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35th International Geological Congress

IGCconferenceThe 35th International Geological Congress is being held in Cape Town, South Africa, 27 August – 4 September, 2016.

The Congress Programme is now available from the 35IGC website.  This details the many and varied sessions being planned during the congress.  AIG is involved in the theme Global Geoscience Professionalism and Geoethic being championed by Ruth Allington, Oliver Bonham and Andy Clay.

General deadline for submitting abstracts: 31 January 2016.  Successful presenters will be notified of abstract acceptance by 31 March 2016.

International Map Year

we love maps

The International Map Year (IMY) is a worldwide celebration of maps and their unique role in our world. Supported by the United Nations, IMY provides opportunities to demonstrate, follow, and get involved in the art, science and technology of making and using maps and geographic information.

International Map Year was officially opened at the ICA conference in Rio de Janeiro in August, 2015 and then continue until December 2016.

The purposes of the International Map Year are …

  • making maps visible to citizens and school children in a global context,
  • demonstrating how maps and atlases can be used in society,
  • showing how information technology can be used in getting geographic information and producing one’s own maps,
  • displaying different types of maps and map production,
  • showing the technical development of mapping and atlas production,
  • showing the necessity of a sustainable development of geographic information infrastructures,
  • increasing the recruitment of students to cartography and cartography-related disciplines.

A new book, The World of Maps, has been produced to help celebrate International Map Year.

To find out more about International Map Year and events planned around the world visit the web site.

Earth Science Olympiad Gold for Australia

Australia’s first nationally selected team achieved two gold and a silver medal at the 9th International Earth Science Olympiad held 13-20 September 2015, Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Gold medal winner  Zoe Thompson, a student of Redlands School in Sydney, along with her three fellow team members, Sacha Mann from Girton Grammar School in Bendigo, Jade Pham from James Ruse Agricultural High School in Sydney, and Tim Hume from Mansfield Secondary College in Victoria, returned to Australia recently from Pocos de Caldos, Brazil where they attended the Ninth International Earth Science Olympiad.    The students also returned with  second(Jade Pham)  and third place awards (Sacha Mann)  for team- based activities and fieldwork.

As well as working in international collaborative teams on real world problems the students also completed individual examinations in theory and practical work spanning all areas of earth sciences including geology, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography, astronomy and environmental science.

“It is the first time Australia has sent a nationally selected team to compete at the International Earth Science Olympiad, and I think the other nations were a bit stunned that as newcomers we did so well,” says Greg McNamara, Earth and Environmental Science Program Director at Australian Science Innovations, who travelled with the team.

“At a time when maths and science education is under scrutiny in Australia, our team’s achievement is inspirational, and I hope it will encourage many other students to look at earth and environmental science with new eyes,” says McNamara.

Australian Geoscience Council  (AGC) President, Bill Shaw, said it was terrific to see Australian students excelling in Earth Science on the world stage.  ‘It’s outstanding to see the success of these young students. These young people have had a fantastic opportunity to use their knowledge and skills in Earth Science at a world level and to work collaboratively with students from other countries to address real issues. The Australian Geoscience Council and its member societies, representing over 8000 geoscientists, are pleased to have been supporters of the Australian Earth and Environmental Science Olympiad program since its inception. We encourage all students to get involved and learn about the world around them, and we encourage all parents and teachers to support their children and students to achieve their very best.’

The Australian Earth Science Olympiad team members beat over 300 other students from schools around Australia to be able to represent Australia.  After sitting special exams at school, twenty of the highest achievers were selected to attend a Summer School held in Canberra in January.  From there the top four students were chosen to become the Australian Earth Science Olympiad team members.

The Earth Science Olympiad is one of four International Science Olympiads held this year; the other competitions were Chemistry, Biology and Physics. The Australian Science Olympiad Competition is all about unlocking potential and challenging students to be the best they can be.

Australian Geoscience Council media release