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Down your way

Leader, Geoscientist 17.5, May 2007

Prof. David Manning, Chair of the Regional Groups Coordination Committee, extols the virtue of local action…

The Regional Groups represent the grass roots life of the Society. They provide an excellent forum for networking, which works in several ways. Employers and senior staff responsible for recruitment are able to meet geologists in the early stages in their careers, or who may have yet to find employment (such as MSc and other students). Second, those who might be interested in finding out about job opportunities get the chance to mingle with those who may have positions to fill.

What binds these activities together is the framework of events that Regional Group committees put together. Being a member of such a committee is a voluntary task, but it obviously helps towards the CPD records for those who serve, and of course is a rewarding way to gain some influence over what goes on. It takes up your spare time of course, but many of the Regional Groups have a fairly relaxed schedule, and organizing a meetings programme usually only requires serious effort twice a year.

During my two-year tenure as Chair of the Regional Groups Coordination Committee, I have seen many encouraging changes. When seeking support at the Society for Groups’ work, I have found myself pushing at an open door. I have seen dormant Groups become reinvigorated - although some others have gone into quiescence!

The Society values its Regional Group network highly. Groups form an essential link between the ‘professional’ (i.e. non-academic) membership of the Society and the universities. They have a vital role to play in CPD, and in providing a framework within which individual Fellows can be supported in their progress towards Chartered Status.

But some parts of the country are not served very well by a Regional Group of their own. Bristol and its region, and the Home Counties, spring immediately to mind. Employers and academic institutions benefit in many ways from a flourishing Regional Group, and both sectors need to consider how best to support one. My plea to any from those regions who lament the lack of regional Group activity in their area is this. Consider what you think you can do to help make something happen.

At the forthcoming May AGM, I hand over as Chair of the RGCC to Martin Culshaw, and I am sure that the Groups will continue to flourish under his leadership. In reflecting on the time I have spent on this task, I would like to thank Rachel Boning who works so hard on behalf of the Groups (and to whom you should address any enquiries about Group matters).