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Madame President


At the Council meeting of the European Federation of Geologists in Hungary in May, Ruth Allington was elected for a second two-year term as President. She talked to Dawne Riddle.

Geoscientist 21.09 October 2011

Ruth Allington is an engineering geologist with a long and noble record of work for the Society. Lately though her interests have been directed towards Europe, via the European Federation of Geologists (EFG). EFG was founded just over 30 years ago with The Geological Society among its founders. Its member national geological associations and societies now number 22; it runs an office and a secretariat in Brussels and maintains strong links with North American professional organisations. The Society continues to be an active member of EFG through its Professional Committee (of which Ruth is a former Chair) and is licensed by EFG to award the title European Geologist (EurGeol).

“EFG believes that well educated and trained professional geoscientists, working with other professionals and communicating effectively with the public, are essential to ensuring public safety, promoting responsible use of natural resources and contributing to sustainable development - especially environmental protection” says Allington. “It achieves this by promoting excellence in the application of geology, through the education and continuing professional training of geologists, and by improving public awareness of the importance of geology to society.”

Over the past three years, EFG has participated in number of projects directly relevant to the values and mission of the EFG, Allington tells me - and rattles a few off.

“The Geotrainet project, for example, was co-ordinated by EFG and has developed and delivered training courses for designers and installers (drillers) of shallow ground source heat pumps. Terra Firma and PanGeo are both concerned with the commercial application of satellite monitoring of ground movements. EFG’s role in both of these projects has been as a project partner, representing end-users of specialist remote sensing products. The EuroAges project has developed a qualification framework and accreditation criteria (based on learning outcomes) for geology study-programmes in Europe.” Details of all of these projects can be found on the EFG website1.

While the Society may (and does) respond to UK government consultations from time to time, EFG participates in EU consultations, Allington says. “Most recently it responded to a European Commission Public Consultation on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive and commented on the discussion paper Raw Materials for a Modern Society (February 2011).” EFG is one of the sponsoring organisations of the PERC reporting code for mineral resources and reserves.

Nor are EFG’s efforts directed solely at European targets. “We are currently working with AIPG, Geoscientists Canada and others on planning the 4th International Professional Geology conference (Vancouver, January 2012), as well as planning a seminar at the 34th IGC in Brisbane next year”.

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