February, 2000

WIUGC Y2K A Hit With Students…

By Stacey Andrews

APEGGA was an active sponsor at the 2000 Western Inter-University Geological Conference, hosted from Jan. 13-16 by the University of Calgary. Nearly 300 geoscience students from across Western Canada and beyond gathered at The Westin Hotel to present research abstracts, discuss issues in geoscience, and have fun.

This annual event is aimed at increasing student interest and participation in the geoscience disciplines. The conference carries a venerable 35 years of tradition and prestige, and WIUGC 2000 proved to be no exception.

"The quality of student presentations this year was phenomenal," says third-year geology student and planning committee member Gwen Gill. "Presenters contributed a lot to this year's conference."

Student research topics ranged from petroleum accumulation and entrapment to analysis of groundwater chemicals and whether or not a geologist could become the next Bill Gates. Top presenter was Gavin Chan, an undergraduate at the University of Victoria who discussed his work with ophiolites.

Conference highlights included a career fair where students were encouraged to meet and talk to industry professionals about expectations and opportunities in the new millenium.

"I'm pumped," enthused honours geophysics student Paul Hausmanis. "It is amazing to talk to people in this field who are excited about what's happening… and who can offer advice about finding work."

Organizers deemed the fair a huge success. "The diversity of geoscience was well represented," said Gwen Gill. Participating representatives included a variety of senior oil and gas companies, petrologists, environmental geologists and professional associations.

Students were also given the opportunity to socialize as several social mixers punctuated the more scholarly business. The event was capped by dinner and dance which featured an inspiring speech by APEGGA member Mike O' Connor, P.Eng., P.Geoph., of O'Connor Associates.

WIUGC Planning Committee Chair Ryan Mitton extends his thanks to all of the students, as well professional members and organizations, for their support.

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