Graduates of programs in the Department of Earth Sciences work in varied career paths including in environmental assessment/consulting, mineral and resources exploration, mining geology, groundwater monitoring, geological consultancy for construction, geological and planetary research, and many others. Some of our alumni have shared their stories with us and you can read them here.
BSc (Honours) Environmental Geosciences Co-op with a Minor in Physical Geography (2017)
I chose the Environmental Geoscience Co-op program at Brock University as I had a love for science and geography, and greatly enjoyed being outdoors. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Brock, and made many lifelong friends in the Earth Science Department. In my second co-op I was placed with the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) as a Tides, Currents and Water Levels Assistant. This was truly a life-changing placement for me, but more on that later… The Environmental Geoscience program was unique in that there were a number of multidisciplinary courses you could take. Interesting courses too! I learned about fossils and crystal structure, lichens and tree rings, geography and environmental assessments, among many other interesting topics. After 5 years of studying and multiple co-op placements, I graduated with BSc (Honours) in Environmental Geoscience (Co-op Option), with a minor in Geography.
After I graduated I was hired on contract with the Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program, and also with the Watershed Hydrology Ecology Research Division (both are different facets of the Federal Government). A year after I graduated I was hired full-time as a Multidisciplinary Hydrographer with the Canadian Hydrographic Service, the very same team that I completed my co-op with. As a Hydrographer I am part of a team that maps oceans, lakes and river bottoms, we also process data, update nautical charts, and monitor and measure water levels across central Canada and the Arctic. I likely would not have this rewarding career if it were not for Brock University and its awesome Co-op Program, and I encourage other outdoor-enthusiasts to look into the different programs the Earth Science Department has to offer.
Samantha Beatty, P.Geo, BSc
BSc Environmental Geoscience (2016)
Environmental Geoscientist at Terrapex Environmental
I am an Environmental Geoscientist currently working for an environmental consulting company in Toronto. I conduct Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments and remedial activities for contaminated sites in Ontario.
I completed the Environmental Geoscience program at Brock University in 2016. The program provided me with all of the courses and academic requirements needed for me to easily acquire my Professional Geoscientist status after four years of working in the field. The program is a great mix of hands-on experience and academic research. During Field Camp and other field trips over the years, I learned that I loved working outside, no matter the weather, and continue to thoroughly enjoy it today. I use the knowledge I learned during my degree, such as rock and soil identification and groundwater hydrology, almost every day for my job and it also has a huge impact on my ability to train and develop junior field technicians.
My experience at Brock and in the Earth Science Department was amazing and I highly recommend both the program and the University to everyone.
Joycelyn Smith graduated from Brock University’s BSc Earth Science (Honours) degree in spring 2013. While at Brock, she completed an undergraduate thesis with Professor Frank Fueten titled “Measuring Planar features within Valles Marineris, Mars, using CTX DTM’s through Orion software package”, was employed as a Teaching Assistant for Structural Geology, and showcased her work at a national-scale conference. She was provided great exposure to interesting geological, environmental and planetary topics, which lead her to develop a passion in structural geology explored by her thesis work. The Earth Science program offered a uniquely intimate environment for learning which allowed her build close bonds with classmates and department faculty. Through these connections, she pursued an MSc in Structural Geology focused on the combined structural and geochemical study of an auriferous sheeted vein system associated with the intrusion-related Côté Gold deposit.
She began her career as a Field Geologist at the Côté Gold Project and nearby exploration properties for IAMGOLD between 2012 and 2018, where she gained extensive experience in conducting research, field work, and executing drilling programs. In 2018 she joined SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc., and is a Senior Consultant in Resource Geology in their Toronto office. Her career involves creating 3D geological models, analyzing the geostatistics of ore deposits, performing mineral resource estimations, reviewing database management and analytical quality control data, and contributing to and co-authoring numerous NI 43-101 technical reports. Her work involves performing site visits to exploration and mining stage projects all around the world.
