Archive of news from 2011

Fletcher Club visits Pioneer Club
On 10 November, members of the Fletcher Geology Club participated in the Kentville Salvation Army Pioneer Club activities, taking their expertise to identify rocks collected by the Pioneers, and showing them some of their own collections. Here Amy, Kacper, Kevin and Raya wield the tools of the trade, while the Pioneers display meteorites and fossils.
16 November 2011

E&ES Students Lead Charge in Loney Bowl


Congratulations to Kyle Graves, Stu Clow, Kirby Fletcher, Nabil Shawwa and the rest of the Acadia Axemen football team, the 2011 Subway Loney Bowl champions!  Kyle, the AUS player of the year, rushed for 3 touchdowns and was 12-of-16 passing for 170 yards in the Axemen’s decisive 39 to 20 win against the Saint Mary’s Huskies.  Stu led the air by catching 4 passes for 96 yards.  Way to go guys!  We’re proud of you and all of our varsity athletes.
14 November 2011

ESSO Morton Centre Trip
This past weekend ESSO (Environmental Science Student's Organization) visited the Morton Centre, the department field research station, located near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The trip was a success, introducing new students and reacquainting old ones with the property and the vision of the Morton Centre and in the spirit of Halloween a pumpkin was carved too!

Standing with the pumpkin: Nicole, Dewey, Erin, Randal and Drake
31 October 2011

Seasonal sights in Huggins halls





Encountered late on Friday afternoon on the third floor were Jack and Sally, preparing for a night haunting town. Rumour has it that Drake and Amy were involved in this charade.
28 October 2011 

Congratulations to Dewey and Mariella - double winners at the AUGC

Ten senior students attended the 61st Atlantic Universities Geoscience Conference, held 20-22 October 2011 in Memorial University, St. John's, NL.  After a Meet & Greet session and the CSEG Challenge Bowl on Thursday night (and no doubt a first visit to George St.), the conference participants took part in field trips to various parts of the Avalon Peninsula, including Signal Hill, Bell Island, Flat Rock and (via the core lab) the Jeanne d'Arc Basin.  Saturday was the conference proper, with 17 papers and 4 posters presented.  Winner of the Poster Award was Mariella Nalepa, an honours student in Geology at Acadia, for a poster on "Investigation of the form and age of the Bloody Creek Crater, southwestern Nova Scotia", and winner of the APICS (Science Atlantic)-NSERC Award was Dewey Dunnington, honours in Environmental Science, for his paper on "Tracking Late Holocene Environmental Change at Long Lake, New Brunswick-Nova Scotia Border Region, Canada".



Acadia students at the AUGC: Kacper, Amy, Allie, Dewey, Christianne, Mariella, Drew, Vince, Raoul and Andrew.


[Click on photo for larger image.]
25 October 2011

Visiting student, Aranzazu Bulnes

tl_files/sites/ees/Images/news/aranza.jpgAranzazu Bulnes Beniscelli, a graduate student at the Universidad de Chile, Santiago is visiting the department for the month of October to learn about and undertake the lithogeochemical aspects of her M.Sc. thesis. Aranzazu is co-supervised by Dr. Cliff Stanley (Acadia) and Dr. Brian Townley (Universidad de Chile), and is studying the geochemistry, mineralogy, fluids, timing, and genesis of early, dark, micaceous (EDM) veins within the Radomir Tomic porphyry copper mine. Her study area located just north of the famous Chuquicamata copper mine in the Atacama desert, Chile, and is supported by Corporacion Nacional del Cobre (CODELCO). Join us in saying 'Hola' to Aranzazu!
12 October 2011

