In what may be the ultimate crowd-sourcing campaign, Australia’s peak body for more than 8000 geoscientists is urging all Australians — from rock fans to primary school students — to take part next week in an innovative social media project to start to track and record Australia’s vast geological heritage.
The Australian Geoscience Council’s (AGC) #OzRockStocktake is being launched as part of Earth Science Week, which starts this Sunday, October 9, and runs until Saturday, October 15. The theme of this year’s international week is ‘Our Shared Geoheritage’.
“During Earth Science Week — and beyond — Australians are being urged to post a photo on Facebook and Twitter of their favourite rocks, outcrops, mountains or geological landscapes, with the hashtag #OzRockStocktake and a short description of where the photo was taken” AGC President, Dr Bill Shaw, said.
“We would also love to see photos posted of stone-based monuments, structures with stone features (like the Sydney Harbour Bridge), stone buildings, iconic geological sites like The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains, dinosaur bones, other fossils and even meteorites. These all show our vast geological heritage and our fascination with the rocks that are the foundation of everything we are and do.
“We encourage everyone to get involved in this ultimate Aussie rock tour and geological census, whether it be posting a photo online or even just visiting the #OzRockStocktake pages to see what’s there.
“Through the power of social media, we hope to capture a significant collection of images that show the magnitude of our geological heritage, and the many areas of Australia in which it is found.
“It is entirely possible that some of the posts in the #OzRockStocktake might even uncover new geological features or heritage sites that we never knew existed, or have forgotten.
“Quite apart from informing us of unique geological features across Australia, we also want this project to demonstrate the many ways in which Geoscience and geoscientists contribute to society.
“For example, our mountain ranges, rocks and soil types determine where our water comes from, how successful particular agricultural exploits will be, our huge natural resources that underpin the high standard of living we enjoy in Australia, and our unique landscape.
“In Australia, there are more than 8000 geoscientists who work across many fields. While they may be best known for their work in the resources sector exploring for minerals and hydrocarbons, they also contribute in many other areas, like ensuring our GPS navigation systems align with the continuing movement of our continent, earthquake monitoring and tsunami warnings, deep ocean research and providing data to understand climate change.
“They understand and monitor geohazards to ensure the tunnels you travel through and buildings you are in have solid geological foundations. They discover and help develop the minerals we all use, including those in your smartphone and car, and those that will enable the capture, storage and transmission of ‘green’ sustainable energy as well as traditional energy sources.
“Geoscience is one of the great four scientific disciplines alongside chemistry, physics and biology, and our geoscientists make a crucial contribution to Australia and all Australians.”
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