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Edumine Changes

AIG members have benefited from access to a dedicated Edumine campus for the past ten years. This will change in December when Edumine rolls out a new website and service delivery model.

At the moment, access to the Edumine campus requires payment of a subscription fee that offers full access to Edumine’s catalogue of self-paced, on-line courses and discounted access to live, on-line courses. From December, AIG’s relationship with Edumine will transition to one where every AIG member will receive an automatic, significant discount on the fees for every Edumine course. AIG Campus subscribers will continue to receive the full benefit of their subscription until 31st May 2020, when the campus will be discontinued.

Both on-line content delivery and the courses themselves are being updated and revamped to improve the quality of Edumine’s services.

At the moment, access to the Edumine campus by AIG members requires payment of a subscription fee that offers full access to Edumine’s catalogue of self-paced, on-line courses and discounted access to live, on-line courses. From December, AIG’s relationship with Edumine will transition to one where every AIG member will receive an automatic, significant discount on the fees for every Edumine course. Student members have not had access to the Edumine campus previously. From December, Student members will be able to access the course discounts. AIG Campus subscribers will continue to receive the full benefit of their subscription until 31st May 2020, when the campus will be discontinued.

Edumine is a great resource for AIG members seeking to expand their knowledge and exposure to geoscientific techniques and methods relevant to exploration and mining. The self-paced on-line courses are considered to be of particular benefit to AIG’s international members, and members working commute rosters by providing training that can be completed at any time, anywhere with Internet access. Every Edumine course completed by members will receive both Edumine continuing education units (CEU) and AIG continuous professional development (CPD) hours. Selected Edumine courses may also entitle members to credit towards formal qualifications in mining offered by several universities.

The AIG website team are currently working with Edumine to provide enhanced information regarding Edumine courses for AIG members.

Watch the AIOG website for further information.

Burnout at work

A short overtime sprint won’t kill you but, as data from World War One shows, consistently putting in too many hours at work hurts employees and employers.

A recent BBC report described esearch on working hours that suggests overwork leads to being less productive, not more. It is also associated with increases in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other negative health effects, all of which can take a toll on work-related output.

In 1915, the British government established the Health of Munition Workers Committee (HMWC) to monitor working conditions and advise on matters such as working hours. The committee managed to collect a rich set of data that can tell us a lot about what happens when people work long hours.

The 2015 analysis of this data showed that as hours worked increased, output also increased, but only to a point. Output per hour peaked at about 40 hours of work per week and then fell, despite the extreme national importance of the work being performed.

One-hundred years on, the results of overwork don’t seem to be all that different for knowledge workers. Working too many hours backfires for both employers and employees, whether you measure by decreased outputs, lack of creativity, a drop in quality or poorer interpersonal skills.

More at the BBC Worklife website.

World War One munition factory making shells women weighing steel shells and testing their hardness April 1918 (BBC)

Voodoo Geophysics

SEG webinar presented by Greg Hodges, Sander Geophysics

SEG’s European Region Advisory Committee (ERAC) presented a webinar on “Voodoo Geophysics” examining questionable practices instrumentation systems promoted by individuals and companies in January 2019.

The exploration industry has been plagued since the dawn of technology with near?magical oil, gold and waterfinders. They do untold damage to the reputation and business of honest geophysical applications and research. A geophysicist with sound scientific knowledge can usually recognize when geophysics is “from the dark side”, but it can be difficult to convince non?scientists.

Some common characteristics of voodoo geophysical methods are: dubious theoretical bases, fantastic levels of instrument sensitivity, phenomenally accurate interpretations, extraordinary levels of secrecy, and combative or evasive response to challenges.

Fraudulent methods evade scrutiny. Vendors shy away from technical testing and publication. Refusal of the purveyor of a new system to comply with evaluation and publication of results must be viewed with suspicion.

Greg Hodges has established a “voodoo geophysics” database with more than 80 entries so far. He has previously published on this topic.

The SEG webinar is available via You Tube. The video comprises a presentation, followed by the webinar Q&A session.

