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REF NO.: 195

SUBJECT: Geological community plays host to national conference
DATE: May 28, 2012

The St. John’s geological community is playing host to the Geological Association of Canada (GAC) and the Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC) during their joint annual meetings May 27-29.
Geoscience at the Edge is co-chaired by Memorial University earth science professors Steve Piercey and Alana Hinchey and promises something for everyone, with more than 40 symposia, special and general sessions, short courses and field trips.
“It’s going to be a big meeting – we have more than 700 registrants,” said Dr. Derek Wilton, who is a member of the organizing committee. “We get to host the conference every 12 years or so and people love coming here. It’s a great place to see rocks.”
On the schedule is a short course on using new techniques to look at sedimentary rocks, which is proving to be of great interest to oil companies. Other topics include talks on mineral deposits, petroleum, the origins of life, forensic geology, uranium deposits and a special session on Appalachian geology in honour of the late Dr. Hank Williams.
There will also be a special workshop and field trip to bring together teachers from across the province to participate in various instructional and curriculum-linked thematic sessions. The program, which is being organized by Amanda McCallum, an outreach geologist with the Department of Natural Resources, will be facilitated by a team of experienced geoscience professionals and educators from across Canada. The program will provide elementary, intermediate and senior teachers with instruction, lesson plans, hands-on activities and classroom resources designed to explore earth science in and out of the classroom.
“They have a big program lined up with about 30-40 teachers from all over the province,” said Dr. Wilton. “So the conference isn’t just for people who are in the university or in the industry. We are all really trying to broaden the interest.”
The conference wraps up with engineering professor and local iceberg expert Dr. Steve Bruneau presenting his special public lecture, Iceberg Alley, on Tuesday, May 29, at 7 p.m. at the Johnson GEO CENTRE. The talk is open to everyone and will be followed by a reception.
More information about the conference and related events can be found at www.stjohns2012.ca.   

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