News Archive 2012

21 December 2012:

In this issue of GEOLOG:
– President Peter Bobrowsky issues a reminder about submitting GAC-MAC Abstracts, nominating colleagues for GAC’s Medals and Awards, and to supply feedback for the NSERC program.
– Former president Stephen Johnston discusses geology as it applies to hangovers and reproducibility.
– Editor Ray Lett features a mystery rock.
– Congratulations are expressed to Miriam Vos-Guenter for her 2012 Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
– The Pacific and Newfoundland sections provide an update on their many activities.
– l’AQUEST congratulates some deserving winners from the congrès Québec Mines.

All this and more in your issue of GEOLOG.

** Happy Holidays Everyone! **

12 December 2012:

It is with great sadness that we pass along news of the passing of Dr. Hugh Morris, president of GAC in 1982-83 and winner of the national Ambrose Medal in 1993.

For those in the area, a funeral service is being held TODAY (Saturday, December 29, 2012) at the United Church in Tsawwassen (693 53rd Street) at 2 pm.

His obituary appears in the Vancouver Sun, linkable through Please note that in lieu of flowers, donations in Dr. Morris’ name may be made to the Palliative Ward of Vancouver General Hospital through the following website:

11 December 2012:

Thank you to all of those Members who have already renewed your 2013 Membership.  For those of you who have not, please note that the deadline to receive a discounted price is Monday, December 17th, 2012.  Renew now at:

Some of your colleagues deserve to win a prestigious national medal.  Nominate your colleague before December 30th, 2012 to put them in the running for the 2013 medals.  Complete the nomination form at:

Start thinking about submitting an abstract for the Winnipeg 2013 GAC-MAC.  The deadline to submit is January 21, 2013.  Submit your abstract at:

07 December 2012:

Graduate students are invited to apply to the Mary-Claire Ward Geoscience Award

The GAC and PDAC are inviting applications for the $5,000 Mary-Claire Ward Geoscience Award. The award is presented annually to a graduate student at a Canadian university, whose thesis incorporates geoscience mapping as a significant component.

Mary-Claire Ward was a past-president of GAC, a PDAC director, and a leader in geosciences. This passionate advocate for the preservation and expansion of Canada’s geoscience knowledge base died in 2004.

The deadline for applications is December 14, 2012. Applications are online at ( and>

“As a result of being awarded the Mary-Claire Ward Geoscience Award, I received ‘cold-calls’ from geologists in the exploration industry and was approached by academics at conferences. The Mary-Claire Ward Geoscience Award has brought attention to my research and the contacts I have met as a result of this award have been especially valuable.” – Brett

Please forward the above to all Canadian Graduate students in your contact list. Thanks for your continued support!

30 November 2012:

Third Digital-Only release of Geoscience Canada with Editor Brendan Murphy is now available to GAC Members (Log in with your GAC Member Username and Password to access the journal)

(Please Note: Some browsers may not allow you to download PDF files behind secure walls unless you have Signed In prior to clicking on the link. If the system does not allow you access, please click on the image above or go to to sign in with your Username and Password, then click on the following links to directly download the PDFs.)


  • Full Release (pages 102 to 173)
  • Tooth of Time Column: Alfred Wegener (P.F. Hoffman)
  • Series: Education Matters: The Grand Old Duke of York; Present-Day and Future Canadian Geoscience Education and Labour Market Trends (R. Raeside and E. Kosters)
  • Series: Paul F. Hoffman Series: A Temperature-Dependent Positive Feedback on the Magnitude of Carbon Isotope Excursions (S. Finnegan, D.A. Fike, D. Jones and W.W. Fischer)
  • Series: Paul F. Hoffman Series: Late Wisconsinan Morphosedimentary Sequences of the Lower Coppermine River Valley, Nunavut and Northwest Territories (D.A. St-Onge)
  • Article: Shining Light on Black Rock Coatings in Smelter-Impacted Areas (M. Schindler, N. Mantha, K.T. Kyser, M. Murayama, and M.F. Hochella, Jr.)
  • Series: Modern Analytical Facilities: U-Pb Geochronology Using 193 nm Excimer LA-ICP-MS Optimized for In Situ Accessory Mineral Dating in Thin Sections (C.R.M. McFarlane and Y. Luo)

Our sincere thanks to the Reviewers, Assistant Editors, Associate Editors, Copy Editors, Sponsors, and all others (both named and unnamed) who helped make this issue possible.

