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Communicating Environmental Geoscience - Australian communication pathways.
Colin J. Simpson
Effectively communicating the role of geoscience in environmental, sustainable development, and/or sustainable resource management, issues is not a straightforward process. For example it requires different approaches depending on the audience being addressed. The different audiences can be broadly classed as: scientists, governments, and the general public. The communication process is often complicated further by the difficulty that geoscientists/scientists can have in identifying the appropriate communication pathways to use if their endeavours are to be successful. Such pathways are not generally taught or explained during the formal scientific education process and as a consequence it may require considerable experience for individuals to understand the processes involved. As an example of the types of understanding required this paper outlines the designated/established geoscience communication pathways that exist in Australia for communication of geoscience both internally and internationally. The IUGS Commission on Geoscience for Environmental Management (GEM) has an International Working Group on Communicating Environmental Geoscience (CEG) (www.mun.ca/canqua/ceg/). CEG is keen to assist in promoting better understanding of the various geoscience pathways to be followed in individual countries to achieve successful communication. It is hoped that this Australian example may stimulate geoscientists in other countries to record and publish (in simplified formats) the appropriate pathways required to be followed in their country.