I graduated from my first undergraduate degree in Geology back in June 2010 from the University of Calgary. During my coursework there I primarily focused my studies on environmental courses, however I do regret not having taken the official environmental geology specialization. My reasoning then was that I wanted to keep my employment options open, but it basically just shut me out of what I wanted to do which was environmental geology.
During my studies I worked at the Geologic Survey of Canada as a geological assistant. My primary role was to use GIS software to digitize maps and old field notes. This is where I got my first taste of GIS and how it applies to work in the real world. After graduation I had a temporary contract position as a core logging geologist with Norwest Corporation in Calgary, then moved on to work with K.C. Waunch Petroleum Consultants Ltd. as a wellsite geologist until very recently. While working as a wellsite geologist I was given the opportunity to see the upstream side of the oil and gas industry and occasionally manage to secure some side-contracts where I focused on using GIS to solve minor problems and create the occasional map.
In September 2014 I finally decided that I had to get out of wellsite geology. My wife and I both disliked me spending weeks upon weeks in the field only to come home for a few days. The schedule was sporadic as I was only needed on site during drilling operations and I felt like my intellect wasn’t being challenged. In January 2015 I enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Technology in GIS at SAIT in Calgary and began taking online classes to work toward my BGIS degree. As of June 2016 I finally managed to finish the coursework while still working as a wellsite geologist for both Cenovus Energy and Bonterra Energy. I had always known I enjoyed GIS but taking the courses truly sparked my interest further. Before I was even finished with the SAIT coursework I applied to and was accepted into the Master of Geographic Information Systems at Vancouver Island University. They evaluated my coursework and professional experience and decided I was eligible to go directly to the research phase of the degree. And here I am.
I’ll go into what my research topic is as I go forward. I’m honestly still piecing it together myself. But until I have the chance to really get involved with the explanation, it is basically me attempting to use remotely sensed data from satellite and UAV imagery combined with structural information from field trips to help automate the process of geologic surface mapping.