April 2001

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Humor and a Sense of Adventure Are Key to Volunteering and Career

Public Affairs Officer

A long-time Outreach volunteer with a professional background that spans the length of the continent, Dale Mah, P.Geol., has a love of adventure that keeps him enthusiastic about his work and his volunteer activities. Dale graduated from the University of Alberta in 1996 and has since worked with the Geological Survey of Canada in Northern Ontario and with Cominco Exploration on its VMS properties in the the Yukon. Currently, he is Project Geologist with Rhonda Corporation in Calgary. With Rhonda, Dale has explored the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Oregon, the U.S. and Suriname, South America. Dale is one of APEGGA's many Outreach volunteers who really show students how much fun geology and the sciences can be.

Why did you join APEGGA?

I first became aware of APEGGA as a student, and as such enrolled as a student member. APEGGA gave me the opportunity to network and meet other geoscience professionals, as well as allowing me to get involved in community volunteer work.

Why did you choose to become involved with OUTREACH?

I wanted to go into the classrooms and show the children what geologists actually do, and to demonstrate how natural resources are utilized in everyday life. There's more to being a geologist than just "studying rocks."

What particular aspects of OUTREACH do you enjoy?

I love to see the reaction on children's faces when they open up the rock and mineral kits! The same can be said when I tell them that clay is used to treat diarrhea and is also an additive to thicken milkshakes! Not to mention that pumice is used in toothpaste!

What inspired you to become a geologist?

Geologists make a real difference in the world. Everything that cannot be grown must be mined (or drilled and pumped) and I wanted to be a part of that.

What do you most enjoy about your profession?

I really enjoy the field work. The idea that I may be the only human to walk in remote areas is inspiring and really puts things in perspective. I've travelled to all three territories in Canada, and have worked in all the provinces between (and including) British Columbia and Quebec. I have also met some great people working as a geologist and they have become valued friends.

What are some of your other hobbies and interests?

My dogs. I wish I could do everything with them, including taking them to work.

Do you have a personal motto?

"I Hate Black Flies." Anyone who has worked in the Canadian Shield can relate.

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