I came to Newfoundland in 1987 from UK where I had been on faculty in Geology at Glasgow University for 20 years, looking at crustal structure in the Caledonides, the Archean foreland, and the Mesozoic and Tertiary offshore NW Britain. Prior to that I worked for Shell (NAM) in Holland and the Dutch sector of the North Sea, following on from my first degree in Physics at Oxford, and a Diploma in Geophysics from Imperial College.
Newfoundland's a wonderful place and has given me opportunities to work on lots of exciting Earth science from various parts of the world: eastern Canada and its continental margins, central Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and southern Africa. People everywhere moan about funding, but I think the Canadian research scene is pretty good: much better than most places I've been. While I spend most of my time on geophysics, I also find a bit of time for other things.
One is the Manuels River Natural Heritage Society, which looks after a wonderful riverside trail. This crosses late Precambrian volcanics intruded by the granite, unconformably overlain by Cambro-Ordovician sedimentary rocks, from conglomerate through limestones to shales, famous for their trilobite fauna. The trails finish up at Conception Bay, with a dynamic beach where the ocean fights it out with the river. I lead geology tours down the trails in the summer. Oh! There's also good birding, and a surprisingly varied flora for those that know more about it than I. We have recently obtained funding to build the Manuels River Hibernia Interpretation Centre, which will open in 2013.
I am also involved in the Johnson GEO CENTRE, a geological interpretation centre on Signal Hill, in St. John's. This facility, built into the rock of Signal Hill celebrates the wonderful geology of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the connection between land and people. The main galleries focus on 'Our Planet', 'Our Province', 'Our People' and 'Our Future and Space', all preceded by an introductory Multimedia Theatre presentation, now with HD video. We have added a Titanic Gallery, the ExxonMobil Oil and Gas Gallery, and the Steele 3D Theatre.
The coastline of Newfoundland has a splendour all its own, savagely attacked by the ocean one moment, the clarity and stillness of the water a delight at others.... and the coastal geology is great, too. That's my excuse for having taken up sea-kayaking