for Sharing her Profession Makes APEGGA Volunteer Pamela Strand a Real
BY STACEY ANDREWS
Public Affairs Officer
Pamela Strand, P.Geol., is the current President and CEO of Shear Minerals
Ltd., a junior mining/diamond exploration company actively exploring in
several Canadian provinces, including Alberta, and the Northwest and Nunavut
territories, as well as Alaska. Pam has more than 10 years of experience
in the mining and exploration industry, and has also worked for the federal
government as a district geologist in Yellowknife during one of Canada's
largest staking rushes in 1993/94.
Besides volunteering for the Outreach program, Pam is a member of the
APEGGA University of Alberta Student Liaison Committee, as well as president
of the Edmonton Geological Society and a eirector on the Northwest Territories
and Nunavut Chamber of Mines.
What inspired you to become a geologist?
I have always loved rocks, since I was a little girl. In school I enjoyed
science and math, then found out that I could make a career out of it.
Geology is the study of our Earth and is a multidisciplinary science that
takes portions of physics, biology, chemistry, math and others and rolls
them into one. Most people do not realize that certain branches of geology
and earth science deal with the environment, the atmosphere, climate change,
and groundwater studies, to name a few.
Why did you choose to become involved with Outreach?
I became involved in Outreach because I believe that each one of us has
a duty to give something back to our industry. What better opportunity
to do this than with our next geoscientists. I believe this philosophy
makes the future better for everyone who participates and through APEGGA
many opportunities are available to the professional members. Outreach
allows us to contact a broader audience and to educate the general public
about geology, mining etc. Geoscience is a very integral part of all our
daily lives, and most people do not realize that almost everything we
use comes from the earth i.e.: paint, toilets, toothpaste, coffee whitener,
lipstick, cars, jewelry, oil, gas etc. Without mining we would not be
able to live the lives we do.
What particular aspects of Outreach do you enjoy?
I enjoy the interaction with people of all ages, especially the younger
school children. Their enthusiastic participation in rock and mineral
discussions and presentations is fun. If a class knows that a geologist
is visiting, they often bring a rock for me to identify. I can tell them
where it came from, how it formed and its significance.
Do you have any funny or weird Outreach stories?
Most of the activities I cover in my Outreach activities include hands
on participation. The latest activity I did was with a group of Grade
6 girls at a Choices conference. We did a cake activity where we hid different
coloured cake pieces within a cake to simulate geological formations,
covered by icing to hide them. The students had a budget and had to plan
a drill program using transparent straws to drill the cake and map the
features. The girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves and had never realized
how hard and expensive the exploration industry could be. We had cake
and icing everywhere!
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
What I enjoy about my profession is the fun. The geology industry has
given me the opportunity to travel to many remote regions that I would
not have otherwise seen, and during my exploration days in the bush to
work outside everyday. I have the opportunity to meet many unique and
diverse people, and the camaraderie in various jobs has been strong. Also,
it is the lure of finding gold or diamonds that keeps us going, always
in search of the big discovery! That is the exciting part. It takes time
and money and knowledge, as well as eternal optimism to persist in this
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies include gardening, scuba diving, boating and hiking.
What is your personal
Always have fun and continue to learn.