Joycelyn considers the connections and knowledge that she gained at Brock as invaluable to her career today.
Joycelyn Smith, P.Geo, MSc
BSc Earth Sciences (2013)
Senior Resource Consultant (Resource Geology) at SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc.
Tom Proks, P. Geo, BSc (2012)
Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Source Water Protection and Hydrogeology Specialist at Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
I started at Brock University straight out of high school in the Earth Sciences program because it was my favourite of the science classes. At that time, I did not have any idea what I would do with my degree, but I enjoyed what I was learning so I enrolled in the co-op program to get some exposure to real world applications for Earth Sciences. My first placement had me relocating to Calgary to work for the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) and after a successful first placement I was able to stay on for another 4-month term. Most of my time at the GSC was spent in the office assisting the geologists with research projects, digitizing old files, photos and maps, as well as some independent research projects. The highlight of the placement was the summer field experience in Norman Wells, Northwest Territories where we were tasked with updating the bedrock geological maps surrounding Norman Wells. This involved daily helicopter trips to different locations to identify the geologic formations and collecting samples for further analysis (i.e., microfossils and geochemistry). My last work term had me relocate to Northern Ontario to work at a gold mine. My tasks there mostly included core-logging for the exploration team to identify the mineral rich zones that were being targeted for mining.
Once my degree was complete, I felt there were a lot of options available to me including continuing with graduate studies or relocating for work elsewhere. I ended up securing a position with a Toronto based geophysics company that had me running their equipment at various locations across Canada. I was able to work in numerous settings including underground mines, mining exploration camps and large scale construction projects. After about two years, there was a lull in the market and work was not as steady, and my partner and I were thinking about starting a family. Understanding that remote work was not conducive to family life and with the idea of still utilizing my degree in Earth Sciences, I opted to switch to the environmental field and returned to school to get a graduate certificate from Niagara College in Environmental Management and Assessment. After this 8-month program, I was able to get a position at Golder Associates (now owned by WSP) where I worked as an Environmental Scientist for 3 years. Most of my duties were field related, collecting soil and water samples for laboratory analysis. All of this led me to my current position with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, which I have been at for almost 4 years now. I now work as the Source Water Protection and Hydrogeology Specialist for the authority and am responsible for managing the Source Protection Program and commenting on hydrogeological matters on behalf of the Authority. I have been exposed to a variety of different career options that are available to those pursuing an education in Earth Sciences or Geology, and I have enjoyed all of my past experiences. The other thing I will mention is that because I followed the course calendar for the Earth Science program during my time at Brock, I was able to easily apply for the Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) designation as issued by Professional Geoscientists Ontario (PGO). I received my designation during my time at Golder and I believe it has been beneficial in advancing my career.
Kelsey Proks, BSc (2010)
Combined major Earth Sciences & Geography
Environmental Specialist at EXP Global Inc.
Having been born and raised in St. Catharines, Brock University was an easy choice after high school as I wanted to stay close to home. Physical Geography was one of my favourite subjects in high school and I loved the outdoor aspect of the class and knew that Earth Sciences would be a great fit. I initially was in the Earth Science program but switched into a combined major of Earth Sciences and Geography. During my time at Brock I got to experience many outdoor labs and field trips, the most exciting being the field camp class trip to Alaska. There was also a field class in Geography, which took me to Kawarthas (Peterborough). Through the Geography program I was able to complete a work placement at an engineering consulting firm called Amec (now Wood). During my time at Amec I got to participate in jobs both in the office and field– something that was really important to me. Through that placement I learned more about how important it is to have your Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo) designation, therefore I decided to return to Brock after graduation to complete the courses I needed in order to obtain that designation. Currently I am in the process of obtaining that designation which I believe is extremely important in order to advance my career in the consulting world.