30 October 2012:

Geological Association of Canada Statement on Conviction of Italian Geoscientists

St. John’s, NL, Canada – The following statement was issued today by the Geological Association of Canada.

The successful prosecution, leading to their conviction and sentencing, of six Italian scientists in relation to the events surrounding the 6 April 2009 L’Aquila, Italy earthquake, has generated concern among the members of the Geological Association of Canada.

We fully recognize that the information surrounding this case as communicated to the global community is only partial and considerably filtered by the media. The facts for the L’Aquila case are undoubtedly complex and unfortunately are not fully available.

Media reports suggest that the scientists were sent to prison for failing to predict the earthquake; and if such reports are indeed accurate the GAC condemns the judgement of the courts.

The GAC strongly endorses the practice of professionalism, due diligence and respect for the law, but this philosophy should not be confused with the practical constraints of our discipline. Precise short-term prediction of where and when earthquakes occur is impossible at the present time due to the complexity of earthquake systems.

The case itself indicates the growing gap between the sciences and the public to fully comprehend and appreciate both the benefits and limitations of our discipline which aims to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our society. Instead of making Italians safer from earthquakes and other natural hazards, we fear that this court decision will have the opposite effect. It is our hope that a higher court reconsiders this decision and that scientists will once again be able to publicly communicate the risks associated with natural hazards in Italy without the threat of prosecution.


26 October 2012:

Second Digital-Only release of Geoscience Canada with Editor Brendan Murphy is now available to GAC Members (Log in with your GAC Member Username and Password to access the Full Release of the journal.)


Thank you all for attending the GAC-MAC 2012 conference in St. John’s!  It was a tremendous success.  We are hoping to see you next year at the 2013 conference being held in Winnipeg.

25 October 2012:

Second Digital-Only release of Geoscience Canada with Editor Brendan Murphy is now available to GAC Members (Log in with your GAC Member Username and Password to access the journal)


Our sincere thanks to the Reviewers, Assistant Editors, Associate Editors, Copy Editors and all others (both named and unnamed) who helped make this issue possible.

PLEASE NOTE: Some browsers may not allow live links to pdfs to open. If this happens, please try a) logging in prior to clicking the direct link, and/or b) signing in, then clicking on ‘Members Only’, then ‘Journals’ and then ‘Geoscience Canada’ to access the files.


17 October 2012 :

Geolog Volume 41 Number 3 (Autumn 2012) is attached!

Inside this issue:

  • GAC’s president explains Canada’s IGC bid
  • Stephen Johnston opines on the choice between coal-fired power plants and the Arctic
  • The Canadian Assn. of Geographers responds to a previous opinion article
  • GAC Sections in the West and East provide activity updates
  • …and More!


27 July 2012:

Geolog Volume 41 Number 2 (Summer 2012) is attached!

This summer edition is an informative, useful, essential, entertaining and newsworthy collection of timely topics faithfully compiled by Editor extraordinaire Ray Lett, including:

-          Geography Revisited by Stephen Johnston

-          GAC President’s Report for the period May 2011 to May 2012 by Steve Rowins

-          Book Review of ‘Curiosity: a Love Story’ by Alwynne Beaudoin

-          GAC Newfoundland and Labrador Section update

-          GAC Winnipeg Section Update

-          GAC Cordilleran Section Update

-          Logan Student Chapter Program Report by Kathryn Bethune

-          AND MUCH MORE!

The latest newsletter from CFES has been released! Download your copy at

The early bird registration deadline for the 22nd Canadian Paleontology Conference (September 21 – 23 at the University of Toronto) has been extended to August 1st! Abstracts also due on August 1st. Register online at

18 July 2012:

GAC® is pleased to announce the winners of the Jérôme Remick III Poster Awards, as judged at the GAC®-MAC conference in St. John’s, NL, held from May 27-29, 2012:

1st place (Gold Winner and $1000 Cash): Helena Toman (MUN) 
Geology, mineralogy, and S-isotope geochemistry of the Little Deer volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposit, Lushs Bight Group, Springdale, Newfoundland;

2nd place (Silver Winner and $900 Cash): Rebecca Moumblow (McMaster)

Nd isotope mapping of crustal sutures between accreted terranes of different ages within the deeply exhumed core of the Grenville orogen in Labrador;

3rd place (Bronze Winner and $800 Cash): Justin Strauss (Harvard)

The Callison Lake dolostone: Implications for Late Neoproterozoic rifting in northwest Canada.

