2015: International Year of Soils


The 68th UN General Assembly has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS). 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

The specific objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:

  • Raise full awareness among civil society and decision makers about the profound importance of soil for human life;
  • Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
  • Support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
  • Promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
  • Strengthen initiatives in connection with the SDG process (Sustainable Development Goals) and Post-2015 agenda;
  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).

Find out more from the IYS web site

Geophysical signatures of mineral systems; more than bumps


8 CPD hours“Geophysical signatures of mineral systems; more than bumps” is a workshop being held as part of the ASEG-PESA 24th International Geophysical Conference and Exhibition in Perth, 15-18 February 2015.  The convention organisers have decided to make workshop registration available to attendees who have not registered for the conference itself.

Date: Thursday 19 Feb
Cost: Standard $180, students $80 (Students must provide proof of student status)
Location: Meeting Room 10, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Conveners: Ken Witherly: Condor Consulting  & John Hart:RioTinto Exploration

Workshop Details

It is generally accepted that the shallow, easy to define ore bodies were recognized first and developed. In the past 20 years, the discovery performance across virtually all mineral sectors has fallen, resulting in growing concern that if unchecked, there could be shortfalls in a number of commodities within the next 20 years.

The collective sense is that the geological column hosts more deposits than have been found to date but these are expected to be at greater depths than have typically been explored before. To be able to operate in this environment, new approaches to the identification of deposits is required and the concept of a mineral systems approach, first suggested 20 years ago, has emerged as a powerful means to build strategies and capabilities going forward. In terms of geophysical exploration, the major change that will be required is a shift from a focus almost entirely on direct targeting of deposits with geophysical surveys to a staged process where geophysical approaches are used initially to help define the pathways in the Earth which carried the mineralizing solutions which formed the target deposit.

These pathways would provide a much larger target to explore for and if detected and mapped, should allow explorers to follow the pathway to the location of potential deposits. This task is different from most geophysical studies undertaken, where the focus has been typically on improving the direct targeting capabilities and not the larger scale mapping problem that a mineral systems approach will require. In the current assessment, a review is undertaken of what is seen as the current state-of-play for a number of major deposit styles and how geophysical data is being used at present to explore for these. The assessment overall is encouraging but major challenges remain outside of the technical issues of defining a mineral systems strategy that relate primarily to human resources and the commercial environment.

This forum will examine the current state of understanding of geophysical signatures of mineral systems; current examples, on-going research and areas which require further assessment. A major tenant that is already apparent is that the successful development of undercover exploration strategies will require a degree of integration of geophysical outcomes with other geoscience data not typically achieved historically.

Visit the AIG Events Calendar for additional information.

BIG Data, Inspiring Information and Strategic Knowledge

8 CPD hoursBIG Data, Inspiring Information and Strategic Knowledge, is being presented in Perth WA, 23 March 2015 by AIG and Geoscientists Symposia.

This international symposium will examine data management and effective data conversion to knowledge that delivers growth in the exploration and mining sectors.

The latest symposium circular is available here and provides full programme and registration details.

Welcome to 2015!


Best wishes to all AIG members for the New Year.  Lets work to help make 2015 a productive and prosperous one for Australian geoscience.

There are a few exciting developments in preparation for 2015 including:

  1. the relaunch of AIG Journal.  AIG’s rapid publication, peer reviewed geoscience publication will be back on-line very soon.
  2. A new on-line shop for AIG publications, which will be online during January.  The shop will sell publications to non-members, while AIG members will have free access to a wide range of publications through the AIG Membership Portal.
  3. A new-look AIG News, available on-line to members via the AIG Membership Portal and for sale to non-members through the Publications shop from February.
  4. an excellent range of professional development opportunities covering a broad range of geoscientific fields.
  5. networking opportunities throughout Australia.

Have you checked out AIG’s weekly compilation of popular geoscience articles yet?  AIGeoscope is updated every Monday and available here.

We will be continuing the monitor the employment situation for Australian geoscientists throughout the year and appreciate the ongoing support of both members and non-members by their continued contributions to what we feel is an important survey.  You Institute will also be continuing to represent members on important professional issues and committees, including JORC and VALMIN.

Is there anything you would like to see AIG do or introduce in 2015?  Have your say here or via the AIG Linkedin Group or Facebook page.  If there’s anything on your mind about Australian geoscience or your career have your say.  We’re listening.

AIG will continue to be a dynamic and responsive professional institute, representing the interests of members throughout Australia and internationally.