023.

Dr Cowan is an alumna of Queen’s University of Belfast and a past pupil of Sacred Heart Grammar School in Newry.

Dr Cowan lives with her husband and their four children in the Mourne Mountains, Hilltown.

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