CGC Action Committees Progress



Four special CGC Committees (PUBLIC AWARENESS; COOPERATION; ECONOMIC GROWTH; EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE) have been set up to implement a series of specific projects to enhance the Geosciences in Canada over the next several years. Reviews of these plans were undertaken at the last two CGC meetings and initial committee activities reported. Committee presentations of continuing achievements and of future plans will be the focus of the CGC meeting in May. Some of the initial Committee proposals and results to date are given below.

There are numerous other projects that are being reviewed and refined, with at least two dozen Earth Scientists currently involved. If you have suggestions or, better yet, would like to help out, contact the Chairperson at the e-mail address shown.

You will note that the roles of these committees overlap to a certain extent, and that some of the projects appear to duplicate ones that the member societies are doing at present or plan to undertake. GREAT! We're all heading in the same direction! It will require continuing communication among all the groups to minimize duplication of effort and obtain the most effective cooperative results.

The PUBLIC AWARENESS COMMITTEE has the objective to make the public aware of the past, current and future value to Canada of the Earth Sciences. Chaired by Pierrette Tremblay, (, this group plans to direct their efforts at three levels:

  • short-term for politicians,
  • medium-term for the public at large, and
  • long-term for children.

They are actively gathering information on who is doing what currently in the PAS (Public Awareness of Science) field, both through school curricula and by the Earth Science societies.

An immediate project will be to have a fully staffed CGC booth at the GAC/MAC convention in Quebec City in May, to promote PAS and the CGC.

The COOPERATION COMMITTEE, chaired by Jeremy Hall, (, aims are to enhance the understanding, within the Earth Science community, of the challenges each segment faces, the methods that they are utilizing to solve their problems, and to provide support to reach common goals.

Initial projects include initiating a debate on geoscience research directions, management of technological change, and new mega-geoscience projects. (What mega-project should follow LITHOPROBE)? A session on this topic will be held at GAC/MAC in Quebec City in May.

In an outreach project, Earth Science societies currently outside the CGC umbrella are being invited to attend CGC meetings to see if the activities of the new, pro-active CGC is better aligned to the needs of their members.

The ECONOMIC GROWTH COMMITTEE is focussing on the value added by the Geosciences to the public good and economic growth of Canada. A component of this is to enhance the profile, role, and influence of the Geosciences in the political decision-making process. The Chairperson is Mary-Claire Ward (

The first phases of this Committee's work involve the gathering of information on the relevance of the Geosciences to the economy of Canada. Examples of where the Geosciences have produced and will produce significant results will be gathered, and an attempt made to quantify the impact in dollar terms. The next phases include the development of a package of this material to be used by the Public Awareness Committee for dissemination.

And, after identifying government departments which need Geoscience information to assist in their decision making process, the Committee plans to develop a catalog of decisions made without proper geoscience input, and make presentations to the politicians and senior managers responsible.

The EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE COMMITTEE, chaired by Alan Morgan (, is undertaking the task of promoting the ideals of an integrated approach in the teaching and practice of the various Geoscience disciplines. Their activities will be directed toward a wide range of groups: the general public, science teachers, university departments, and practicing professionals.

Their initial project is the gathering of a list of distinguished speakers chosen for their interdisciplinary backgrounds and their communication skills. Requests have been made to member societies and a list of over a dozen names and topics have been submitted to date. Topics include such titles as "Global Change and Permafrost", "Volcanism and Tectonics in Western Canada", "Groundwater", and "Megafloods and Catastophic Events". The objectives of these CGC Distinguished Speakers will be to "spread the word" of the importance of the Earth Sciences (with special emphasis on the Earth Science System) to the public at large, to students, to peers, and to politicians. This could be accomplished through tours arranged by member societies, invitations to speak at conventions or lunches, theme sessions at meetings of learned societies, etc . Contact Alan Morgan for more specific information.

We would welcome comments on this summary. To contact the authors, please use the mailbox below

E-Mail address: for Bill Davitt

E-Mail address: for Alan Morgan



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