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The latest Australian geoscientist employment survey is open for contributions – one week to go!

The latest instalment in the Australian geoscientist employment survey series, looking at the September quarter (Juy to September) of 2018, is open for contributions until next Saturday (27 October).  Please take two or three minutes to contribute to the survey this week if you haven’t already done so.  

This survey, available here, will provide data on trends in geoscientist employment in Australia during the third quarter (July to October) of 2018.  In the June quarter, the Australian geoscientists unemployment rate fell to 8.5%.   This was the lowest level of unemployment seen in several years and the survey results indicated that some long term unemployed geoscientists were returning to work.


Australian geoscientist unemployment – June 2009 to June 2018.

Every state, except Queensland, experienced a decrease in unemployment during the June quarter.  The unemployment rate in Queensland increased from 11.3% at the end of March to 12.2% at the end of June.  In Western Australia, unemployment fell from 9.4% to 7.9%.  In South Australia, the unemployment rate fell from 11.1% to 10.3%.

The period covered by this survey is typically one of the busiest times in the Australian exploration field season, which will make the results of this survey especially interesting.

The survey takes only two or three minutes to complete.  You do not need to be an AIG member to contribute.  No data that could personally identify respondents is collected.  Contributions to the survey are required from both employed and unemployed geoscientists to ensure the relevance of results.  Your completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

The survey will be open for contributions until 27th October.  Every contribution adds to the reliability of the survey results.

AIG Council Meeting Summary – 3 October 2018

Council met 3rd October 2018.  The following note is a summary of the key points discussed at the meeting for the information of members, intended to promote transparent management of Institute affairs and member engagement.  These notes have been approved by Council but are not a substitute for the meeting minutes.

A number of members remain unfinancial for the 2018-2019 financial year.  This isn’t unusual for this time of year.  Reminder notices have been sent by email.  Unfinancial members have been ineligible to exercise benefits of AIG membership, including acting as a Competent Person in compliance with the JORC Code since 30 September 2018.  Members who remain unfinancial at 31 December 2018 may be required to reapply for membership. You can check whether you are currently financial using the member search facility on the AIG web site.

Council approved a revised Registered Professional Geoscientist application review process proposed by the AIG Registration Board.

AIG Student Bursary recipients for 2018 have been selected and were approved by Council.  All bursary applicants will be advised of the status of their applications (successful or unsuccessful) prior to the list of recipients for 2018 being announced.

Work has commenced on a series of short, focussed JORC Code training modules for both geoscientists and other “end-users” of public exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves reports.  Pilot courses will be run in Townsville early in 2019.  A course explaining the role of the JORC Code and Competent Persons for early career geoscientists is also in development.  Council discussed a micro-accreditation module under which multiple, short, linked training courses can be completed towards satisfying a training objective, rather than requiring course participants to enrol in a single, long training course.  The longer-term objective is to have courses available for delivery, face to face, across Australia or on-line.  The subjects of these courses will also be expanded to cover practical skills required by early career geoscientists with time.  Member involvement in this process will be welcome.

A proposal for establishment of a Nominations Committee, to help ensure Council has the requisite skills to manage and further develop the Institute, was considered.

Council accepted Michael Edward’s resignation as Chair of AIG’s Ethics and Standards Committee, with an expression of sincere thanks to Michael for his work in this important role over a number of years.  Jacqui Coombes has agreed to replace Michael in this role.  An announcement of Jacqui’s appointment will be made shortly.

James Llorca tendered his resignation from Council.  A process to fill the casual vacancy created by James’s resignation was initiated. Council sincerely thanked James for his work in the management and development of the Institute.

Stuart Masters resigned as an AIG representative on the JORC Committee.  A process to select a new representative was initiated.

Proposed changes to AIG’s Constitution and Code of Ethics, intended to improve the fairness of AIG’s Complaints and Ethics and Standards processes were received from Ashurst, a leading, Australian, national law firm.  The proposed changes are currently being prepared for consideration and endorsement by members at an Extraordinary General Meeting, probably in early 2019.

A revised Privacy Policy, developed for AIG by Ashurst, was approved by Council and published on the AIG web site.

Council discussed the potential benefits of engaging a Chief Executive Officer to increase public representation of AIG members’ interests on professional and community issues.

Council approved AIG joining the Digital Object Identifier consortium to enable DOIs to be added to AIG publications, making them easier to search for, locate and reference, and potentially making AIG publications a more attractive platform for authors.

Andrew Waltho met with Edumine during October.  The meeting discussed how AIG members could become involved in developing training materials for delivery, globally, using Edumine’s platform and receive remuneration for their work.  The dialogue with Edumine is ongoing.

AGCC2018 will be held in Adelaide during Earth Science Week (14-19 October).  After AGCC2018, the focus will shift to AEGC2019 to be held in Perth during 2-5 September 2019.  AEGC2019, being convened jointly by ASEG, PESA and AIG, will build on the success of AEGC2018 in Sydney last February.

Any of the topics discussed in this summary may be discussed with any Council member.  Contact details appear at the back of each issue of AIG News.The next Council meeting will be held 14 November, 2018.  Papers for the meeting, including branch and committee reports, should be submitted by 24 October.

Andrew Waltho

Professor Kurt Lambeck awarded Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Emeritus Professor Kurt Lambeck AO from the Australian National University was awarded the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science at a ceremony in Canberra this week.

