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PhD Opportunity @ JCU

Embedded PhD researcher

The Economic Geology Research Centre (EGRU) at James Cook University (JCU), Townsville and Dugald River Mine, MMG, are offering a PhD project in Structural Geology/engineering geology/geotechnical engineering, focused on developing a model for the geotechnical behavior of the ore zone and immediate wall rock at Dugald River Mine, north of Cloncurry, Australia.

Dugald River, is a world-class Zn-Pb-Ag deposit (64.8Mt @ 12.0% Zn, 2.2% Pb, 31g/t Ag) in the Mt Isa district which commenced mining in 2013. The ore zone is structurally complex with a strongly sheared and faulted hanging wall, which affects mining and ore recovery.

During the project you will develop a structural model for the orebody based on face mapping and drill core logging using advanced digital mapping techniques (ADAM Tech) in combination with 3-D modelling (Leapfrog and Vulcan). The work is aimed at gaining an improved understanding of fault distribution patterns and rock mass behaviour along the ore zone, to improve the efficiency of ore recovery.

The successful applicants will have good 3-D skills with experience in structural geology, engineering geology and/or geotechnical engineering. Prior knowledge of Leapfrog, Vulcan and ADAM Tech software would be an advantage but is not a necessity. We are looking for candidates with an interest in solving practical geotechnical problems in a mining environment. A first class Honours or a Master by research are essential to be eligible for PhD studies at JCU, and be competitive for a scholarship.

More information about the Geoscience department and EGRU can be found here (JCU web site)

If you are interested please send an expression of interest and your CV to:

Prof Paul Dirks  or Dr Ioan Sanislav

Travel Grant to the EGU for Alison Kelsey

Alison Kelsey, PhD graduate of the University of Qld School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, was awarded a $3000 travel grant by the Australian Environmental Foundation.  

The grant enabled Alison to present her work in a paper at the recent European Geophysical Union conference, in Vienna, during April 2018.

The AEF Board has awarded the grant from its Bob Carter Memorial Fund, a fund set up to commemorate the life and work of the late Professor Bob Carter, a world-renowned geologist and marine scientist who passed away in January 2016.

Alison’s PhD thesis  investigated and demonstrated an astronomical mechanism as the cause of cycles of natural climate change of around 1,500 years in length. Her research was based on an analysis of the palaeoclimatic record of Fraser Island in Queensland and other Australian regional records.   The memorial association with Bob Carter’s work is apt; Bob was variously Chairman of an Australian Research Grants panel and Chairman of the Department of Earth Sciences at James Cook University from  from 1998 to 2005 and a visiting research professor in geology and geophysics at the University of Adelaide from 2001 to 2005.  Bob was well known as a “climate contrarian” who in the fullness of time will be proven right, wrong, or some position in-between.  He debated marine geology and climate issues in public with courtesy and objectivity – he would be advising the same approach by Alison Kelsey and all recent graduates.

A Call for Papers by the EGU for a special session on natural cycles in climate change brought about 12 papers on the subject (cycles from decadal to multi-millennial) of which Alison’s contribution is but one.

Michael Asten
Associate Editor for Education Matters, Preview, Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists

MCA Australian Minerals Education Summit

The MCA Minerals Industry Education Summit will bring together thought leaders from industry, academia and government to consider the future minerals workforce and what changes to the skill and education landscape are required to deliver job-ready professionals to the world class Australian mining industry.

Registration and program details are available from the summit web site.  Contact the MCA for information regarding the summit.

PhD Position: James Cook University

The Economic Geology Research Centre (EGRU) at James Cook University (JCU) is looking for a PhD student available to start immediately to work on a project researching the magmatic evolution and magma fertility for Cu-Au-REE mineralization of the Mary Kathleen Domain, Mount Isa Inlier.

This projects is part of a larger research effort that we are conducting together with the Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) to improve the exploration potential in the Mount Isa region. As part of this project you will work with EGRU researchers, GSQ staff and exploration geologists from various mining companies operating in the region. This is a unique opportunity to advance your research career and learn new skills as part of a world class research team.

This project will benefit from recently rejuvenated analytical facilities at the Advanced Analytical Centre at JCU, and will include: micro-imaging, whole rock and in-situ major and trace element geochemistry; U-Pb dating of zircon, (± titanite, apatite, monazite); Hf isotopes in zircon; Nd isotopes in apatite, titanite & REE minerals; whole rock radiogenic isotopes, etc.

The successful applicant will make extensive use of these facilities and contribute to developing new research methods. We are looking for a candidate who has field geology and laboratory experience with at least one of the above techniques and who is willing to contribute to the research effort within EGRU. A first class Honours or a Masters by research are essential to be eligible for PhD studies at JCU. International applicants are encouraged to apply, but preference will be given to Australian and New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

If you are interested in being part of our team and would like more information about this project please contact one of the project leaders:

Prof. Paul Dirks (paul.dirks@jcu.edu.au)

Assoc. Prof. Carl Spandler (carl.spandler@jcu.edu.au)

Dr. Ioan Sanislav (ioan.sanislav@jcu.edu.au)

More information about the Geoscience department and EGRU can be found here.

Earth Science Week 2018 Theme Announced: ‘Earth as Inspiration’

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has announced that the theme of Earth Science Week 2018 will be “Earth as Inspiration.” The coming year’s event will emphasize artistic expression as a unique, powerful opportunity for geoscience education and understanding in the 21st century.

Earth Science Week 2018 learning resources and activities will engage young people and others in exploring the relationship between the arts and Earth systems. The coming year’s theme will promote public understanding and stewardship of the planet, especially in terms of the ways art relates to geoscience principles and issues as diverse as energy, climate change, the environment, natural disasters, technology, industry, agriculture, recreation, and the economy.

“A longtime provider of top-quality curricula and teacher training, AGI supports the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize what is known as three-dimensional teaching, including introducing students to ‘cross-cutting concepts’ that help students see connections across the sciences,” says Geoff Camphire, AGI’s Manager of Outreach. “Through instruction based on these standards, students can find ways to combine the arts, sciences, and other subjects. Such educational strategies find a welcome environment in schools nationwide, where STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) has become an organizing principle of cross-curricular cooperation among educators and students.”

Creativity, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills are as important to the arts as they are to the Earth sciences. Consider an artist making silk screen prints, for example. The artist thinks in terms of layers added in a specific sequence. This process relies on similar thinking skills to those used by scientists interpreting geological samples, such as cores, trackways, and rock strata. Professional geoscientists themselves innovatively combine sciences such as chemistry, physics, and biology to understand the interactions of Earth systems including the geosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (living things). People of all ages are invited during Earth Science Week 2018 to join in this creative endeavor.

Reaching over 50 million people annually, AGI leads Earth Science Week in cooperation with its sponsors and the geoscience community as a service to the public. Each October, community groups, educators, and interested citizens organize celebratory events. Earth Science Week offers opportunities to discover the Earth sciences and engage in responsible stewardship of the Earth.

Earth Science Week is supported by many organisations.  Australian involvement in Earth Sciences Week is coordinated by Geoscience Australia.