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.
Since my undergrad degree I initially worked as a core logging geologist for a winter drilling season where I evaluated and described core samples from the Alberta oil sands. I then moved on to a position as a wellsite geologist where I have worked for the last 8 years.
In the spring of 2015 I began looking to expand my skills into a new direction. I’ve always been around GIS technology as it plays a major role in the energy exploration industry. I also worked during my undergraduate studies at the Geological Survey of Canada using ArcGIS to help build maps and geological models of formations in Canada’s north. I enrolled in a Master’s of GIS program at Vancouver Island University and graduated with my MGIS in December of 2017. My thesis research involved using multispectral imagery combined with Structure from Motion photogrammetry to partially automate the mapping process in mountainous regions. I loved my research project as it afforded me the opportunity to apply my geological knowledge with advanced concepts in GIS while also forcing me to learn how to solve complex and problems independently in Python.
As of January 2018 I began taking over the role of geological operations for the consulting company I work through. From this new perspective I’ve begun identifying many ways to apply my GIS and programming knowledge to improve the workflow of field geologists. I’ve also leveraged my contacts in the industry and have begun a pilot program using UAVs to identify hydrocarbon leaks along high pressure gas pipelines using a high sensitivity methane gas detection system and photogrammetry.
My UAV experience has been honed over the last 5 years and includes hundreds of hours of flight experience, a commercial UAV pilot ground school and dealings with Transport Canada. It’s still a regulatory minefield in Canada but it is an industry I see exploding as it matures and regulations become more comprehensive. The commercial applications of small unmanned aircraft I think are still being sorted out. In many cases they have been marketed as a silver bullet for a wide range of problems, but the reality may be quite different. They are extremely useful for some use cases, while maybe less than optimal for some of the ones they are currently expected to adopt. Time will tell I suppose.
Thanks for reading this section, if you have any questions feel free to leave me a message on my contact page.