|Barrow Island||Palm Valley||Moomba||Roma||Longford|
In November 2007 edition of 'The Great Australian Byte' (ISSN 1325-3700) the newsletter of the Australian Geoscience Information Association (Inc), gave an abstract of the presentation, entitled "Data Storage and Management: Confusion between the two", given by Joanna Pearson of Maxwell Geoservices ( www.maxwellgeoservices.com.au). It featured the following paragraph:
Good management comes from people who drive the system, who understand the requirements and the purpose of collecting and reporting on the data. Guidelines for what we should be recording and reporting are laid out in the JORC Code. Therefore good data managment should be driven by the JORC guidelines, even for exploration projects. Do your data management practises follow these guidelines?
Joanna is a world-leading practitioner in the mining industry. She is talking to a professional audience and there is a good deal of understatemnt and cryptic language in the quote. The JORC Code mentioned by Joanna is protocol used to report ore reserves and the progress of mining for companies listed on the Australian stock exchange (ASX) and is one of only few codes taken seriously by multi-national companies. The "good management" is the handling of billions of dollars of investment, and the "collecting ad reporting" refers to technologies which match the sophistication of the space/defence industry. The general process Joanna is writing about incorporates a large range of jobs some of which I have written up in Table 1. The thing about the professions in Table 1 is that they don't actually do anything apart from collect data and report, but the conceptual rehearsal of the consumption of a limited resource has been a part of human activity since the early cave paintings recorded the abundance of food, water (the first mineral to be exploited) and shelter. If you are interested in any of these activities, then you are interested in the modern equivalent of what 200 years ago was called mineral surveying and the profession that the pharoahs of Egypt called 'scribes of the field'.
The table includes links to films portraying geologists at work. For dramatic effect they show de-skilling of curatorial positions (Idiocracy), subjected to undue influence (Quantum of Solace), sexual intercourse on field trips (A Japanese Story), endangering colleagues in rock falls (Thunderbirds are Go), charging exorbitant fees (A Civil Action), and the socially awkward (2012). These things do happen plus more, but to maintain behaviour, ethical and intellectual standards scientists use peer-to-peer review through scientific and professional societies. In practice this includes lectures, training courses, encouragement awards, and accreditation which occur at the conferences shown in the table of the Search page. Importantly, the representation of women geologists on film is disproportionate; there are a lot more women geologists than this survey indicates.
You, as the policy owner or writer, have the important task of reaching your intended audience with policies that are clear, easily read, and provide the right level of information to the individuals specifically affected by the content. If the readers understand a policy, they are more likely to follow it and incorporate it into their daily work.
|1||Microsoft Publisher 2003 template: Publications for Print > Brochures > Informational|
|2||Microsoft Publisher 2003 template: Publications for Print > Import Word Documents|
|3||Microsoft Publisher 2003 template: Publications for Print > Quick Publication|
|4||Microsoft Publisher 2003 template: Publications for Print > Catalogs|
|5||Microsoft Publisher 2003 template: Publications for Print > Newsletters|
|6||Microsoft Publisher 2003 template: Publications for Print > Calendars > Full Page > Photo Album Calendar
I print the 12 pages as landscape (default) and place them in an A4 sheet protector. This gives some protection from the rain and dust, if you are using standard weight paper, the cardboard from the back of a writing pad will prevent breeze bending the pages, and there are plenty of holes for pinning it to a door or noticeboard. Unlike the 1 cm thick paper report shown in the film 2012, a government data set is normally a DVD with some kind of animation or computer application to illustrate the changes. This film has amazing special effects but the most fantastic was that the chief-of-staff could critique a thick paper report, while drunk, tired and walking: usually one-page summaries are hard enough to get recognised.
We rarely draw on cave walls anymore, but the alternative reports produced are shown in Table 1. These reports are shown as groups of a Venn diagram, with each occupation a member of the group which is associated with a particular report.
I find Seek and many of the other job advertisement databases slow to use because my skills are transportable to different sectors and even different industries. However, with Seek I have found it does match the keywords nicely to the name of position, so I keep track of the fashions adopted by human resources clerks, and add that name to the report category of Table 1. This is convenient, because each report requires some kind of certification or qualification so it saves a lot of cross-indexing of company sizes, qualifications etc. I will see how it goes over time. I have no solution and I don't ever expect to find one for the Commonwealth of Australia JobSearch site which appears to use categories from the Australian Taxation Office or the Australian Bureau of Statistics. As an exercise work out a unique solution for: educational publishers, web-site and print in South Australia. Answers can earn a free copy of the Grimoire of Geological Computing.
The legend of Table 1 is the Microsoft Publisher templates that I have used myself. Using Microsoft Publisher almost exclusively was not my idea. A drafter colleague, Chris Kay, encouraged me to try the Microsoft Publisher software in order to save me wasting time by doing design by trial and error. Of course at a later date you can always have the document contents worked over by a professional designer, but why not kick-start the process, and get the feel of what you want before you spend the big money? If you are interested why not have a look at the Computers in Geology Grimoire of Geological Computing for further details on how to prepare data and implement these report templates?
This first list is any employment page I have come across on the web-sites of organisations involved with data (including collection/acquisition); communications and information technology; and software vendors. The links are to the employment pages to make it easy to scroll through when you are in a famine phase of the consulting cycle and want to know quickly if there is a position.
These organisations have mineral surveying groups of more than five people and/or will take on those with more varied experience especially field geology.