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What is continued professional development and why is it a good thing?

Graduation from university with an Earth science degree represented a major learning milestone that enabled you to begin your geoscience career.  It also represented the start of the next phase in your professional, technical and personal development through continuing development as a professional.

Continuing professional development, or CPD, is work-related learning that should continue throughout your career.  The year in which new professionals enter the workforce is usually a period of intense, on the job learning in a diverse range of areas such as field and mapping skills, sampling, core logging, managing contractors, landowner liaison and mining title management, to name but a few.  University studies provide an essential and solid grounding in geological principles, Earth systems, scientific method and research skills, which must be supplemented by a broad spectrum of new skills that are based on elements of these fields and represent workplace essentials.

In many professions, CPD forms an integral part of a licence to practice.  More professions require a managed and verifiable commitment to CPD than not.  The dominant reason for this this is the perception of public risk associated with practice of the profession in question.  Medical professionals, for example, may be called on to make decisions that could affect someone’s life.  Engineers design and build structures and machines that could create public safety risks or have profound economic consequence if they fail.  Teachers shape the character and skills of young people who will be the backbone of our society in future years.

Geoscientists have the privilege of being self-regulating.  There is no universal requirement for professional registration and licencing of geoscientists in Australia.  This does not, however, diminish the need for, and value of CPD.  It remains one of the key mechanisms by which high standards of professional practice and the relevance and currency of qualifications and experience are maintained.

CPD is frequently described as an investment for both individuals and employers as it involves maintaining enhancing and extending your knowledge expertise and competence.  It is central to the definition of professionalism recognised by the general public, where professionals strive to become leaders, knowledgeable, sources of advice and able to reliably solve problems in their chosen fields, which sets them apart from the rest of the pack.

Formal CPD falls into three broad categories:

  1. formal CPD;
  2. informal work-related CPD; and
  3. activities external to your work that contribute to your CPD.

CPD requires an investment of time, but the cost of CPD does not need to be onerous due to the range of activities that fall into the three categories above.

Join a discussion of CPD and professionalism on the AIG Linkedin Group.

2018 student bursary applications now open!

Closing date for 2018 applications is Friday 3rd August.

The Australian Institute of Geoscientists’ Student Bursary Program was initiated to promote and support geoscience research and education in Australia. The Bursary Program began in 2001 to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) and, since then, the AIG has awarded 199 bursaries to geoscience students in Australian universities. In 2018 the AIG is again offering bursaries to Honours, Postgraduate and Third Year geoscience students.

The 2018 Bursary awards, which have values between A$1000 and A$4000, are funded by the AIG, by
the generous sponsorship of the individuals and organisations listed on page 4, and by donations from AIG members to the AIG Geoscience Education Foundation.  Visit this page for more information

 

New International Geoscience Textbook from IUGS

An IUGS project to produce an international geoscience textbook, to be made available as a free download, is nearing its first major milestone.  The international version of the textbook, being written for 16-year olds and their teachers, will be released mid-June.

Textbook cover

The initial ‘International version’ should be published online for free download by the time of Resources for Future Generations conference in Vancouver in June. After that, colleagues around the world are invited to ‘regionalise’ the textbook for their own country or region, by replacing the international photos with local photos, adding geoscience ‘interest boxes for their own region and translating the text, where necessary.

Introductory chapter

One of the textbook diagrams – drawn with no labels to assist the translators.

In this way they can produce a freely downloadable geoscience textbook for their own region or country.

 

 

Epithermal Au-Ag and Porphyry Cu-Au Exploration

Lectures and practical, 4-6 December 2018, by Greg Corbett and Stuart Hayward

December 4 & 5, York Club, 99 York St Sydney, lunch, morning and afternoon teas provided. Two days of PowerPoint lectures focus upon mineral exploration for epithermal and porphyry ore deposits derived from Dr Corbett’s 40 years field experience, including earlier short courses provided with the late Terry Leach from the early 1990’s. Exploration and mining examples from over 40 countries are used to delineate the characteristics of different epithermal and porphyry ore types, and controls to mineralisation, using tools such as alteration, structure and breccias. The exploration implications are considered throughout and a final section considers geological features recognised in exploration marginal to ore bodies. Participants will be provided with a current draft to the notes to be published by Springer in 2020.

December 6 – A practical exercise held W B Clarke Geoscience Centre, Londonderry, uses selected diamond drill core referred to in the lectures (above) and a set of teaching specimens to provide hands on training in ore and alteration mineralogy and the use of geological models. It is run by Corbett and Stuart Hayward, who has over 30 years experience in epithermal-porphyry ore deposit exploration and mining. A return bus from the city and lunch provided.

Prices include lunch, morning and afternoon teas and transport to and from Londonderry.

  • Students $150, but if you need assistance contact greg@corbettgeology.com
  • Unemployed geologists $400
  • Employed geologists $1500

Minimum of 20 participants required and limited to a maximum of 40.

The Short course registration form is available via the Corbett Geology web site.

Community Story Map Project

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has launched a community story map project, designed to highlight the work that geoscientists do in, for, and with communities.  The project is a collaboration of AGI and the Geological Society of America.

AGI are seeking photos featuring your community-centered research, work, internships, outreach, and service learning. They hope they will inspire geoscientists to reflect on their own community engagement opportunities. Geoscientists’ work in communities elevates science literacy and decision making.

Story Maps require that your photos are geotagged, or have GPS coordinates. This is a function that you set up in your cell phone or many modern cameras with an inbuilt GPS.  If you are unsure whether your photo is geotagged, please provide GPS latitude and longitude in degrees, minutes, and seconds to the hundredths (e.g. 37°40’54.94″N, 50°28’14.72″E).  Search for these using Google Earth.  Photos that lack location information cannot be included in the map.

Please submit material via the form established on the AGI website.  to submit your materials (i.e., photos, photo release form, model release form, location description, GPS coordinates, and 2-3 sentence description of your role in the community).

AIG encourages members and other Australian geoscientists to support this project.  If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Fortner by email.