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New membership portal and renewals FAQs

If you’re new to AIG’s new membership system, or not sure about the renewal process, we’ve put together a few steps, along with screenshots, to help you along your way.

Download a short PDF guide at the following link: AIG Membership System.

AIG’s new membership system is on-line.  All members were sent their username and initial password in the past few days.

A number of members have experienced difficulties accessing the system because they cannot see the member login button on the home page, which should appear as shown below.

Member Login Button

Member Login Button

The button appears on every page of the AIG web site in the page header.

If you cannot see the button it is most likely due to the web site page being cached by your internet browser software, your company’s Internet server or your Internet service provider (ISP).  Browser applications frequently cache pages or even parts of pages to make them appear to load faster, especially when the page is visited regularly.  Network servers and ISP’s do this to minimise Internet traffic.

There are several ways of “flushing” the caches on systems between you and the AIG web site. Try these.

1. Hold down your left shift key while clicking the page refresh/reload icon with your mouse. You may need to do this several times.
2. Press Control-F5 several times.
3. Delete your browsing history (an option in your browser’s tools menu).

These should lead to the cached data being refreshed which will allow the Member Login button to appear.

If you have not received your login details, please contact AIG’s Executive Officer, Lynn Vigar.

2014-15 membership renewals have been prepared and emailed to members today (25/6/14). This renewal advice gives instructions on how to pay.

If you haven’t received your renewal notice, you can still pay through your member portal.
The Renew Membership button can be seen in the Subscription tab and various options will be available to you.


Professionalism cannot be turned on and off according to audience or subject matter.

Recent controversy over articles published in AIG News concerning phases of water and water divining is healthy and to be encouraged (Refs 1, 2, 3). But, the AIG with the ASX, ASIC and AusIMM have recently instituted JORC 2012 (Ref. 4). JORC 2012 is a clear set of Professional Requirements phrased as Transparency, Materiality and Competence. It is a prescriptive strait-jacket with the requirement for the Competent Person to accept a life-long legal liability for material in Exploration, Resource and Reserve reports and removes the defense of “just doing what the boss requested”.  I have heard past and present members of the JORC committee suggest that JORC applies only to grade and tonnes. But can Professionalism be turned on and off according to audience or subject matter?  I think not, and clearly the AIG (and AusIMM) need to debate the reach of Professional Requirements.

One unintended consequence of JORC 2012 is that articles in the AIG News are viewed by members with a sharpened perspective (Ref. 3).  Would the AIG publish articles on “hidden” gold not found by recognised analytical methods?  No, the AIG is extremely concerned about claims of this nature.  So the argument that the AIG News is an easy to read magazine that may encourage controversial articles is little different to putting material on when that content is ineligible for an ASX release.

Professionalism applies to all aspects of Earth Sciences with a financial and/or societal implication.  This includes, but is not limited to, Climate Change, Economic Demonstrated Resources (EDR), Fracking, Water Resources and Water Exploration.  Technical articles (as distinct from opinion like this) should be accompanied by full references to demonstrate Transparency and a statement of the authors’ qualifications to show Competency.  A recent AIG News article (Ref. 5) “What Reporting Portable XRF Data to 2012 JORC Code Guidelines Means” was itself not JORC-compliant lacking both references for Transparency and the qualifications of the authors for Competence. (I happen to know the authors are competent, and having talked to them I understand references were omitted for simplicity and qualifications to avoid accusations of marketing their business).  AIG members should be treated equally, all subject to the same Transparency, Materiality and Competence requirements.  If one group are required to accept a life-long legal commitment then so should all others when publishing and providing advice to Government and Non-Government Organisations. This is especially important when data and advice involves orders of magnitude more dollars than the issues policed by ASIC and the ASX as is the case with Climate Change, Water Policy and Fracking.

The unintended consequence of the prescriptive JORC 2012 code is that all AIG and AusIMM members and the Institute will be scrutinized for Professionalism beyond the limits of grade and tonnes.

Good for the Goose is good for the Gander.

Julian Vearncombe FAIG
SJS Resource Management


  1. Hissink, L. 2013. The Fourth Phase of Water – An EZ Phase to Add? AIG News No 114, p. 1-5.
  2. Hissink, L., 2014, From The Editor, AIG News No 115, p18.
  3. Letter to the Editor AIG News from Martin Hughes, AIG News 116.
  4. The JORC Code 2012 Edition. Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral resources and Ore Reserves. 5 Arne, D., Jeffress, G., Sergeev, N and Margereson, A. 2014.
  5. What reporting Portable XRF Data to 2012 JORC Code Guidelines Means. AIG News No. 115, p1 to 6.

