Directors Discourse
Introduction Director's Discourse Tellus Border Update Aggregate Potential Mapping NAGTEC workshop Du Noyer Photo Competition National Ploughing Championships The GeoGathering BTYSE INFOMAR Update Staff News
Director's Discourse: New Plans!
Koen Verbruggen

2014 sees somewhat of a watershed for GSI, and many Government Programmes, with the ending of projects developed under the former National Development Plan and transition to more flexible multiannual projects, now under the Programme for Government. Last year GSI saw the completion of major work under the Geoscience Initiatives I, which was the focus of our Geoscience 2013 Meeting in the autumn, including our National Groundwater Vulnerability Mapping, Aggregate Potential Mapping (reported in this issue) and further development of our Landslide Vulnerability Mapping.

In late 2013 we also reached another milestone for INFOMAR, the national marine mapping programme, when we received government approval for the continuation of the programme through the next phase to 2018. Critically this approval results from the strongly expressed support for the programme, across almost every government department and sector, reflecting both the broad impact of the programme and the hard work and success of the GSI-MI joint venture.

GSI Director - Koen Verbruggen
Koen Verbruggen - Director Geological Survey of Ireland 

Now in 2014 we are taking a strategic look at our activities, and future projects, under Geoscience Initiatives II, which are divisible into quality mapping Initiatives (through field mapping, Infomar and Tellus), development of the Irish National Geoscience Data Centre (as online datasets and web mapping) and Applied Products, which will be developed with stakeholders and underpinned by robust science and research.

We have already commenced a range of pilot projects to test out new initiatives, which have been developed in response to societal needs, new datasets we have produced or gained access to, and key customer feedback. Projects include an integrated approach to updating our geological mapping in response to the Tellus Border data, by our Land Mapping Unit , which will update both Quaternary and Bedrock geology and also use digital field data capture to improve turnaround times. We have also commenced a Karst Mapping Programme, which will include the sink holes which have recently developed such a high media profile, and is utilising high resolution LIDAR data previously acquired. Landslide vulnerability mapping, developed already in key pilot areas, will now be rolled out nationally.

Under data initiatives new emphasis will be placed on ensuring our key holdings are up to date and accessible in the format required by customers, both internal and external. Our data underpins all our activities and focus will initially be on our Groundwater wells, Geotechnical Site Investigations and Quarry Database and Directory.

2014 will also see the conclusion of the first phase of our major Griffiths Research Programme, which will form the focus of our Geoscience 2014 meeting this autumn. Through provision of data, project partnering and funding opportunities such as INFOMAR and Tellus short calls, GSI will continue to work to advance Irish geoscience research.

As always on these new initiatives and our existing programmes, we welcome the feedback and opinion of all our readers!