Terri-Jane Yuzda

A Rock Solid
Role Model


Albert Wegelin, P.Geol., received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Utrecht in his native Holland before moving to Canada in 1980. Originally trained as a hard rock geologist, specializing in the high-metamorphic Precambrian of Southern Norway, he switched to hydrocarbon exploration in the generally more porous and significantly younger environment of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. The 49-year-old's interests range from reservoir characterization to frontier exploration, and he is currently working for Pioneer Natural Resources Canada in Calgary.

Why do you volunteer with APEGGA?

I believe in promoting geology as a career or hobby, especially to younger kids. The Outreach program of APEGGA has the resources, a well-organized structure and network to link professionals with various educational institutions. In a more general sense it is important to communicate that a technical profession such as geology does not only provide a potentially lucrative career, but can also be an extremely interesting journey of discovery with many unexpected challenges and rewards.

What value do you get from being an APEGGA volunteer?

It's wonderful to see the excitement in a Grade 3 classroom when you show "just" an ordinary piece of granite. Curiosity has no limits at that age and I find that very motivating. It keeps me in touch with the basics that we so easily forget.

Communicating with children and young adults sharpens your presentation skills, which is helpful in your career.

Can you recall a particularly memorable volunteer experience?

Two particular events come to mind. Following a presentation on rocks and minerals a Grade 3 student asked me: "Where does the earth come from?" I'm sure that was not meant philosophically, but to answer that in 20 seconds was a bit of a challenge. At a junior high career fair a Grade 9 student, a girl, wondered: "If you have to travel a lot as a geologist (this was one of the interesting career aspects I mentioned), why are you married?"

Have you received an award or special recognition that is important to you?

My best reward over the years has been the many letters and drawings I received from school children.

Is there a person who has or had been helpful in your development as a professional?

My father, a telecommunication engineer, encouraged me all the way through university in Holland and was an inspiring example of professionalism. Unfortunately he passed away three months after I started my career in Canada in 1980.

What are your other hobbies and activities?

I much enjoy classical music and jazz. One career I (very) briefly considered
was musician. I play various keyboard instruments ranging from synthesizer to mechanical pipe organ (a.k.a. church organ). Woodworking is my latest fad and a few years ago I build my own harpsichord.

Sailing is high on my outdoor list, which includes biking and hiking.

Who is the one person in the world you admire the most and why?

I've always had great admiration for Andrei Sacharov. He died in 1989, but left a legacy of integrity, compassion and the willpower to speak out. His publication, Progress, Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom, and his Memoirs (I didn't understand most of the quantum physics chapter unfortunately) are a great testament of exceptional moral and intellectual development.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would love to travel through Russia: Start in St. Petersburg (culture/history) and end on the Kamchatka Peninsula (scenery, geology)

What is your favorite chemical?


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