Earth Science Ring: Made in Alberta
Philippe Erdmer, P.Geol. and Edward S. Krebes, P.Geoph.
Earth science ring ceremony, a ritual of welcome into
the profession of newly qualified geologists and geophysicists
by senior practicing Earth scientists, started in Alberta
in 1975. This yearly tradition for the university geoscience
graduating classes at Edmonton and Calgary has spread
to other provinces and jurisdictions in Canada. The
ceremony carries many of the same passages written by
Kipling for the Engineers' iron ring ceremony and symbolizes
the commitment and responsibility that come with wearing
the title of a professional.
Like the engineer’s iron ring, the Earth science ring’s
simplicity and strength bear witness to the calling
of the geologist and geophysicist. The ring is made
of silver and marked with the crossed hammer of geology
and with the seismic trace of geophysics - signifying
both the immediate and the remote searching out of Nature's
knowledge. Without beginning and without end, it also
represents for those who wear it the continuous interplay
of ideas and of material realities.
ceremony includes a charge (speech) by senior Earth
scientists and an obligation (pledge) taken by the group
of newly graduated geologists and geophysicists. The
charge reads in part: "We tell you here that you
will encounter no difficulty, doubt, danger, defeat,
humiliation or triumph in your career which has not
already fallen to the lot of others in your calling...".
The obligation includes the words: "I will
not pass, ... false information or too casual interpretations
in my work as an Earth scientist. My time I will not
refuse, my thought I will not grudge; my care I will
not deny towards the honour, use, stability and perfection
of any project to which I may be called to set my hand.
... My reputation in my calling I will guard honourably
.... I will strive my uttermost against professional
jealousy and the belittling of my co-workers in any
field of their labour."
a lighter note, following the obligation, new ring bearers
are reminded that "From now on, we surrender
to you what lies under the earth, and the tools to interpret
or misinterpret. Sooner or later, you will drill the
holes that bring no return, lose the vein in which lie
extra riches and reputation, misinterpret the signal
from the depths. This will equally baffle, bewilder
and break your heart to your professional and personal
an Earth science ring is neither a prerequisite nor
a later condition of professional membership with APEGGA.
Although there is no obligation to obtain or wear a
ring, it is significant that almost no one in the graduating
classes willingly misses the ceremony. In addition,
the ceremony is not strictly a graduation event as it
has occasionally included already practicing geologists
and geophysicists in Alberta who express the wish to
receive a ring. Like the iron ring of the obligated
engineer, the Earth science ring is a symbol of values
that lie at the core of our individual beings and of
the trust placed in us by society.
Ed Krebes, P.Geoph. - U of C - (403) 220-5028, fax (403)
284-0074, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Replacement Earth Ring - Tany's Jewellery - (403) 286-6643
- PS Warren Geological Society
and/or Philippe Erdmer, P.Geol.
Contact Society for replacements
U of A Undergraduate Geophysics Society (UAUGS) -
Dept. of Physics Office
and/or Doug Schmitt, P.Geoph -
Contact Society for replacements