Inclusion and diversity central to AIG’s strategy

The AIG Council meets once a year, face to face, to consider issues that are central to AIG’s strategy. The 2019 meeting was held in late June in Adelaide.

It was great to meet members of the revitalised South Australia Branch committee. AIG has had an active branch in South Australia for some years, but a new committee has recently taken on the task of revitalising a program of regular branch meetings and seminars in the state. The Central West Exploration Discussion Group (CWEDG) has also recently merged with AIG’s New South Wales Branch to foster opportunities for geoscientists in the Orange region to meet and interact. State Branches play an essential role in the delivery of many of AIG’s benefits of membership and these developments will, without doubt, enhance our Institute’s ability to represent members in those areas.

The first face to face meeting of state branch committee representatives is to be held in Perth in early September, with the aim of improving managing AIG business, the work of our secretariat and, most importantly, improve communications between Council, AIG’s board, branches.

Several priorities emerged from the meeting:

  • AIG will remain a member-run, agile and responsive professional institute with low fees. AIG’s not for profit model is seen to be central to the Institute’s success.
  • Professionalism: we will continue to build a strong commitment to professionalism and ethics.
  • Building a community: we will strive to increase opportunities for members to meet and interact, face to face and on-line. Council is facilitating either audio or video recording of technical talks and other events for the benefit of members across Australia.
  • Retention and growth: we need to look closely at how to retain students as graduate members, and graduates as full members.
  • Education: AIG will remain committed to both secondary and tertiary geoscience education through support of ESWA and TESEP, and AIG’s own, very successful, undergraduate and postgraduate student bursary program.
  • Advocacy: we will look closely at how AIG manages this role, in its own right and in collaboration with kindred societies.
  • Inclusion and diversity: support for members with parental responsibilities and looking at AIG documents, to ensure they use gender-neutral language.

Many of these are issues that won’t be solved overnight, but on which substantial progress can be made in the next twelve months.

Aspects of the inclusion and diversity issue received immediate attention. We want to ensure that all members taking parental leave can retain contact with their peers and involvement in AIG activities. Members are able to request a membership subscription concession for up to three years while they undertake parental duties and are eligible for concessional registration for all AIG events. AIG’s Code of Ethics has also been reviewed to ensure that gender-neutral language is used throughout. The revised Code of Ethics will be put forward for member approval at the annual general meeting next year. This review is continuing. Council has also committed to reviewing recognition of overseas academic qualifications, to ensure that our assessment process is both equitable and robust.

AIG publications and establishment of specialist groups, where members can engage with others on topics of particular interest, are also on the agenda. Watch for further details and take the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas with your local branch or any Councillor – see AIG News for contact details.

Andrew Waltho
President

AIG Executive, Permanent and Working Committee Chairs for 2019-2020

The new Council met last Monday (20 May) to appoint Councillors to Executive Committee roles and standing committees.

The Executive positions for the coming year are:

President: Andrew Waltho
Vice President: Patrick Maher
Secretary: Rod Carlson
Treasurer: Tim Pippett

Permanent Committee Chairs:

Finance: Tim Pippett
Legal: Andrew Waltho
Qualifications and Membership: Patrick Maher
Registration Board: Sam Lees

The Complaints, Ethics and Standards and Risk and Audit Committee Chairs will be appointed at the Face to Face Council Meeting in June.

Working Committee Chairs:

Education: Kaylene Camuti
Geotourism: Ian Neuss
National Graduate Committee: Genna McDonaugh, Liaison: Katarina David
National Mentoring Program: Doug Young
National Rock Garden: Ken McQueen
Professional Issues: Wayne Spilsbury
Publications: Andrew Waltho
Reciprocal Recognition: Matthew Cobb
Service Award: Tim Pippett

The Nominations Committee Chair will be appointed at the Face to Face Council Meeting in June.

Lynn Vigar is continuing as AIG’s Executive Officer. AIG’s secretariat services will continue to be provided by The Association Specialists, Sydney, with a review of the secretariat contract planned for the coming year.

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