ECHN National Branches – Guidelines
So you want to set up a local Early Career Hyrdogeologists’ Network (ECHN) Branch in your area?
First of all, thanks! The International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH), including the ECH Network, prides itself on being a forward thinking and proactive organization – so it sounds like you already fit the bill. Good work!
To help you get your branch started we have compiled a set of guidelines to assist you along the way. These steps may not necessarily apply in this particular order and some, perhaps, not even at all but we hope they provide a useful reference.
By accessing this document, it is likely you may have already been in touch – but if not, please be sure to lodge your group by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This brings us nicely to step 1 of the ‘how-to’ ECHN guide…
1. Contact ECHN
To make sure the message and support of the IAH and ECHN remains consistent and accurate, it is important that you keep us informed of any branch you set up under the ECHN and IAH name. It also means we can put you in touch with other interested ECHN members in your area or existing ECHN activity which may be underway.
2. Contact your national and local IAH Chapter (if present in your region)
…and even better, why not volunteer for a position on your local IAH Committee?! Do they have an ECHN representative yet? Contact details of the IAH National Chapters can be found at: https://iah.org/groups/national-chapters. Your local or National Chapter will be a great source of knowledge of activity in your area and can also make you mindful of existing partnerships with organizations or companies your branch could work with. Attending local IAH Chapter meetings will offer you the chance to put forward your ideas and potentially obtain support from IAH Members and their links to the wider community.
3. Consider the needs of your region and community of early career hydrogeologists.
Just as the hydrogeology of one region can be very different to the next, so can the resulting industries, environmental concerns, politics and economics of your area. So what support do your early-career hydrogeologists need? Is it better to links with industry for career development? Is there a social role you could provide for international hydros working in a particular area? Is there a specific environmental concern that you would like to address collectively? Whatever initial focus has driven your group, why not define it and formalize some activities or discussion around it.
4. Collaborate with local groups, organizations and/or industry.
Connecting to your local network may offer a number of beneficial rewards. Businesses may be able to offer sponsorship or venues for events and keep you informed of suitable vacancies. Academic departments may have students who would love to hear from you. There are plenty of opportunities out there and the ability to approach such stakeholders under the ‘IAH umbrella’ will hopefully give you a stronger voice to make such connections – keep us informed of your progress!
5. Formally launch your national ECHN Branch
To inform your local network of your existence and to encourage members you might want to set up a little bit of infrastructure.
a. Set up a means of communication with your Branch
Perhaps a new email account (with multiple administrator access) that can be used post any particular member’s involvement in the group.
b. Formalize the roles of your Branch members or committee
This suggestion will be tailored for your region, but having an agreed committee with clear tasks may help you stay on top of running events or researching project areas. If ticket sales or sponsorship are involved someone with a good head for figures could be beneficial for example.
c. Know your history
In the course of advertising your network you may have to give a brief introduction of the IAH and when or why the ECHN came in to being. You can find all the information you need to know about the IAH at: www.iah.org/about And as for the ECHN…
In 2011, the Early Career Hydrogeologists’ Network or ECHN was formally acknowledged as a Network of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH). The main aim of the Network is to assist hydrogeologists at the start of their professional or academic careers by providing support in information sharing, networking and strengthening the status of early career hydrogeologists within the IAH.
6. Be active on our LinkedIN and social media pages
The ECHN LinkedIn and Facebook pages are one of the forums we use for information sharing via the international network. All hydrogeologists who are members of IAH are welcome to join the LinkedIn page to get involved and benefit from the network’s activities. Our Facebook page is open to non-members who may wish to take a look at the types of activities and events the ECHN incorporates before deciding to join. Please encourage your group and members to join each page so we can keep our online forums thriving and better share ideas.
7. Encourage new membership
IAH members receive a number of benefits in addition to accessing the LinkedIN community and forums. If you know potential members interested in signing up to IAH they can find a full list of annual fees and exactly what’s included at: https://iah.org/join-us
8. Good luck and keep in touch!
Please be sure to take pictures and share the news of your Branch as you progress. Ultimately, the sky’s the limit if you have the time and enthusiasm. We know you will do well!
Have fun and good luck!
The ECHN Steering Committee