AIG members will be aware from recent articles in email newsletters and the AIG Linkedin Group of the the plan to relaunch AIG Journal, the Institute’s on-line technical publication, this year.

The plans for this were reviewed by Council yesterday, at the annual strategic planning meeting being held in Bendigo, Victoria this weekend.

AIG Journal will re-launch in the next few weeks, using the existing name.  The journal will provide members with a platform for publication of both papers and short technical articles on any aspect of geoscience.  The relaunched journal will feature an “AIG Notebook” section, specifically intended to encourage the publication of short articles on applied and practice geoscience topics such as field and data analysis techniques, geological observations and technical innovation.  AIG Notebook will also provide a means of publishing extended abstracts of presentations to AIG convened conferences and seminars where these have not been used in the publication of an AIG Bulletin.

All articles will be original and will be peer reviewed.  The review processes employed will be directed towards rapid publication of material submitted to the journal.

The journal won’t follow a publication schedule.  Papers will be published in both the journal and AIG Notebook sections will be collated to produce an annual compendium that will be available for sale in both electronic (download, CD-ROM) and printed form.  Selected articles will also be published from time to time in AIG News.  At least one author will need to be an AIG member.

Guidelines for authors will be available on the journal web site when it is relaunched using the papers that were previously published in the journal.

AIG members are invited to join the Publications Committee which will manage the journal’s publication, or to be called on as needed to peer review papers.  Please express your interest here if you would like to join the editorial panel or you are prepared to act as a peer reviewer from time to time.  Please include your contact details, fields of technical interest and a short (one or two paragraph bio) in your email.  Details of editorial panel members will be published on the AIG Journal web site.

Progress towards relaunching AIG Journal will appear on the AIG web site as the launch date approaches.

William Smith (1769 - 1839)

William Smith (1769 – 1839)

Next year (2015) marks the bicentenary of national geological mapping.  

William Smith (1769 – 1839), an English geologist, is credited with compiling the first nationwide geological map in 1814 which was first published, the following year, in 1815.   

Smith was born in the village of Churchill, Oxfordshire, the son of blacksmith John Smith.  In 1787, he found work as an assistant for Edward Webb of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, a surveyor. He was quick to learn, and soon became proficient at the trade. In 1791, he traveled to Somerset to make a valuation survey of the Sutton Court estate.  He stayed in the area for the next eight years, working first for Webb and later for the Somersetshire Coal Canal Company, living at Rugborne Farm in High Littleton.

Smith worked at one of the estate’s older mines, the Mearns Pit at High Littleton, part of the Somerset coalfield and the Somerset Coal Canal.

In 1794, working as a surveyor on the construction for the Somerset Coal Canal, Smith recognised that each stratigraphic horizon contained a unique assemblage of fossils.  This enabled him to work out the order of strata from the fossils they contained.  As he observed the rock layers, he realised that they were arranged in a predictable pattern and that the various strata could always be found in the same relative positions. Additionally, each particular stratum could be identified by the fossils it contained, and the same succession of fossil groups from older to younger rocks could be found in many parts of England.  Furthermore, he noticed an easterly dip of the beds of rock—small near the surface (about three degrees), then bigger after the Triassic rocks.  This gave Smith a testable hypothesis, which he termed The Principle of Faunal Succession, and he began his search to determine if the relationships between the strata and their characteristics were consistent throughout England and Wales.

In 1799 Smith produced the first large scale geologic map of the area around Bath, Somerset.  In 1801, he drew a rough sketch of what would become “The Map that Changed the World”.

In 1815 Smith published the first geological map of Britain. It covered the whole of England and Wales, and parts of Scotland, making it the first geologic map covering such a large area ever published.  Conventional symbols were used to mark canals, tunnels, tramways and roads, collieries, lead, copper and tin mines, together with salt and alum works. The various geological types were indicated by different colours; the maps were hand coloured. He published his Delineation of the Strata of England in the same year.  In another of his books Strata Identified by Organized Fossils (London 1816-1819) he recognised that strata contained distinct fossil assemblages which could be used to match rocks across regions.

At the time his map was first published he was overlooked by the scientific community; his relatively humble education and family connections preventing him from mixing easily in learned society. Consequently his work was plagiarised, he was financially ruined, and he spent time in debtors’ prison.

It was only much later in his life that Smith received recognition for his accomplishments.  In 1831 the Geological Society of London awarded Smith the first Wollaston Medal and the President, Adam Sedgwick, referred to him as ‘the Father of English Geology’.  Smith subsequently received an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LL.D.) from Trinity College, Dublin in 1831.  In 1838 he was appointed as one of the commissioners to select building-stone for the new Palace of Westminster.

Smith’s map is displayed at the Geological Society in London.