The award recognises Professor Lambeck’s 50-year contribution to Australian and global geodesy that underpins the GPS technology on which we rely for accurate navigation and enables more accurate guidance of satellites and space missions, helps track changes in sea levels over time, and facilitates detailed understanding of the deep structure of Earth.

During his career, Professor Lambeck has held leadership roles at universities in France and the US and has won a number of international awards from Sweden, Japan, France, Norway, the US and the Netherlands.

Professor Lambeck joined the Research School of Earth Sciences at ANU in 1977.  He is currently President of the Australian Academy of Science and a member of the Antarctic Ecosystem and Environment CRC.  

He was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 1984 and to the Royal Society in 1994. He is a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993), Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (1994), Academia Europaea (1999),the Académie des Sciences, Institut de France (2005), and the US National Academy of Sciences (2009). He has received a number of international prizes and awards including the Tage Erlander Prize from the Swedish Research Council (2001), the Prix George Lemaître from the Université catholique de Louvain (2001), and the Eminent Scientist Award from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2004).

He has published two books and more than 250 papers on subjects in geophysics, geology, geodesy, space science, celestial mechanics, environmental geoscience, and glaciology.

AIG congratulates Professor Lambeck on his prestigious award which recognizes his contribution to Earth sciences throughout his distinguished career.

AEGC2019 Data to Discovery

Perth will host the 2nd Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference (AEGC) from Monday 2 to Thursday 5 September 2019 at Crown Perth.

The AEGC is the largest petroleum and mineral geoscience conference in Australasia, and incorporates the West Australian Basin Symposium (WABS) and the ASEG-PESA International Geophysical Conference and Exhibition.

The event will be jointly hosted by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG)Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG), and Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (PESA).

The theme for the 2019 conference is “Data to Discovery”. The AEGC technical program committee has a focus on Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry and how these are applied in exploration for both Petroleum and Mineral systems in Australasia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. The conference has major sub-themes encompassing but not limited to:

  • New technologies
  • New information from old data
  • Local understanding from regional context
  • Workflows and methods that reduce cost/turnaround on projects
  • Cross disciplinary co-ordination
  • Case studies
  • Interacting and communicating science to the wider community.

A vital component of the 2019 conference will be the inclusion of dedicated streams for Australian basins, discovery techniques, mineral mapping, and remote sensing applications.

On behalf of the AEGC 2019 Organising Committee, we look forward to welcoming you to Perth.  Visit the conference web site for the latest information regarding the conference, accommodation, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities.

John Gorter and Tim Dean
Co-Chairs

Key Dates:

Call for Abstracts Expression of Interest Closes: 31 January 2019 – submit your expression of interest now via the AEGC2019 website.
Early Bird Registration Opens: 1 March 2019
Call for Extended Abstracts Closes: 22 March 2019 
Author Notification: 3 May 2019 or before
Registration Deadline: 31 May 2019

AGI and Geoscience Australia Launch Updated Website for AusGeoRef

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and Geoscience Australia have launched a new website for AusGeoRef, a bibliographic database for Australian geoscience literature since the mid-19th century.

Publications in AusGeoRef cover Australian geology back to 1840, the date at which GeoRef began covering Australia. Geoscience Australia began supplying references for AusGeoRef in 2003 and will continue to expand the database to include as many current Australian publications as possible.

The new website features expanded functionality, including a geographic search view option, as well as the abilities to set up individual accounts and to easily save and share lists of references.

Launched in 2003 as a cooperative arrangement between AGI and Geoscience Australia, AusGeoRef now includes references to a growing database of more than 200,000 journal articles, books, maps, conference papers, reports, and theses. Explore these references now through the new and improved AusGeoRef website.

Geoscience Australia’s acting Chief Science Information Officer Tanya Whiteway said Geoscience Australia is proud to have been a partner with AGI on AusGeoRef for the past 15 years, contributing more than 35,000 records of new Australian geoscience publications to the database in that time.

Our own scientists use both AusGeoRef and GeoRef regularly to locate references not included in any other earth sciences databases. We believe the new features being announced today will make AusGeoRef even more essential to searchers of Australian literature in the geosciences,” Whiteway said.

Want to use AusGeoRef but don’t want to pay a subscription? Day passes are now available for select GeoRef databases, including AusGeoRef.

About GeoRef
The GeoRef database, established by the American Geosciences Institute in 1966, provides access to the geoscience literature of the world. GeoRef is the most comprehensive database in the geosciences and continues to grow by more than 100,000 references a year. The database contains over 4 million references to geoscience journal articles, books, maps, conference papers, reports and theses.

About Geoscience Australia
Geoscience Australia (GA) is Australia’s pre-eminent public sector geoscience organisation. The work of Geoscience Australia addresses a diverse range of issues across key strategic priorities including Australia’s mineral and energy resources, natural hazards, water resources, marine jurisdictions, and fundamental geographic information. GA is also custodian and champion of the nation’s geosciences knowledge base and capabilities enabling evidence-based decisions and policy development by government, industry and the Australian community. It is based in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

About AGI
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is a nonprofit federation of 52 scientific and professional associations that represents more than a quarter-million geoscientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides geoscientists with access to scholarly information, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society’s use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and health of the environment.

AGI is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organisation dedicated to serving the geoscience community and addressing the needs of society. AGI headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.  AIG is an American Geosciences Institute affiliate.

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