IN an opening address in Adelaide at the first session of the four day Australian Geoscience Council Convention, Geoscience Australia Chief Executive, Dr James Johnson, said geoscience was providing immense value to society, from the economic benefits of resource development through to GPS positioning, underpinned by the science of geodesy.
“It is important that we, as geoscientists, act as ambassadors for our science, to raise awareness of the general public on how geoscience benefits society. Even Earth observations from space are becoming increasingly important in monitoring environmental change and in natural resource management,” Dr Johnson said.
He noted it would become increasingly important for Australia to manage its groundwater resources on a more sustainable basis.
“We exist in a global environment where surface water only represents 0.3% of the Earth’s fresh water while groundwater represents just over 30%,” Dr Johnson said.
“As Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth, it is logical that an increased focus on how we research and manage both our onshore and offshore water resources will play an increased future role in how Australia develops its natural resources inventory.”
He also stated that marine geoscientific research will be important to Australia’s future.
“Australia has the third largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world, yet we know very little about our marine environment,” Dr Johnson said.
“Increased seabed mapping will help us to better understand marine habitats, fisheries, ocean circulation patterns, underwater geohazards and tsunamis, and much, much more,” he said.
This week’s Australia Geoscience Council Convention is being attended by more than 1,000 delegates and is the pivot point in Australia for Earth Science Week 2018.