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New AIG Membership System

The introduction of the new AIG membership system is getting closer.  

Members need to provide an email address which will be used as your username to access the new system.  At present, we don’t have email addresses on fuel for the following members.  If your name appears in the list below please contact AIG’s Executive Officer, Lynn Vigar, immediately.

If you are in contact with any of the members on the list, please pass this message on to them!

Abbott, Jonathon
Adams, Karen
Ajayi, Olywatosin
Allardyce, Wendy
Bolton, Cynthja
Brown, Barry
Comber, Gavin
Coupe, Kieran
Dahl, Kirsten
Dupuy, Kimberley
Edwards, Robert
Ekins, Samuel
From, Bianca
Fyfe, Rebecca
Gibbons, Sarah
Glassford, Donald
Gordon, John
Hammond, Ben
Harms, John
Heyworth, Zarah
Hirschmann, Claire
Howe, Brendan
Hutson, Philip
Johnston, Sandi
Kemp, Barttlomiej
Kriege, Ralf
Lloyd, Timothy
Lu, Jainchu
Lui, Samuel
Mananis, Joanne
Mander, Joanna
Marshall, Sarah
Martyn, Gillian
McAuley, William
McLennan, Iain
Mengel, Douglas
Milan, Luke
Musson, Alex
Omari, Dena
Paton, Belinda
Pauwels, Gerard
Pearson, Stephen
Penno, Hamish
Perera, Dhammika
Phillips, Laura
Pike, Christian
Rankin, Shari
Reeves, Zeffron
Richardson, Robert
Roberts, Michelle
Ross, Steven
Rowett, Caitlin
Ruddick, Ryan
Sampson, Peter
Schafer, David
Singh, Vashti
Smith, Peter
Snell, Rebecca
Sossi, Paolo
Stephens, Darren
Sutterby, Melanie
Tassell, Hugh
Tedesco, Adam
Telenko, Brianna
Thomas, Charmaine
Tilley, Jason
Turvey, Cassandra
Urbisinov, Serikjan
Van Der Wacht, Melanie
Verco, Rupert
Walters, Vanessa
Wheeler, Andrew
Whittaker, Joanne

2014 Student Bursary Applications Open

This year the Australian Institute of Geoscientists is offering several student bursaries valued between $1000 and $4000 and we are inviting applications from Postgraduate, Honours and Third Year geoscience students.

In addition to AIG bursaries offered in all geoscience fields, the AIG also offers a number of sponsored bursaries to students working in specific fields of geoscience or geological terrains, or enrolled at specific universities.  These sponsored bursaries include:

  • Macquarie Arc Conference-GSNSW – AIG bursary: offered to geoscience students working on mapping-based honours projects in the Lachlan Orogen, in or around the Macquarie Arc.
  • Terra Search – AIG bursary: offered to geoscience students working on research projects in Queensland.
  • SMEDG-AIG Bursaries: offered to NSW geoscience students working on projects related to mineral exploration.
  • Jonathan Bell-Alexander Research – AIG bursary: offered to geoscience students working on cross-disciplinary projects related to mineral economics and finance.
  • Davis – AIG geoscience bursaries: offered to geoscience students enrolled at JCU or UWA to assist with costs associated with field work.
  • DMITRE – AIG Geoscience Student Bursary: offered to geoscience students at South Australian Universities.

The 2014 application form is available here. The closing date for applications is the 1st August 2014.

Geoscientist Competencies

Geoscientists Canada, the peak body which brings together the individual, provincial bodies responsible for the progressional registration of geoscientists and engineers on geoscience issues is considering defining the core competencies required of geoscientists for registration.  Geoscientists must be registered in Canada in order to practice as professionals where the exercise of independent judgement is central to their work.  Unlike Australia, registration is required for many professions in Canada where it is seen as a means of ensuring professionals have appropriate levels of education and knowledge of the principles of ethical practice, demonstrated by completing an examination.  What is regarded by many as the textbook for engineering and examination candidates, Canadian Professional Engineering and Geoscience Practice and Ethics by Gordon C. Andrews was reviewed recently on this site and provides an informative description of how the Canadian registration process evolved.

