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Members requested it;
APGO responded!
The Ontario Professional Geoscientist SALARY SURVEY is coming this fall!
In This Issue
President's Perspective: Some Surveys You Should Know About This Fall
Helicopter Transportation is Still a Major Safety Issue for Canadian Mining Companies - Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Annual Report 2006
The Fair Access to the Regulated Professions Act, 2006 - How it Affects the APGO
Professional Accountability - Complaints and the Complaints Process

Regulatory Log

Citizens urge change to Mining Act
Large turnout forces meeting to run an hour over schedule

Posted 1 month ago - If the turnout at a meeting about modernizing Ontario's Mining Act in Kingston last night is any indication of a need for change, the 150-year-old law is ripe for an overhaul. Inside the hotel last night, roughly 200 people crowded into the meeting, one of a handful being held across the province to give bureaucrats with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines insight about how the public believes the law should be changed.

Need a Geo? Need a Job?
There are Many Career Opportunities for Geoscientists posted on the APGO website. Also check out the student resumes posted here. Summer field season is coming up.


1. Canadian Federation of Earth Scientists regarding survey showing alarming shortage of earth scientists.

2. This from Canadian Geoscience Education Network:
* The second week of October is Earth Science Week. The American Geological Institute is offering a Toolkit that enables teachers, students and the public to explore this year's theme "No Child Left Inside."
* The week of October 17 to 26, 2008 will be National Science and Technology Week with special focus on the International Year of Planet Earth. Activities are scheduled across Canada
* On November 5 to 6, 2008, the 5 th Annual S&T Awareness Conference will take place in Ottawa with a theme of "Building the Talent Pipeline: From Research to Practise."
* The deadline for early registration is October 17, 2008 for The 36th Yellowknife Geoscience Forum which will take place November 18-20, 2008. Diane Baldwin reports that "The Outreach Session will highlight a wide variety of outreach activities undertaken in northern communities by government, industry, academia, aboriginal organizations and other partners." Abstracts welcome.

From Far Afield

1. Scientists worry as once frozen tundra thaws in Alaska- By Scott Canon | Kansas City Star
TOOLIK LAKE, Alaska - Ground here that for tens of thousands of years was frozen solid is terra firma no more.
Across the tundra and coast of the Arctic Ocean, land is caving in. Soils loosed by freshly thawed earth set off a new era of rot, and of bloom - dumping a bonanza of nutrients into a top-of-the-world environment that swirls from months of midnight sun to deep-freeze dark.
Will nature channel the nourishment of this soil into a great flowering of plant life that soaks up greenhouse gas and tamps down the causes of climate change?
Or will a microbial awakening of decomposition simply belch out more planet-heating carbon dioxide?
Scientists flock here to find out and to guess at the planet's future.

2. Iran Sinking as Groundwater Resources Disappea
By Kate Ravilious
for National Geographic News
September 22, 2008

Iran's insatiable demand for water, which is being drawn out of aquifers far faster than it can be replenished, is causing large chunks of farmland to sink and buildings to crack, according to a new study. Estimates suggest the water levels in Iranian aquifers have declined by an average of nearly 1.5 feet (half a meter) every year over the last 15 years. As the water is removed, soil and rock lose their support, leading to compaction and sinking. Satellite radar observations-collected by Mahdi Motagh from GFZ, the German Research Centre for Geosciences based in Potsdam, Germany, and his colleagues-are showing just how serious the problem is.

3. Thousands of children work in African gold mines
By Rukmini Callimachi and Bradley Klapper The Associated Press Published: August 11, 2008

TENKOTO, Senegal: A reef of gold buried beneath this vast, parched grassland arcs across some of the world's poorest countries. Where the ore is rich, industrial mines carve it out. Where it is not, the poor sift the earth.

These hard-working miners include many thousands of children. They work long hours at often dangerous jobs in hundreds of primitive mines scattered through the West African bush. Some are as young as 4 years old.

In a yearlong investigation, The Associated Press visited six of these bush mines in three West African countries and interviewed more than 150 child miners. The agency's journalists watched as gold mined by children was bought by itinerant traders.

4. Oldest Rocks on Earth Discovered? -
National Geographic News
September 25, 2008

An expanse of bedrock along Hudson Bay, Canada, may be a chunk of crust that formed not long after the solar system was born nearly five billion years ago, according to a new study.The finding could push back the age of the most ancient remnant of stable crust on Earth by about 300 million years.Previous research had dated rocks in northwestern Canada to 4.03 billion years ago, and tiny crystals of the mineral zircon in Western Australia are known to be upward of 4.38 billion years old

5. Sept. 23, 2008 -
Irene Klotz, Discovery News

When a sophisticated science probe failed to return any data about whether pools of melted glacial ice were showing up in the ocean, a NASA researcher turned to a decidedly low-tech solution: a brigade of rubber ducks.
Robotics expert Alberto Behar, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., wants to figure out if water shooting through tunnels in Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier makes it into Baffin Bay.

6. Mine yields one of world's largest diamonds
The near-flawless white gem weighs nearly 500 carats, mining group says
by John Burnett

updated 2:10 p.m. ET, Mon., Sept. 22, 2008 LONDON - Miners in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho have found one of the world's largest diamonds, a near-flawless white gem weighing nearly 500 carats, mining group Gem Diamonds said on Sunday.The diamond was discovered in the Letseng Mine on September 8, the company said in a statement. It has been analyzed by experts in Antwerp and found to weigh 478 carats, with very few inclusions and of outstanding color and clarity."It has the potential to yield one of the largest flawless D color round polished diamonds in history," the company said.

