Earth Sciences Newsletter - November 2015

Celebrating 62 Years of Exploration, Innovation and Discovery


Earth Sciences Newsletter Image

The Department of Earth Sciences at Carleton is thriving! Our enrolment continues to break records with 150 undergraduate and 50 graduate students, 50 minors and ~2400 students per year taking Earth Sciences courses for general interest.

We continue to value field courses as an important component of learning. On the February Bahamas trip, students studied caves, ponds, reefs, beaches, mangroves, tidal flats and dunes. In the spring, our second-year class participated in a two-week mapping field course in the Canadian Shield of Ontario, while our fourth-year focused on volcanism, tectonism, mineral deposits and geothermal energy systems in the southwestern United States. During the fall Nova Scotia trip, our third-year sedimentology class learned about the geological history of the Atlantic Provinces, and how to analyse sedimentary processes in modern settings and ancient rocks.

Students are engaged in geoscience outreach activities, such as visits to high schools.  This past summer we hosted our popular Teacher’s Workshop, where elementary and secondary school teachers attended workshops and field trips on teaching Geoscience.

The department renovation and rejuvenation project continues. We are excited about the completion of new student research and office spaces, new specialized research and teaching laboratories, and new meeting spaces. Please come and visit!

9th Annual "Explore Geoheritage Day," - October 18, 2015

9th Annual "Explore Geoheritage Day," - October 18, 2015

Rain or shine, Geoheritage Day is now a well-established annual event in the National Capital region! In partnership with the Ottawa Gatineau Geoheritage Project our 30 volunteers hosted >150 visitors. As well as our own Carleton Campus Rock Display and Department Sample Preparation Laboratory pet rock clinic, sites included Champlain Lookout, the famous Champlain Bridge Stromatolites, Hog’s Back Falls, Cardinal Creek Karst, Pinhey Sand Dunes, and Haycock Mine. Thanks to our student and staff volunteers as well as those from University of Ottawa’s Let’s Talk Science, the Ottawa Lapsmith and Mineral Club, the Cardinal Creek Community Association, Cantley 1889 and the Biodiversity Conservancy.

Top Fundraising Priorities: 2015-2016


Get Involved—Fundraising Priorities with Matching Opportunities

We invite alumni, individuals and corporations to get involved, whether mentoring students, establishing co-op opportunities or making a philanthropic gift. Our top fundraising priorities are the Endowed Research Chair in Economic Geology and the Undergraduate Honours Project Fund.

Research Chair in Economic Geology

The Research Chair in Economic Geology will be held by a senior internationally respected economic geologist with financial management experience. An endowment of $5 million is required to create this full-time faculty position in perpetuity. The university is contributing $2 million toward this goal. In conjunction with this initiative, we have a new Earth Sciences BSc Honours degree with a Concentration in Resource Valuation, offered in partnership with Carleton’s Sprott School of Business and Department of Economics. Please contact Sharon [dot] Carr [at] carleton [dot] ca for more information.

Undergraduate Honours Project Fund

We are building on our success of last fall where, via a web based Future Funder project, we raised $22,984 for the Undergraduate Honours Project Fund! Gifts to this priority will help fourth-year honours students gain advanced research experience. This includes field and/or lab work on such topics as: fossils (i.e. microfossils, fossil dinosaurs or mammals) and implications for evolution or paleogeography; resource geology; crystal growth, metamorphism and mountain building; volcanic rocks as geochemical tracers of Earth’s history; climatic and catastrophic volcanic events; natural vs. human contamination near mine sites; earthquake hazards; environmental studies; and contaminant hydrogeology.

Thanks to a generous estate gift, the university will match all donations to the Undergraduate Honours Project Fund up to a total of $100,000. Fifty percent of donations made on December 1st, Giving Tuesday, will be matched up to a cap of $50,000. Please consider making a donation to this fund an annual event.

Donate to the Honours Fund via Future Funder with 100% matching funding!


Student in the News

Marissa Davies visit to lab at Goethe-University Frankfurt

Marissa Davies studies foraminiferal biostratigraphy to understand the Late Cretaceous greenhouse climate. In September she visited Dr. Jens Herrle’s lab at Goethe-University Frankfurt to learn about sample preparation for total organic carbon content (TOC) and carbon isotope stratigraphy in support of her M.Sc. research.

Ian Beitz - Summer Cox Internship

Ian Beitz held the summer Cox Internship in Mineralogy at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Aylmer, and had a great experience in mineral and meteorite curation, and preparing samples for scanning electron microscope, microprobe and x-ray diffraction analyses.

Ashley Abraham

Ashley Abraham, a student in B.Sc. Combined Honours Earth Science and Chemistry Program and the winner of a Dean's Summer Research Internship worked with Dr. Brian Cousens in the Isotope Geochemistry and Geochronology Research Centre last summer. Rocks carry a geochemical fingerprint, and Ashley carried out chemistry and mass spectrometry to understand the origin of volcanic rocks on the north island of New Zealand.
For more stories about  Award Winners and the activities of students and researchers check out "Earth Science News" on our

Success Stories of Our Researchers

Natalia Rybczynski
Adjunct Research Professor Natalia Rybczynski was named one of Canadian Geographic’s 100 Greatest Modern Explorers in Canada.
Don Cummings
Congratulations to Adjunct Research Professor Don Cummings on his new book, "The Tide-Dominated Han River Delta, Korea: Geomorphology, Sedimentology and Stratigraphic Architecture."
George Dix
Professor George Dix headed a team of Science and Engineering researchers in acquiring a $150,000 NSERC grant for a new X-ray diffractometer for phase, structure, stress, and thin film analyses of earth and synthetic (inorganic, organic) materials. 
Richard Amos
Associate Professor Richard Amos and a team of Canadian researchers received a prestigious NSERC award for innovation. The award recognized the team’s formation of an academic-industry partnership. Working at the Diavik Diamond Mine, 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, the team develops methods to improve how mining companies manage waste rock.
Dr. Richard Ernst holding his new book, published by Cambridge University Press
Congratulations to Scientist-in-Residence Dr. Richard Ernst for his new book, “Large Igneous Provinces”.

Claudia Schroder-Adams
Professor Claudia Schröder-Adams is producing a documentary entitled, "Arctic Greenhouse" that follows the work of Carleton researchers and students in the Arctic. View Trailer.

Sharon CarrContact Information:
Sharon D. Carr, Professor
Chair of the Department of Earth Sciences,
2115 Herzberg Laboratories, Carleton University
Telephone: (613) 520 - 2600 Ext. 4417
Email: chair_earthsciences [at] carleton [dot] ca