The majority of regulated professions in Canada have developed, or are developing, competency profiles.  There are perceived to be a number of benefits, specifically with geoscience:

  • It describes the work that geoscientists can undertake and the services they provide to society on a daily basis;
  • It explains the scope of the work of geoscientists to employers, clients, other professions, government and the general public;
  • It provides enhanced clarity regarding what licensure represents— for applicants, referees, validators, assessors, Fairness Commissioners and others involved in admission to geoscience as a regulated profession;
  • It gives prospective applicants a clearer vision of their likelihood of becoming licensed;
  • It provides a firm foundation from which to later develop competency-based assessment tools for potential use in admissions into the profession;
  • It can be used to create stronger and more direct links between education and practice; and,
  • It sets a transparent and objective benchmark for admissions and potentially for other purposes – such as: continuing competency, practice guidance and disciplinary matters.

Geoscientists across Canada were asked to complete a survey to provide feedback on the draft profile which has been under development over the past 18 months and the competency profile is expected to be completed in Q3 2014.

Is this something that would benefit geoscientists in Australia?  In Australia, there is no requirement for professional registration in order to practice as a geoscientist.  The voluntary registration schemes operated by AIG (RPGeo Programme) and AusIMM are designed to provide assurance that registered geoscientists have demonstrated impeccable ethical standards and are committed to undertaking continued professional development.  Would specification of competencies required of professionally registered geoscientists, or even all geoscientists admitted to membership of AIG, help to improve the public perception and standing of our profession?

Have your say by posting a comment here or on the AIG Linkedin group page.  The consultation draft of the Competency Profile for Canadian geoscientists is available for review  here.  Canadian Geoscience Competency Profile, Consultation Draft, Apr 30 2014

Andrew Waltho

 

Deutsche Bank Withdraws from Abbot Point Coal Terminal Expansion

Deutsche Bank has withdrawn from any involvement in the Abbott Point coal terminal expansion, citing concerns regarding its social licence to operate according to an ABC report.

Reuters reported last week that the financial institution pulled out of the controversial expansion project on the grounds that UNESCO and the Australian government have come to different conclusions regarding the reef’s safety. According to the news outlet, Deutsche Bank Co-chief Executive Juergen Fitschen said, “[a]s we have seen, there is currently no consensus between UNESCO and the Australian government regarding the expansion of Abbot Point in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef. Our policy requires such a consensus at the least … [w]e therefore would not consider applications for the financing of an expansion any further.”

The Australian government approved a plan to facilitate the coal port’s construction by dumping 3 million cubic meters of dredged material near the reef in January that has catalyzed vocal opposition by a number of groups.

Meeting considers formal declaration of the Anthropocene

The May 27, 2014 issue of EOS, published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) reported on a news briefing held at the European Geoscience Union’s Assembly on 29 April where the issue of whether human impacts on Earth are significant enough to formally declare a new geological time period.   Human influence on Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land, and biology has grown to the extent that some people now think that the planet may have entered a new geological period, known as the Anthropocene.

Jan Zalasiewicz, one of the scientists at the briefing, explained that the term Anthropocene refers to a hypothesis that people have changed Earth’s surface systems sufficiently to affect the geology on a scale comparable with some geologic epochs or periods in the past. The term has been popularized by atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and others. Zalasiewicz is a senior lecturer in paleobiology at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and the convener of the Working Group on the Anthropocene of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which includes geologists as well as some archaeologists and others who are not geologists.

Since 2009 the working group has been looking into the potential for recommending to the commission the formalization of the Anthropocene as part of the geological timescale.  The concerns of the working group include whether the Anthropocene is geologically justified; if so, whether it should be characterized as an age, epoch, period, or eon; when it should begin; and even whether the term is useful.

Follow this link to the complete article.

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