Acadia students attend 2011 IMPACT
tl_files/sites/ees/Images/news/impact2011.jpgMonica Reed and Kelli Armstrong, two students in Environmental Science, recently attended the 2011 IMPACT sustainability conference in Guelph, Ontario. Monica writes:
"The 2011 IMPACT Sustainability Conference was an incredible weekend full of learning, engaging, and connecting. It was an educational and empowering event that I will draw inspiration from throughout the course of my life. The conference metamorphosed my views on sustainability, shedding light which has allowed me to see the feasibility of sustainable societies. I learned about business, and social sustainability, areas I have not focused on much previously. I was also able to share my knowledge pertaining to environmental sustainability, as well as enhance it. The speakers, academics, and industry professionals contributed hugely to the success of the conference. I would have to say that the most inspiring aspect of the conference was connecting with the other 164 attendees. Gathered together was a group of young people from across Canada who all share my passion for the natural environment and sustainability within our society. Seeing others who are so devoted and successful, each in their own right, was truly lifting. We now have a cross country network of peers which we can all look to for advice, ideas, and inspiration."

Read Kelli's news release and her comments about IMPACT 2011.
1 October 2011

Paul Hoffman, Huggins Science Speaker 2011
tl_files/sites/ees/Images/news/hoffman.jpgThe Department was honoured to host Dr. Paul Hoffman as the 2011 Huggins Science Speaker. Dr. Hoffman has worked at the Geological Survey of Canada, the University of Victoria, and Harvard University, and now lives in Victoria. His expertise ranges from extensive mapping of the Canadian Shield, to international field work where he has unravelled the story of the Precambrian Snowball Earth, to most recently investigations into the history of Geology, surrounding the discovery of Ice Ages. He presented a riveting lecture on the Snowball Earth to an audience of about 150 in Huggins Science Hall on 26 September, and thoroughly researched lecture on the 19th century Diluvian Controversy to the department on 27 September. Made possible by the estate of Charles Huggins, graduate of Acadia, and eminent medical researcher, and recipient of a Nobel Prize, the Huggins Science Seminar is offered each year and rotates around disciplines in the faculty.
28 September 2011

Fletcher Club crosses the Minas Channel
On 16-18 September, the Fletcher Club, led by Kacper Halama and Rob Raeside, ably assisted by Andrew Fage and Christiane Theriault visited the breath-taking shores of the Parrsboro side of the Minas Channel, and the Joggins outcrops at Chignecto Bay. In spectacular warm and sunny weather we enjoyed the beaches and sea-stacks at Wassons Bluff and Clark Head, not to mention the breccias, conglomerates, gypsum veins, gneiss and basalt, before visiting the magnificent outcrops of mud-cracked and ripple-marked sandstone at West Bay:

Fletcher Club group photo under the ripple marks at West Bay (click to see the ripple marks)

Most of the group joined Christianne and Dewey who performed at the River Hebert community singalong on Saturday night, before retiring to prepare for an early tide-sensitive start at Cape d'Or, which was serene in the early morning sunlight with a calm-as-a-millpond ocean. The remainder of the trip took us to Joggins, where we got the full two-hour tour by Christiane from the clam coal south of the visitor centre to the Lepidodendron log jam to the north, followed by a tour of the museum as well as behind the scenes. It was a perfect weekend for a visit to some world-famous localities. Watch the video by Drake Tymstra on this field trip.
19 September 2011

Fletcher Club hike to Cape Split
Students in Earth and Environmental Science participated in a hike to Cape Split. In brilliant clear weather they enjoyed the trail, with spectacular views at the point. Here the assembled crew cooperated for a group shot.

[full size photo available here]

Excitement ensued when the Canadian Navy decided to pay a visit. The helicopter came by, landed right by the group, out jumped the pilot to photograph them (wonder who they were looking for?), and took off again:

12 September 2011

Ancient Oceans Offer Key to Extraterrestrial Secrets
Acadia Earth & Environmental Science Department professor Peir Pufahl leads a team of NASA scientists on a rock hunting expedition to learn more about space. Reported in
16 August 2011

