At this year’s IAH World Groundwater Congress in Cape Town, we took a further step towards setting up an ‘Education and Outreach Working Group’. The WG once fully in place will be able to set out a strategy for delivering more support to members, taking account of different needs from students through to continuing professional development across the world.
We already achieve a great deal, through our annual congress, conferences and webinars, and events run by chapters, commissions and networks. The aim is to build on these existing activities, with members of the WG helping to both to co-ordinate and implement activities. In a side-meeting, several members expressed interest in contributing and made a number of proposals. A separate meeting of the Burdon Network echoed and added to these.
It was felt that the working group should consider both members and wider organisations and society, including engagement with communities. It should seek to involve more young members in the life of IAH, addressing early career needs and providing “a platform to support younger people who try to find their own way but need support”. There should be continuing support for student membership.
The strategy should include general education and more specific training opportunities. It was noted that hydrogeology is not being taught in some parts of the world and there was a request for help with developing and extending university programmes. Issues that benefit the wider public should be identified for outreach programmes and community support.
Development and implementation of activities should make use of remote working and online technologies, including webinars, podcasts, social media, videos and radio. There should be support for members from low-income circumstances to participate in conferences and congresses, either in-person or online.
IAH, with its 4250 members, is well-placed to expand its education and outreach activity. By working with our partner organisations we can do this even more successfully.
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If you are also interested in being involved, let us know at email@example.com the type of input you would be like to make.