Geologic Mapping Training

©UNESCO/Felix Toteu

To set up a mobile geological field mapping school for trainees in Africa that would move from region to region and draw on an uptake of trainees from a geological region to reflect the varying geological domains and mapping conditions faced on the continent. For example, geological mapping techniques and approaches in tropical conditions differ to the arid and semi arid regions of the continent.

Each mapping school programme would have a common curriculum and set of expected training related outcomes to ensure consistency of standards and attainment of training objectives, but would involve local experts from universities and geological surveys. External accreditation of the program would be sought early on to further ensure standardisation. An example, of an in house training program of mapping geologists that has been implemented at the Council for Geoscience (South Africa) over the past 4 years is presented below for illustrative purposes.

Here we propose the length of full time training would be 2.5 – 3 months. This period of time is a balance between the time required to train geological mappers and an acceptable period for which trainees would be released from their full time employment.

Each field training school would have a trainer to trainee ratio of 1:4-6 comprising not more than 20 trainees. Depending on demand, seasonal and logistical considerations, there would be 2 trainee intakes per year. A committee will be set up to define criteria and select trainees and trainers. Entrance requirements for trainees would be BSc (Hons) degree, majoring in geology. They may be young professionals from geological surveys, private sectors or early career lecturers from universities. It would be assumed that the trainees would have an understanding of basic geological principles.

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