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Pioneering WA Geoscience teacher named Western Australia local hero

Perth geoscientist Suzy Urbaniak has been recognised as the Western Australia local hero in this year’s Australian of the Year awards Ms Urbaniak pioneered taking geoscience out of the classroom into a hands-on, in-the-field experience – particularly for remote area schools.

The ‘Local Hero’ award acknowledges extraordinary contributions made by Australians in their local community – with Ms Urbaniak currently making significant inroads into science education in WA’s Pilbara region.

Suzy Urbaniak, Western Australia Local Hero in this year’s Australian of the TYear Awards. Image by scienceinpublic.com.au

Ms Urbaniak previously received the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools for her work in establishing and fostering a teaching program known as the Centre of Resources Excellence (CoRE).

CoRE encourages students to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to take on a variety of career pathways in science and engineering so that the classroom is treated more as a workplace where students can focus on evolving as young scientists.

The program has also had the additional benefit of further empowering science educators on outcomes that can be achieved by adopting a different approach to a fundamental and necessary skillset for future generations, industry and technologies which will be increasingly reliant on modern-era science breakthroughs and developments.

Ms Urbaniak said that CoRE is all about turning a classroom into a room full of young scientists, rather than students learning from textbooks.

“School and university textbooks teach theory but hands-on experience enables a student to get a real sense of inquiry, investigation and solution outcomes by better connecting the classroom environment directly with what is happening in the real world,” Ms Urbaniak said.

“Critically, the future Australian science and engineering workforce is sitting in our classrooms today.  

“CoRE is a philosophy, not just another STEM* program (* A term referring collectively to the teaching of the disciplines within its umbrella – science, technology, engineering and mathematics).  

“Education is not about passing tests – life is not an exam.

“The current education system is no longer working satisfactorily. There is an urgent need to change our education system because the future is already here. 

“At the end of the working life of the preschool class of 2020, these students will be seeing the beginning of the 22nd century. 

“But right now, industry, parents, students and teachers are demanding change.  

“0ur current 19th century model for education is not ready for that future as we have not yet prepared our educators, schools and communities to support these young people to thrive, not just survive that future.”

Ms Urbaniak said the CoRE learning philosophy mapped a practical pathway for real-world learning and practical solutions to this national challenge.

“Young people the world over are finding their voice, and are calling for our current teaching ranks to join them and be braver in navigating a rapidly changing world, rather than be paralysed by inaction,” she said.

“As educators, it is up to us to build future skills, attitudes and attributes in our students focused on practical real-world learning and to embrace creativity and challenges to fixed learning methodologies.”

The AGC’s Past-President, Dr Bill Shaw, said today Ms Urbaniak’s nomination had drawn attention to the need for those bedding down Australia’s future national education curricula to ensure the inclusion of good basic science in all future policy settings.

“Science and technology will empower societal growth in what will inevitably be an even more rapidly changing world in the future,” Dr Shaw said.

“Taking science learning into a more enriched, hands-on and self-responsible environment will attract more students to these exciting professions and help ensure Australia has the skillsets to play a major if not leading role in what will be increasingly seamless global industries, careers and professions.

The Australian Geoscience Council was amongst a number of prominent Australian scientists, learned and professional associations and institutes who congratulated Ms Urbaniak for her much deserved recognition through this latest award.

Ms Urbaniak is an AIG member and past chair of the Institute’s Western Australia branch.

Geoscientist employment: Western Australia at a glance

Click on the image for a high resolution PDF copy.

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

Geostats in Practice

8 CPD HoursMonday 18th June 2018

Burswood on Swan, Camfield Drive, Burswood  WA

AIG Western Australia  branch will be holding a one day seminar of the practical application of geostatistics in Earth Sciences. Topics will range through the Mineral Resource value chain, showcasing the means by which the use of geostatistics helps solve common and critical problems within the development and exploitation of Mineral Resources with speakers including:

OSCAR RONDON, CSIRO Geostatistical assessment of recoverable resources – how to do more with less drilling data
UTE MUELLER, Edith Cowan University  Prediction of the major crustal blocks in Australia using the National Geochemical Survey of Australia Data
HASSAN TALEBI, Edith Cowan University A hybrid model for joint simulation of high-dimensional continuous and categorical variables
ERIN RETZ, Fortesque Metals Group
DANIEL GUIBAL SRK Consulting Drillhole spacing analysis in an iron ore deposit
BOSTA PRATAMA, CUBE Consulting Estimation search neighbourhoods – latest trends
MATTHEW COBB, CSA Global Application of categorical simulation at the feasibility study stage
MIKE LOWRY, BHP Improving the geoscience to mining cycle through uncertainty quantification
ANDREW WEEKS, Golder Associates Geostats saves the day – a selection of case studies from feasibiity to production
BILL SHAW, Ore Control Application of geostatistics to mining geology

Members: $275: Non-members $385, Students/Unemployed AIG members $110.  All include GST, lunch and morning/afternoon teas.

Register on-line via the AIG web site.  The seminar flyer is available here.

This seminar is generously sponsored by:

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.

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