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Be a Regional Groupie!

Accusations that the Society is ‘London-centric’ do a disservice to the hard work of the people running your Regional Group, says Dave Jones*

hjgThe Society has 15 Regional Groups – and we are all in one, whether we know it or not. They are run by Fellows who volunteer their time, and who put on a packed programme of lectures, seminars, field trips and social events throughout the year in towns and cities across large parts of England, Wales, Scotland (and Hong Kong!).

Do you want to learn more about shale gas, forensic geology or the geology of beer? The Regional Groups have all recently had talks covering these topics, and many more. Maybe you are looking for guidance and support as you work towards Chartership? Regional Groups continually run workshops to help candidates put together successful applications.

The Groups have also been working hard to engage and inspire the next generation of geoscientists, through the Schools Geology Challenge and Early Career Geologist award. Both events, which last year culminated in their second national final, were conceived within individual Regional Groups.

Regional events also provide a fantastic networking opportunity to meet other professionals in an informal environment and share knowledge and experience. And as an added incentive, taking an active part in your Group can also contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

If you know of a great speaker or have suggestions on topics, then please get in touch with your closest group and make a suggestion. They are always on the lookout for events to include in their programmes.

Perhaps you feel remote from existing Regional Groups. If so, why not start a new one? We’ve recently seen the ‘Home Counties North’ Group brought back into being, while not long ago the Solent Regional Group was created to cater better for geologists in and around that corner of Southern England. If you are keen, but not sure where to begin, please contact the Fellowship office at Burlington House, who can provide the guidance you need.

And if you are thinking ‘I’ve never received an email from my Regional Group’ please make sure that your contact details are up to date. Contact the Fellowship office - to make sure you are assigned to the correct Group, and that there is an email address on which you can be contacted.

The continuing success of our Regional Groups depends on continued support from the Fellowship, not only in attending the events that are laid on, but through taking part as members of their committees. So in closing, ask not what your Regional Group can do for you, but what you can do for your Regional Group!

* Dave Jones is Society Vice President for Regional Groups. He is a hydrogeologist and works for Natural Resources Wales.