Learning and Expertise in Mineral Exploration Decision-Making: An Ecological Dynamics Perspective

DAVIES, Rhys Samuel, DAVIES, Marianne Julia, GROVES, David, DAVIDS, Keith, BRYMER, Eric, TRENCH, Allan, SYKES, John Paul and DENTITH, Michael (2021). Learning and Expertise in Mineral Exploration Decision-Making: An Ecological Dynamics Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (18).

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/18/9752
Open Access URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/18/9752/pdf (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189752


The declining discovery rate of world-class ore deposits represents a significant obstacle to future global metal supply. To counter this trend, there is a requirement for mineral exploration to be conducted in increasingly challenging, uncertain, and remote environments. Faced with such increases in task and environmental complexity, an important concern in exploratory activities are the behavioural challenges of information perception, interpretation and decision-making by geoscientists tasked with discovering the next generation of deposits. Here, we outline the Dynamics model, as a diagnostic tool for situational analysis and a guiding framework for designing working and training environments to maximise exploration performance. The Dynamics model is based on an Ecological Dynamics framework, combining Newell’s Constraints model, Self Determination Theory, and including feedback loops to define an autopoietic system. By implication of the Dynamics model, several areas are highlighted as being important for improving the quality of exploration. These include: (a) provision of needs-supportive working environments that promote appropriate degrees of effort, autonomy, creativity and technical risk-taking; (b) an understanding of the wider motivational context, particularly the influence of tradition, culture and other ‘forms of life’ that constrain behaviour; (c) relevant goal-setting in the design of corporate strategies to direct exploration activities; and (d) development of practical, representative scenario-based training interventions, providing effective learning environments, with digital media and technologies presenting decision-outcome feedback, to assist in the development of expertise in mineral exploration targeting.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ **Journal IDs: eissn 1660-4601 **History: published 16-09-2021; accepted 14-09-2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: mineral exploration, ecological dynamics, expertise, needs-supportive environment, representative learning design
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189752
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2021 09:17
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 09:30
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29075

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