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Australian Geoscience Council Convention 2018 Update

The development of big issues and ideas for AGCC 2018

An outline of the technical program for our inaugural Australian Geoscience Council Convention (AGCC 2018) was published recently, when geoscientists were invited to engage directly with planning the program. The technical program will provide the opportunity for all geoscientists to communicate their work to a wide audience, and to hear about relevant developments presented by other geoscientists in multiple fields. Essentially, this broad program will provide the ‘bedrock’ of AGCC 2018 in a format familiar to regular attendees of the AESC, IGC and other large events. As is always the case, these sessions will be predominantly self-organising mini-symposia, strongly influenced by the actual papers that you submit as speakers, with guidance from our member organisations (eg, the International Association of Hydrogeologists) and overall direction by the Scientific and Technical Committee.

A proposed new approach

AGCC 2018 will provide opportunities to examine and consider some of the emerging issues that affect us all in geoscience. We anticipate these will be topics that attract attention from industry, government and academia, while also creating opportunities for non-geoscientists to engage and participate in our deliberations in Adelaide. This interaction will be a significant differentiator of this convention and will help us achieve our vision to ‘raise the profile of geoscience to be pre-eminent in Australia’. We also hope to expose delegates to ideas they would not normally engage with in routine technical talks, and to attract those people who don’t normally attend our various member organisation conferences.

To do this, we plan to have several focused discussions that raise the Big Issues, explore the Big Ideas (hopefully some including new approaches and directions for some of the Big Issues!) and reach consensus about providing commitment and support for ways to take geoscience forward. We are aware of the value of strategic planning and believe that exciting times are ahead for geoscience. Some of these have become apparent to many of us during the current formulation of a new Decadal Plan for Earth Science, sponsored by the Australian Academy of Science.

An example of one topic we favour will be built around the early commitment to attend by Iain Stewart, Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute in Plymouth, UK. Iain is a riveting speaker who is passionate about geoscience communication and education. We will hold a plenary session on this topic with additional key thinkers, an interactive question and answer session, the opportunity during the day to formulate an agreed convention position and a summing up statement (press release) that will be issued. We look forward to your thoughts on the merits of this approach and your likely level of commitment and engagement.

What are the big issues and ideas in geoscience?

We are seeking ideas about the Big Issues (and Big Ideas) that you want to explore, and about possible champions of these that will attract widespread community interest, support from major sponsors and the attention of policy makers.

At this stage, we have a think-tank subcommittee that has formulated the following possible topics from a much larger field of possible candidates:

  1. The future of the nuclear cycle in Australia
  2. Unconventional gas and energy security
  3. Resource-driven development of regional and northern Australia
  4. Reducing the impact of the boom-and-bust commodity cycle on Australian geoscience
  5. Geoscience education and communication.

Other possibilities could be the ever-increasing role of automation (robotics), improved drilling technologies, innovative geological models and the search for novel or unusual commodities, although these might be addressed comprehensively in the broad technical program. We are seeking your input on:

  • possible world-class thinkers to help us develop these or other topics
  • your own possible contributions eg, five-minute spoken position statements framing the issues and ideas
  • your interest in participation
  • your thoughts on our proposed approach (eg, whether these should be spread across the four days of the convention or all addressed on a single day)
  • whether these are the topics most important to you as geoscientists.

In conclusion

To reiterate, the broad technical basis of AGCC 2018 will allow us all to present papers on our specific technical interests (subject to acceptance by the Scientific and Technical Committee), which are of course very wide ranging and inclusive. There will no doubt also be embedded mini-symposia sessions covering the collective interests of many diverse groups and of our member organisations (eg, UNCOVER, JORC, Valmin).

We are now seeking your thoughts on the BIG ISSUES and BIG IDEAS component of AGCC 2018. To let us know your views, please get in touch with any member of the Organising Committee at our website: https://www.agcc.org.au/committee.

BILL SHAW

On behalf of the AGCC 2018 Organising Committee

AIG Mentoring Program – 2017 calling for participants across the nation

AIG Mentoring Program

An initiative of the National Graduate Group for BSc/MSc/PhD students and Early career geoscientists (<5 years experience)

AIG Mentoring Program

Our program connects undergraduate students, honours, MSc and PhD candidates, and early career geoscientists (0-5yrs) with experienced industry professionals. The aim is to build our community by providing emerging geoscientists with connections, knowledge and experiences from knowledgeable professionals who are looking to give back. Our professionals provide practical advice and guidance on a number of areas of interest in regards to beginning and maintaining a healthy career within geoscience.

Program details

  • The program is free for both mentees and mentors!
  • During the program mentees and mentors meet regularly to discuss and work on their mentoring program objectives.
  • In addition to mentor-mentee meetings, the program includes three formal events:
  • Kick-Off Event – May/June
  • Mid-term Social Event
  • Final Event/Program finish – Oct
  • Programs are currently running in WA, VIC and QLD urban centres.
  • New in 2017! For people located outside urban areas or in a state without an active program, the Distance Program is for you. This program uses online technology to facilitate mentoring, regardless of location.

Join us!

Fill out and submit an expression of interest form for the program you’d like to join via www.aig.org.au/mentoring-program/. Note the deadline for submissions is 15 April 2017.

Participants will be notified of their acceptance into the program in May 2017.

AIG membership is a prerequisite to participate in the mentoring program as a mentor or as a mentee. If you are not already an AIG member then this is a great reason to join up – sign up for membership online at www.aig.org.au/membership/

AIG membership for students is free!

Call for state champions

If you are passionate about giving back and want to make an impact in your community, we are seeking mentoring program state champions who have >15-20 yr practical industry experience to lead dynamic mentoring committees in NSW/ACT, SA/NT and TAS. You will help connect our program across the nation by joining our network of established programs in WA, VIC and QLD.

Any questions? For more details about the AIG Mentoring Program please contact us at aigmentoringprogram-nationalchair@aig.org.au.

Click here to download the EOI flyer.

Whether you are a mentee or mentor – Sign up now!

Christmas Greetings from the team at Edumine

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A growing number of AIG members are taking advantage of the excellent continued professional development opportunities available through AIG’s dedicated Edumine Campus.  

AIG EduMine Campus that will provide members with access to an extensive range of continued professional development (CPD) resources in the form of structured learning programs, able to be undertaken by members on-line, anywhere, at any time.

Members will also receive discounts on seminars streamed live from several locations around the world that provide participants with the opportunity to interact, in real time, with other participants and the course leader.

Members are offered the opportunity to subscribe to the campus through AIG’s membership management system each year, with the annual membership renewal notices.  It’s possible, however, to subscribe at any time via the AIG Membership portal.

AIG is committed to providing members with high quality, affordable professional development opportunities, of which the Edumine campus forms an important part.  If you have never looked at Edumine, the coming holiday season provides a great opportunity to become familiar with the depth and breadth of courses on offer.

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