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Bruce Yardley appointed Chief Geologist

Bruce Yardley (Leeds University) has been appointed Chief Geologist by The Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD) of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Chartership news

Chartership Officer Bill Gaskarth reports on a projected new logo for use by CGeols, advice on applications and company training schemes

Climate Change Statement Addendum

The Society has published an addendum to 'Climate Change: Evidence from the Geological Record' (November 2010) taking account of new research

Cracking up in Lincolnshire

Oliver Pritchard, Stephen Hallett, and Timothy Farewell consider the role of soil science in maintaining the British 'evolved road'

Critical metals

Kathryn Goodenough* on a Society-sponsored hunt for the rare metals that underpin new technologies

Déja vu all over again

As Nina Morgan Discovers, the debate over HS2 is nothing new...

Done proud

Ted Nield hails the new refurbished Council Room as evidence that the Society is growing up

Earth Science Week 2014

Fellows - renew, vote for Council, and volunteer for Earth Science Week 2014!  Also - who is honoured in the Society's Awards and Medals 2014.

Fookes celebrated

Peter Fookes (Imperial College, London) celebrated at Society event in honour of Engineering Group Working Parties and their reports

Geology - poor relation?

When are University Earth Science departments going to shed their outmoded obsession with maths, physics and chemistry?

Nancy Tupholme

Nancy Tupholme, Librarian of the Society and the Royal Society, has died, reports Wendy Cawthorne.

Power, splendour and high camp

Ted Nield reviews the refurbishment of the Council Room, Burlington House

The Sir Archibald Geikie Archive at Haslemere Educational Museum

You can help the Haslemere Educational Museum to identify subjects in Sir Archibald Geikie's amazing field notebook sketches, writes John Betterton.

Top bananas

Who are the top 100 UK practising scientists?  The Science Council knows...

Scrutineers' Day report

Gask

Scrutineers’ Day 23 March 2012

Some 23 Scrutineers attended the day in Burlington House. Many had already attended a previous training day and were there for a ‘refresher’

Topics discussed in separate groups were:

A. How is competence determined in specific areas? (Is there a difference in approach between Engineering, Contaminated land, Oil, Water, Mining?).

This produced a pleasing uniformity of approach with a clear message that candidates were tested by all on their understanding of what is required by criteria i and ii and their fulfilment of these requirements. Here also an assessment is made of whether or not the candidate has had sufficient time to demonstrate their ability – problem of applications that are submitted too early. An understanding and use of geological tools (maps, field observations as well as techniques) is looked for along with an understanding by the candidate of their limitations in context of their work.

B. Can we broaden the eligibility to become CGeol to take into account emerging areas of geology?

No real consensus was gained here though it was recognised that many practitioners in the field of Contaminated Land would readily qualify if they focused their application on their geological skills and way of thinking in the production and interpretation of ground/geological models for the sites that they work on. Comments were made that there should be a minimum level of fieldwork involved (mapping, logging and recording, data collection etc) however the question was asked regarding geologists working in areas such as seismic interpretation, or reservoir geology in the oil industry or groundwater modelling in the area of water resources, geostatisticians and also waste disposal specialists. The consensus was that the Society should encourage these possible candidates and not preclude them from Chartership. Like all Chartered geologists they would need to demonstrate that they work within the limitations of their expertise and to recognise that to work outside of this would mean either additional training or supervision. CGeol is a very ‘broad church’ and we do not designate CGeol (Engineering Geology), CGeol (Hydrogeology) etc.

C. Responsibility of Sponsors and mentors.

It was noted that Sponsors in some instances are not providing the necessary support and advice for the completion of the application. They need to demonstrate knowledge of the candidate’s work (quality and range) and should give a critical evaluation of the candidate’s fulfilment of the 7 Chartership criteria. This might be best done by showing that they have read the full application. Scrutineers might request further information if the Sponsor’s report does not provide this. Mentoring is important and mentors should advise the candidate over several years as to the development of their competences ensuring that they do a range of work to give both depth and breadth to their experience. It was recognised that this can most readily take place in the larger companies (though sometimes it does not!) but that in smaller ones finding a mentor may be difficult. Similarly in difficult times development of the necessary breadth of experience in the minimum time for eligibility is not possible for many. Sponsors and mentors have a responsibility to discus with the Candidate their ‘readiness’ for Chartership and not advise them to apply till they agree that they are ready and there is a strong likelihood of success. The Accreditation of Company Training Schemes will help here for larger companies but smaller ones are unlikely to have such schemes.

D. Role of the Regional Groups.

It is important not to overload these groups particularly where some are struggling simply to exist with few volunteers. It is suggested that we might try to recruit experienced CGeols to help Candidates find a Mentor, or at least help with ‘coaching’ in the completion of the application, and to give advice on ‘readiness’. The Society should work with the RGs to recruit Mentors and to develop a list of these so that candidates can, on request, be matched with someone who can help them.

E. Recruitment of Scrutineers.

Many pointed out that Scrutineers themselves learn from the experience and this also helps them when advising/mentoring/coaching applicants. Perhaps an article might be placed in Geoscientist, written by a couple of experienced Scrutineers, discussing the role played and their evaluation of it. The suggestion was made that any appeal for more Scrutineers should be based on the fact that the need is because of the success of Chartership in attracting so many Candidates. It was noted that all Sponsors who are eligible are invited to apply to become Scrutineers though the success rate of this is not high. The Society is to hold Scrutineers’ Training and Recruitment meetings in the regions in collaboration with RGs.
  • All in all this was a successful meeting and participants (and any Scrutineer) are asked to try to recruit eligible colleagues to become a Scrutineer. Any comments and suggestions please send to the Chartership Officer (chartership@geolsoc.org.uk).