7. September 3, 2008. BBC News.
Germany leads 'clean coal' pilot
The final stage of the carbon capture and storage (CCS) chain involves storing the CO2 deep underground in locations where it will remain locked away for thousands of years.

8. NASA Mars Lander Sees Falling Snow, Soil Data Suggest Liquid Past
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds. Spacecraft soil experiments also have provided evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water, processes that occur on Earth. ?A laser instrument designed to gather knowledge of how the atmosphere and surface interact on Mars has detected snow from clouds about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the spacecraft's landing site. Data show the snow vaporizing before reaching the ground.

President's Perspective: Some Surveys You Should Know About This Fall

By Greg Finn, Ph.D., P.Geo.
APGO President Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic Brock University

As I write these words for the President's Perspective article, the fall season is slowly showing its colours as I look out at the campus. Although being located in the balmy Niagara Region, only 5% of the trees are showing hints of reds and yellows. Hopefully, this will mean a few more weeks of warmer weather before the trees are completely bare of leaves and a chance to do some extra things outside to enjoy the fall colour before winter arrives. As well, the grape harvest is underway with no indication of what the 2008 vintage has in store. Perhaps members could find sometime this fall to consider the following geoscience surveys.

APGO has joined with the Ordre des Géologue du Québec (OCQ) to conduct the first geoscience-only compensation and benefits survey. Other professional associations of combined engineers and geoscientists have conducted salary surveys for several years with only some of the geoscientists responding. The primary goal of the survey is to provide a report on the compensation and benefits of members of APGO and OGQ. The survey seeks to collect select baseline information to serve as a basis of comparison over time, maximize the response rate, ensure objectivity of the report and protect the anonymity of the respondents. APGO and OGQ have been working with InfoFeefback to design, monitor and report back on the online survey. Watch your inbox for an e-mail invitation to complete the survey. All members who participate in the survey will receive a free, full report once the survey is completed and the data compiled. For those members who do not participate, an executive summary will be made available.

View the complete article

Helicopter Transportation is Still a Major Safety Issue for Canadian Mining Companies - Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Annual Report 2006

by Claudia Cochrane, P.Geo

The second Canadian Mineral Exploration Annual Health and Safety Report for 2006 is now available on the internet. It makes interesting reading in comparison to the 2005 report which was reviewed in this publication a little less than 2 years ago.

Just to refresh your memory, these surveys were started in 1982 in British Columbia, by the BC Association of Mineral Exploration (AME BC), formerly the British Columbia and Yukon Chamber of Mines. This broader, Canada-wide survey has been conducted by the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and picks up on the BC experience. The object is to track existing health and safety trends across the country and to increase awareness for the future.

Committee Chairs, Ian Paterson from the AME BC and Bill Mercer, PDAC have produced another comprehensive document that should be examined by every geoscientist. To access it, go to the home page of the Prospectors and Developers Association at www.pdac.ca.

The number of participants for this second report is still discouraging. A total of 920 exploration companies were contacted - considerably more than last year's number of 557 - of which only 88 actually participated. In other words, the participation rate of 10% for 2006 is down from the previous unimpressive rate of 16% for 2005

View the complete article

The Fair Access to the Regulated Professions Act, 2006 - How it Affects the APGO

By Andrea Waldie, P. Geo. APGO Executive Director & Registrar

The Fair Access to the Regulated Professions Act, 2006 (FARPA) came into effect on March 1, 2007. The Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC), an arm's-length agency of the government of Ontario, was established in April 2007 under FARPA. The OFC ensures that Ontario's regulated professions have registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair by assessing the registration practices of regulated professions.

The Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario, as a regulated profession in Ontario, falls under the jurisdiction of the OFC. The OFC requires the bodies that regulate the professions, to submit a review of their own registration process annually, submit an annual report and undergo compliance audits every three years (at the expense of the regulator). The APGO has been consulting with the OFC throughout most of 2007 and all of 2008, providing presentations, documentation and statistics concerning registration practises of the APGO. As well, APGO has participated in consultations with the OFC on procedures for the registration process audit, registration process review and report requirements.

View the complete article

Professional Accountability - Complaints and the Complaints Process

By Milan Situm, P. Geo. Chair, APGO Complaints Committee

As professional geoscientists we appear to be exceptional at what we do because there has not been a complaint against one of APGO's members in almost 2 years. When I first set up the training process for the complaints review panel, I made inquiries with other self-regulating organizations (SRO) with regards to their processes and complaint statistics. Given our size, it was anticipated there could be up to four complaints a year. Although I am not encouraging frivolous complaints, it has been suggested that perhaps complaints have not been received because the complaints process is not well understood or perceived as easily accessed.

The ability for any member of the public and the professional membership themselves to file a complaint is a mandatory process that every SRO must provide. Previously, a complaint against a registered APGO member could be filed with the registrar through a written submission. The launch of the new APGO website will simplify the process for filing a complaint by providing access to process documentation and a new complaints form. The "Complaints" menu on the website provides access to the background material and the complaint form. There is no fee to file a complaint.

View the complete article

For more information on APGO, please contact info@apgo.net

Delivery Notice: This newsletter is issued 6 times per year to all APGO members. Non-members may also subscribe and receive the newsletter with access to non-member-only content. For more information, please see www.apgo.net.

Field Notes is published by APGO and is edited by Wendy Diaz, P.Geo. If you have comments or wish to contribute material to this newsletter, please contact Wendy Diaz, P.Geo., or Andrea Waldie, P.Geo., Executive Director/Registar.

Copyright 2008, Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO)
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