2nd February 2018

Last December the Geological Survey of NSW (Geological Survey) welcomed four new faces – STEM students who are undertaking 10-week internships in the Maitland office. They are already involved in a wide range of important work, and proving to be very valuable assets.

This initiative is in support of the Women in STEM: METS Career Pathway Program. Led by Austmine, the program arranges work experience in Mining Equipment, Technology & Services (METS) organisations for women studying Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) subjects at university.

Intern Kylie Lyons wrote of her experience of her time in the Geological Survey.

My intern experience at the Geological Survey thus far has sparked my enthusiasm for future work in this field.

I have been given a wide variety of tasks including data entry, proof reading scientific publications, sorting archive material, editing web content and sorting through the new curriculum.

I found helping out at the Caves Beach outreach program especially rewarding and am looking forward to the Green Point outreach event.  This intern position is drawing on my Degree in Environmental Science and Management and my past experiences within the publication industry as well. I am looking forward to what will come my way over the coming week.

Background on our current interns

Madaline Hill is a final year Bachelor of Science student from Monash University, studying geology and botany as a double major.

Madaline has been working with the Mining & Exploration Assessment team on a data-mining activity, extracting information from exploration work programs for mineral titles. This information will be used as a tool to demonstrate the progression of exploration status, identify land banking, and predict areas of exploration focus for 2018. The results will be converted to GIS layers for visual analysis and map generation. She has also been performing administrative duties in relation to receipt and processing of technical reports and work programs. In December, Madaline accompanied an ESU inspector for a site inspection of the Liddell Coal Mine to investigate the progress of mine rehabilitation and compliance in relation to Liddell’s Mining Operations Plan (MOP). The eye-opening visit provided a chance to observe the impressive scale of coal mining, the activities of a mine in the later stages of its life, and the imperative of annual environmental inspections.

Layne Holloway is doing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Wollongong, majoring in Land and Heritage Management.

Layne joined the Geoscience Acquisition & Synthesis team and has been mainly assisting with management of petrology and seismic data. She has been formatting and condensing descriptions of thin sections into files that can be uploaded to our database and made available to public users. She has also sorted through 2.85TB of seismic data, defining the location of all related data in our systems, and entering metadata into our Geobank database for over 2800 seismic lines. She will join a two week field trip to western NSW, to deploy geophysical instruments as part of a national program to image the electrical conductivity structure of the deep Australian crust. Layne also organised and participated in a 4-wheel drive training course.

Kylie Lyons completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science & Management at the University of Newcastle in 2017.

Kylie is working with GSNSW’s Publications & Outreach team, and has been juggling a wide range of jobs. This has included preparing display materials for events, proof reading various items, sorting archive material, editing web pages, compiling a school contact list for promotion of our facilities/products and assisting with administrative tasks. She has also been looking through the new NSW high school Earth & Environmental science curriculum to help identify opportunities for GSNSW to contribute resources. Kylie helped out with GSNSW’s public field trips to Caves Beach and Green Point for the Lake Macquarie Council’s Explore Our Great Outdoors program. Lastly, Kylie has volunteered a half day each week helping out with the Division’s important Mining Lease Conditions Mapping Project.

Nicole Wardrop completed a Bachelor of Science Advanced (Research) with Honours at Monash University in 2017, majoring in geoscience and statistics.

Nicole has been working with the Mining & Exploration Assessment team to compile and analyse company annual expenditure and activity data, to assist in assessing and mapping exploration maturity throughout NSW. This work involves learning about the different databases where this information is stored, reviewing each file and identifying the most efficient method to compile the information into one dataset. Nicole has identified a number of formatting issues with company data that could be corrected with an updated submission form and so is investigating different ways for companies to submit this information. She is well on her way to creating a cohesive data set and determining achievable analytical outcomes from this data.

Student interns (from left): Madaline Hill, Layne Holloway, Nicole Wardrop and Kylie Lyons

Congratulations to Nicole and Kylie, who successfully completed their studies in December. We are very impressed by the enthusiasm, skills and diligence of all our students, so are not looking forward to them leaving in late February.