After completing my degree in Earth Sciences and Geography I started working for Fladgate Exploration Consulting Corporation out of Thunder Bay. The amazing thing about this job at Fladgate was that it was a fly-in/fly-out position at various gold mines across Canada. Meaning, I could live at home and my company would fly me to and from work for 3-week rotations. My first job was in Hope Bay, Nunavut logging exploration core on a frozen lake. Then it took me to Bissett, Manitoba where I was logging production core for a gold mine that was over 100 years old. My last and longest job was in Timmins, Ontario, again logging production core for a gold mine. During my time at Fladgate I got the opportunity to tour two underground mines and also fly in a helicopter.
After my time at Fladgate, gold took a hit in the market and so did my career. After months of looking for another opportunity I decided to continue my education and completed the post-graduate certificate in Environmental Management and Assessment at Niagara College. This led to my current career at EXP Services, an engineering and environmental consulting firm in Stoney Creek. Just like my time at Brock, this job allows a great balance of office work and field work. I’m responsible for the completion of environmental studies/reports and field work components associated with Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) as well remediation activities. I am also involved in field applications including geotechnical and hydrogeology jobs. Phase I ESA is used to report any potential contaminating activities (PCAs) on Site or surrounding the properties and is basically a historical report on the property. while the Phase II ESA usually includes the collection of soil and groundwater samples by various means including but not limited to borehole drilling and monitoring well installation, test pitting etc.
I’m proud to have completed my degree in Earth Sciences and Geography at Brock and know that it brought me to so many amazing opportunities across Canada.
BSc Earth Sciences (Honours) (2019)
Junior CPT Technician, Gregg Drilling LLC
I graduated from Brock in 2019 with a BSc. in Earth Sciences. Over four years at Brock I was able to pursue my passion for geology and earth processes. I was specifically interested in glacial geology and loved learning anything about my home province of British Columbia. After graduating in 2019 I moved back to BC to join a company based out of Prince George that specializes in In-Situ soils testing using different drilling methods.
Over the course of four years after graduation I have been able to apply the skills and knowledge in field work across Canada and the United States. I work for Gregg Drilling and Testing Canada LTD which specializes in CPT (Cone Penetration Testing) and many other drilling and sampling methods. My interest in glacial geology has been specifically important in my career, because over 80% of the field work I do is related to glacial geological processes. My job offers me unique experiences such as seeing some of the most beautiful parts of Canada, meeting interesting people across the world, and collecting data related to mining, environmental, construction, and pipeline projects across North America. I would strongly recommend that any student interested in working outdoors and travelling take the Earth Sciences program at Brock University as it has played an integral role in my professional growth and success.
Dylan Cochrane, P. Geo, M.Sc.
B.Sc. (Honours) Earth Sciences (2015)
Exploration Geologist at Probe Gold Inc.
I transferred into the Earth Sciences program at Brock not entirely sure what to expect or what I wanted to pursue as a career. I knew that I needed a change and had a passing interest in geology, so I decided to give it a shot. Right away the program reinvigorated the desire for learning that I thought I had lost. The small class sizes allowed me to get to know fellow geoscience students at varying stages of their studies and enabled me to establish relationships with professors and teaching assistants that would have not been possible in larger departments.
After completing my B.Sc. (Honours) I built upon the educational foundation in geosciences that Brock provided me to pursue an M.Sc. at another University. As part of this research, I performed several months of field work on a superbly exposed sedimentary succession in the Cariboo Mountains of eastern British Columbia. Upon the completion of my studies, I moved to Val-d’Or, Québec to pursue a career as a geologist in mineral exploration, which was so in demand that I received several job offers within a week of the submission of my M.Sc. thesis. The knowledge and tools that I gained during my time at Brock enabled me to make a smooth transition into the industry and allowed me to keep progressing and take on increased responsibility. With Probe Gold I currently work on a team that does the resource and geological modelling on their flagship Novador project and I am also the exploration manager on one of our nearby grassroots properties.