Memorial University’s Department of Earth Sciences will use a $1.98 million contribution from Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) to create the Hibernia Project Geophysics Support Fund to enhance geophysics education and research.
“I thank the Hibernia owners for their continued investments in Memorial University,” said Dr. Richard Marceau, vice-president (research).
“Our success is predicated on strong government, industry and community partners. With this level of support, we are better able to fulfill our primary mandate – to provide a nationally-competitive, flagship, teaching-research university, unequivocally committed to the public good and its special obligation to the people of this great province.”
“Oil and gas producers are seeking high-calibre geoscientists,” said Jamie Long, president, HMDC. “HMDC’s contribution reflects our ongoing strong support for Memorial University’s geoscience teaching and research program. The university is educating some of our future employees, and collaboration between industry and academia is enhancing the province’s geophysical expertise.”
The funding supports geophysics field-based studies for undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as student and faculty research projects. It will also enable the purchase of specialized equipment for geophysical exploration.
“Geophysical field equipment is used for research and undergraduate and graduate teaching,” said Dr. John Hanchar, who leads the Department of Earth Sciences. “These additions to our capability for geophysical exploration on land will allow for the training of graduate and undergraduate students and allow us to undertake a wider range of geophysical student research projects than previously possible.”
HMDC’s funding will also support the renewal of the undergraduate geophysics laboratory, with 12 new dual-monitor workstations and associated geophysical software licenses. The department will update its geophysics research computing laboratory with eight new dual-monitor workstations, along with applications software, data storage servers and a large format colour plotter.
In addition to supporting the purchase of new equipment and the hiring of additional personnel, the funding will also support the establishment of a guest-speaker series, which will host up to three geophysical experts annually for the next three years.
Earlier this year, HMDC provided an additional $420,000 in funding to support the university’s development of a new environmental geology and geophysics field school.