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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

Tenth International Mining Geology Conference 2017: Setting new standards

This conference is the premier Australian mining geology forum and has developed strong international support since the first event in 1990.  Interested in attending, sponsoring or exhibiting at the Conference? Visit www.mininggeology.ausimm.com.au.

The Tenth International Mining Geology Conference 2017 will feature a 3 day technical program of peer reviewed papers presented in multiple formats such as standard conference presentations, snap shot presentations and poster presentations. The program will include Q&A sessions plus an extensive program of networking events to continue the exchange of technical knowledge.

Themes
Setting new standards

  • mining geology practice – drilling, sampling, grade modelling and control, and mine/mill production support; innovation and application of industry best practice, and internal and external standards
  • efficiently linking exploration and mining geology – fundamentals for better projects
  • beyond the assay – building holistic rock property models for mining and geometallurgy
  • demonstrating value through best practice reconciliation
  • mining geology and the future – technology, automation, applied research, and innovation
  • education, interface and knowledge management – gaining skills and communicating opportunity.

The conference will host an extensive tour and workshop program to maximise learning opportunities for delegates.

For more information contact:

Suzie Chan
Senior Coordinator, Events
AusIMM
Phone: +61 3 9658 6126
Email: schan@ausimm.com.au

Big issues and ideas in geoscience

agcc-logo

Current AGC President and former AIG President, Bill Shaw

Current AGC President and former AIG President, Bill Shaw

With the support and commitment of AIG and seven other  member organisations the Australian Geoscience Council is developing the AGC Convention 2018 (AGCC 2018), to be held in Adelaide during Earth Science Week.

Planning is underway with the recent appointment of a Professional Conference Organiser, finalisation of the venue and formation of the Organising Committee. Dr Chris Yeats will Chair the Technical & Scientific Program Subcommittee and various other Subcommittee Chairs are currently being appointed.

The purpose is to promote Geoscience as a major and essential field of Science in Australia. Geoscience plays a fundamental part in every Australian’s life; it constitutes our immediate environment, and provides many of the materials we use everyday.

The convention will provide an opportunity for geoscientists from Australasia to come together to discuss and promote all aspects of Geoscience and to gain valuable professional development from an engaging program of high-quality technical content. The Australian Geoscience Council (AGC) will host this forum and our Member Societies will be encouraging leading geoscientists from Australia, New Zealand and further afield to share their knowledge and experiences in the many diverse aspects of Geoscience. A number of Keynote Speakers of international repute have already expressed interest in championing some themes. A strong media presence will be there to focus attention on the issues and potential solutions facing Australian Geoscience.

The convention is expected to cover all aspects of Geoscience. The proposed topics are wide-ranging, potentially covering science and technology, mineral and energy resources, sustaining our environment and supporting our people, the impact of Geoscience on society and ways of educating everyone about Geoscience.

The Australian Geoscience Council Convention in 2018 is the inaugural forum for bringing together Geoscience professionals from all Member Societies of the AGC to showcase their part in Geoscience for the 21st Century. The compelling reason for doing this is to develop broad cooperation, synergies and strong linkages between industry and academia, researchers and practitioners, educators and community stakeholders wishing to further their understanding. By developing the big picture for Geoscience in our Region we will ensure that our important science has a strong future and we can maximise the benefit of our common field of endeavour for all Australians.

The proposed Technical Sessions are:

  1. Understanding the Earth
  2. Life on Earth – origins and diversity
  3. Resources – discovery, development, use and sustainability
  4. Applied Geoscience in the 21st Century – innovation, technology and the future
  5. Beyond the Rocks – Geoscience in our society: current application and future trends

We expect that Technical Session 5 will include sessions engaging with the broader community interested in Geoscience including:

  • Geoscience and education
  • Geoscience in economics and finance
  • Geoscience advocacy, professionalism and ethics
  • Geoscience solutions – understanding, prediction and adaptation

Running across these Technical Sessions we plan to have a number of half-day Thematic Sessions. The overall plan is to engage with as many presenters, speakers and attendees as possible. To do this we have planned an innovative approach with extensive use of electronic resources and poster presentations.

If you are interested in providing a paper, helping develop a Technical Session or championing a Thematic Session please contact any of the following:

Dr Chris Yeats – Scientific and Technical Program Convenor
chris.yeats@industry.nsw.gov.au

Dr Bill Shaw – AGC President
president@agc.org.au

Ms Leanne Gunther – AGC Administration Officer 
admin@agc.org.au

Now is the time to start your planning to help us make a difference in Australian Geoscience.

Geology of Australia – 3rd edition now available

geology-of-australiaThe Geology of Australia by Robert Henderson and David Johnson brings geoscience to the general public in an intelligent and well written account of Australia’s evolution, tectonics, geology and landscape.

The book presents the story of the geological evolution of the Australian Plate to readers willing to come to terms with the language of this science without being drowned in unnecessary jargon.

While this is not a textbook for senior high school students or undergraduates it is a valuable addition to the teaching resources used at both secondary and tertiary levels and there should be at least one copy of this edition on the library shelves of all high school, public and university libraries. Teachers and students will find the many Australia-wide examples referenced in the text and figures (over 300 in all) a refreshing change from the usual examples found in texts produced for a North American or European market. This is an excellent book for those looking for the ideal gift for that hard to please person on their list, for those wanting to know more about the Australia around them but who don’t have the technical knowledge required by textbooks and for those teachers and students looking for excellent explanations and diagrams with an Australian context.

Find out more about this book from Cambridge University Press.

QCoal Foundation scholarships open for applications

QCoal Foundation Scholarships at James Cook University are open for applications.  

The QCoal Foundation supports initiatives that are focused on health, liveability and education in rural and remote Queensland communities. In particular, the Foundation is helping provide a pathway for rural and remote students to attend university, and has partnered with JCU to provide the scholarship.

Recipients will receive $10,000 each year to help them through three years of study. The scholarship is open to undergraduate students who completed Year 12 within two years prior to studying at JCU and preference will be given to geology or science (excluding marine biology) students.

Applications close on 31 January, 2017.

Find out more here.