The following are 5 runners up in no particular order.  They received a cheque for $100 each:

Amanda Langille (MUN)

A detailed petrographic, geochemical and geochronological study of the Hare Bay Gneiss in the northeast Gander Zone, Newfoundland;

David Yergeau (INRS)

The Westwood deposit, southern Abitibi greenstone belt:  A “hybrid” or “transitional” Archean gold deposit;

Hannah Mills (MUN)

Volcanic stratigraphy and setting of the Hood volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposit, Nunavut, Canada;

Bari Hanafi (Rutgers U)

The Mesozoic Orpheus rift basin, offshore Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada:  The influence of basin architecture on salt tectonics and basin inversion;

Emilie Boutroy (ULaval)

Minor and trace element composition of magnetite from Ni-Cu deposits worldwide and its application to mineral exploration.


The Jérôme Remick III Poster Awards

Cash awards and certificates of merit are awarded to outstanding poster presenters from the GAC®-MAC annual meetings. The Jérôme H. Remick III Trust fund of the Geological Association of Canada (GAC®) was established in 1994 with monies donated by Jérôme H. Remick III, a long-time member and former Chairman of the GAC Membership Committee. The express purpose of the fund is to sponsor Poster Awards. (Mr. Remick passed away on March 1, 2005.)

The purpose of the Remick Poster Awards is to acknowledge the growing use of posters as a legitimate geoscience communication vehicle, and to encourage higher standards by recognizing the best posters at any given meeting.

Present a poster in Winnipeg next year!

13 July 2012:

Register now and save!

The 22nd Canadian Paleontology Conference is set for Friday, September 21 to Sunday September 23, 2012, at the University of Toronto. Abstracts can be submitted up to August 1, but to save on your registration, be sure to sign up by Sunday, July 15.

In addition to the usual full program of great technical sessions, join us at the icebreaker, the banquet and on the Field Trip which this year includes admission to the temporary exhibit “Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants of Gondwana” and behind-the-scenes tours of the vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology collections at the Royal Ontario Museum.

For more details, see the website at or contact the organizers at

10 July 2012:

Circle the dates! Winnipeg 2013 is gearing up to be a fantastic conference. Set for May 22 to 24, 2013, at the Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg, it celebrates Manitoba geology from the Archean to the Holocene. There is a full slate of Symposia, Special Sessions, Field Trips and Short Courses, as well as a great accompanying guest program and entertaining social events.

For all the details, see the first circular at:

ALSO: The Council of Canadian Academies has just released “Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgment”, which is a science-based assessment requested by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

This in-depth report analyzes the evidence relevant to science performance indicators and also examines science assessment practices used by funding agencies around the world.

The report is available free of charge at

05 July 2012:

Atlas of Alteration: A field and petrographic guide to hydrothermal alteration minerals
Edited by AJB Thompson and JFH Thompson
Softcover. 128 pages ISBN-10: 0-919216-59-5; ISBN-13: 978-0-919216-59-4
1996 release; updated May 2012
GAC Mineral Deposits Division
Retail: $80.00
GAC Member Price: $44.00

The Atlas of Alteration is a practical reference, which aids in the recognition and understanding of major alteration minerals. The volume consists of 49 mineral entries, which are the result of numerous contributions by international authors. Common characteristics of each mineral are described for outcrop, hand specimen and thin section. The descriptions are complemented by a brief discussion and selected references. Each entry includes a full-page colour plate with outcrop/rock and thin section photographs. Examples are drawn from a variety of localities and mineral deposit types. The Atlas is enhanced by an introduction, which contains a comprehensive table linking the alteration minerals to ore deposit types. A table of optical information for use in thin section work completes the volume.

Prices do not include shipping/handling and taxes. See

Also Re-released in 2012: Ore Mineral Atlas *Second Edition*

03 July 2012:

Canada bidding to host the International Geological Congress in 2020

Under the umbrella of the Canadian Federation of Earth (and with the endorsement of the GAC and 12 other Canadian geoscience societies and organizations), geoscientists are leading a bid to bring the 36th International Geological Congress to Canada (Vancouver) in 2020. Hosting the 36th IGC would be an extremely important event for Canadian geoscience, attracting some 5,000 to 10,000 international geoscientists to Canada.

