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- Engineering Geology & Geotechnics - Dr. S. Sepulveda
- Hydrogeology - Dr. D. Allen
- Sedimentology - Dr. S. Dashtgard
- Ore Deposits - Dr .D. Marshall
- Glaciology - Dr. G. Flowers
- Coastal Hazards - Dr. J. Pilarczyk
- Volcanology - Dr. G. Williams-Jones
- Natural Hazards
- Tectonics - Dr .D. Gibson
- Quaternary Geology - Dr. B. Ward
- Research Opportunities
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What got you interested in Earth Sciences?
I ended up in Earth Sciences almost by accident! It started as the classic case of genuine curiosity. I spent most of my childhood outdoors in rural BC, playing in the dirt or sitting long hours in my dad’s fishing boat with nothing to do but appreciate mother nature. It led to a lot of questions about why the mountains look they way they do and what rocks and dirt are made of, and “why?” When I graduated high school, I casually enrolled in a few geology courses to help satisfy my curiosity. Within my first semester, not only did I start to learn how the Earth works, I learned that the career path can involve field work and a high earning potential. Plus, Earth Sciences is filled with fun-loving friendly people. I was quickly hooked!
What led you to SFU EASC for your research?
I decided to pursue an MSc after working several years in natural resource exploration and geotechnical engineering across western and northern Canada upon completing my BSc. I met a lot of great people and gained valuable experience; however, industry left me kind of starving for mentorship. I wanted to perform high quality work as a capable geologist, and I found only a few senior colleagues who were willing and able to share their knowledge and mentor me. So I started looking into an MSc to gain mentorship.
I chose SFU because Earth Sciences is host to potent talent, and has built a reputation of hard working geologists in industry and ground breaking research in academia. I chose my supervisor, Derek Thorkelson, because his approach combines field work with various lab methods and a wide range of disciplines to address big picture geological problems. Also, I was interested in working with Derek because I love field school and field work, and he largely built the field component of the EASC program. My supervisor was highly engaged, and I learned so much through working side-by-side with him on certain tasks, and by tacking other tasks independently. SFU was the right choice for me because my supervisor gave me an exciting, multidisciplinary research project, and I received incredible mentorship from Derek and many other profs in the department.
What has been your best learning experience?
The learning experience in which I’ve had the most fun has hands-down been field school! Field courses teach very little new material; instead they draw upon everything students have learned in previous courses and force students to apply all that they have learned by looking at rocks in their natural state. By seeing and doing, students finally gain a true understanding of everything they have learned in the classroom. It is an interesting and unique aspect of Earth Sciences.
The learning experience in which I have learned the most has been my MSc at SFU. Scientific research always involves unexpected results, and the unexpected twists and turns in my project have given me a greater capacity to be dynamic and tackle any challenge. At SFU, I received excellent mentorship from my supervisor and others, who helped me develop skills in geology, communication, project management, critical thinking, and so much more.
What are your career plans after completing your degree at SFU?
My experience at SFU Earth Sciences has opened so many doors for me. I feel like I will be able to find rewarding challenges in whichever direction I go. My MSc has given me so many new skills, and I now receive more opportunities in geology than I have time for. The Department is small, but its alumni have established a great reputation in academia, industry, and with government Surveys. The profs at in the department are willing to go above and beyond to see their students succeed.