A vote to select the best bid will take place in Brisbane at the 34th IGC on August 9th, where the international delegates will choose between India and Canada. Canadians believe we have a strong bid, thanks to the work and support from Canadian companies, governments and the many volunteers, including several GAC members who contributed during the past two years of preparation.

The bid comprises a short video highlighting the spectacular geology and scenery of Canada, a PowerPoint presentation, as well as joint booths run by NRCan, CFES and Tourism Vancouver.

How you can help: With just over one month to go we need a collective effort by all Canadian geoscientists to help promote Canada through their own professional contacts and networks. You can help by going to the IGC2020 website ( and learn about the bid and by contacting all of your colleagues in other countries, telling them about Canada’s bid, and asking for their support for Canada.


29 June 2012:

Here is the web link to an article in International Innovation written by GAC Past President Stephen Rowins in which he explains the leading role of the GAC in Canadian geoscience.

(Note: The external site requires updated Adobe Flash Player.)

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish our members a Great Canada Day weekend!!


26 June 2012:

In case you missed the news about the 2012 GAC Awards, here is a summary of our best, brightest, successful, accomplished and most promising colleagues who received recognition this year. For more information please visit and Geolog.


  • Logan Medal – Robert Kerrich
  • Willis Ambrose Medal – John Clague
  • W.W. Hutchison Medal – Galen Halverson
  • Ward Neale Medal – John Calder
  • Yves Fortier Journalism Award – Ed Struzik
  • Mary-Claire Ward Geoscience Award – Deanne van Rooyen
  • Distinguished Service – Christopher Pereira
  • CJES Best Paper Award – Desmond Moser, Carmela Cuplelli, Ivan Barker, Rebecca Flowers, John Bowman, Joe Wooden and Rodger Hart


Canadian Sedimentology Research Group – Middleton Medal – Brian Jones

Mineral Deposits Division – Duncan Derry Medal – Harold Gibson

Mineral Deposits Division – William Harvey Gross Medal – Dan Layton-Matthews

Volcanology and Igneous Petrology Division – Leopold Gelinas Bronze Medal – Michael Richards (for best B.Sc. thesis)

Volcanology and Igneous Petrology Division – Leopold Gelinas Silver Medal – Donnelly Archibald (for best M.Sc. thesis)

Volcanology and Igneous Petrology Division – Leopold Gelinas Gold Medal – Christoph Helo (for best Ph.D. thesis)

Volcanology and Igneous Petrology Division – Career Achievement Award – John Stix

Paleontology Division – Pikaia Award – Howard Falcon-Lang

Structural Geology and Tectonics Division – Jack Henderson award for best M.Sc. thesis – Chris Yakymchuk

Structural Geology and Tectonics Division – Jack Henderson award for best Ph.D. thesis – Grégory Dufréchou

Structural Geology and Tectonics Division – Dave Elliot award for best paper – Elena Konstantinovskaya and Jacques Malavieille

Canadian Geomorphology Research Group – J. Ross Mackay Award – Chris Hugenholtz


AQUEST – Certificat d’exellente de l’AQUEST (for best poster) – Ludovic Bigot

Congratulations to all the recipients!


21 June 2012:

The 2012 GAC-MAC Annual Meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland was a great success!

The books have finally closed, so we are pleased to announce that the grand total number of participants was 904 of which 151 were students! An extremely well attended meeting from across the continent (and international attendees) with 499 oral and poster presentations.

If you did not attend, you missed a well organized, smoothly run and very informative conference. Many exciting sessions were offered on a variety of topics ranging from Appalachian tectonics to forensic geology. A dozen spectacular fieldtrips across Newfoundland rounded off the educational highlights of the meeting.

The intellectual offerings were well complemented with a great social calendar: lobster feast, gala banquet, pub crawl……………

Our thanks to co-chairs Alana Hinchey and Steve Piercey for their personal efforts and thanks also to the collective hard work of the entire local organizing committee and many volunteers!

You can still visit the 2012 GAC-MAC website ( for details on what was offered. And expect to read follow-up summaries of many activities in Geolog.


Thank you all for attending the GAC-MAC 2012 conference in St. John’s! It was a tremendous success. We are hoping to see you next year at the 2013 conference being held in Winnipeg.

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