Geological Association of Canada Distinguished Service Award to Sandra Barr
Sandra Barr’s service to the Canadian geoscience community was acknowledged on May 24th, 2011, in Ottawa when she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Geological Association of Canada.  Sandra is a long-standing member of the GAC, which she joined in 1970 when she was still a graduate student at the University of British Columbia.  She reached the highest role in the Association by serving as President in 2004-2005.  Under her leadership GAC explored new relationships within the Canadian geoscience community, which led to the creation of the Canadian Federation of Earth Science.  She is currently special advisor to the GAC President and also serves as GAC's Book Editor.  In that role she has brought a number of important projects to fruition, such as the latest edition of the highly successful Geotext “Facies Models”. The award also acknowledged Sandra’s many other roles in geoscience, including her service as editor (since 1986) of the journal “Atlantic Geology”.  [Photo by Olga Ijewliw]
30 June 2011

Linda Lusby retires from Acadia
photo by L Graves

On 16 June, Linda Lusby was one of a dozen professors recognised at the Annual Summer Assembly, upon the occasion of her retirement from teaching. She has taught at Acadia since 1983, and in his remarks about her, Rob Raeside noted she has given over 40 different courses across three faculties, taught all the courses offered in Environmental Science, and worn the greatest variety of shoes in doing so (according to one of her teaching evaluations!) Linda was our first professor in Environmental Science, upon its establishment in 1995, and was the first chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, when it formed in 2007. Outside Acadia, she was the first Nova Scotian to chair the Standards Council of Canada, and for a while maintained an office overlooking Parliament in Ottawa, and an office overlooking the back door of Elliott Hall at Acadia, as she commuted almost weekly between Ontario and Nova Scotia.
     Linda has nurtured over 170 graduates through the Environmental Science program, has taught over 1500 students in various ENVS courses, and regularly obtains glowing comments about how she has opened students minds to the impact of the environment, science and society on each other.
17 June 2011

Mercury Research at Kejimkujik National Park

Researchers are studying the loons that make the lakes at Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park their home. It’s important research which has implications for everybody. Heidi Petrasek of Breakfast Television sat down with Dr. Nelson O'Driscoll, who is tracking the increasing levels of mercury being found in the park’s fish and loons. See the whole interview at this link.
6 June 2011

2011 Graduates Celebrate
 A total of 27 graduates who have graced the halls of Huggins and KCIC this past few (or several) years graduated in May:
MSc (Geology): Pizye Nankamba, Jean-Luc Pilote, David Swanton, Robert Treat, Matthew Tucker
BSc (Honours, Environmental Science): Emily Beveridge, Amy Buckland-Nicks, Jennie Pick, David Terry
BSc (Honours Geology): Leah Chiste, Jon Gates, Luke Marshall
BSc (Environmental Science): Melissa Cull, Mike Kennah, Destin Lau, Dawei Song
BSc (Geology): Kite Akpughe, Dwight DeMerchant, Neda Dokic, Stephanie Friedrich, Nate Hinsperger, Graeme Hovey, Osas Izebhokun, Afiqah Mohamad Radzi, Laurie Morin, Matt Philbrick, Matt Pitts.
Congratulations to all, and especially to Jennie Pick and Stephanie Friedrich, the recipients of the University Medals in Environmental Science and Geology, respectively. Jennie also received the Chipman Medal, in recognition of her overall average, closest to that of the Governor-General's medallist.

Pictured above a happy trio - Laurie Morin, Stephanie Friedrich and Neda Dokic.
17 May 2011

Neville Crasto defends his thesis

tl_files/sites/ees/Images/people/neville_09.jpgMSc Applied Geomatics graduate student defended his thesis on "Hydrological Feature Delineation and Water Level Estimation in the Mackenzie Delta, NWT, Using Digital Terrain Analyses on Airborne LIDAR-Derived Data" on Tuesday, 11 May. The examining committee consisted of Don Forbes, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, as external examiner, Peir Pufahl as internal reader and Ian Spooner and Chris Hopkinson (AGRG, Middleton), co-supervisors. Despite a last minute sudden abbreviation of his 45 minute presentation into the 15 minute window allowed, Neville did a good job of outlining the problem of identifying fluvial geomorphology in a remote region, and handled his questioners well.
14 May 2011


Field Schools 2011

Spring field schools are now done - students in Environmental Science and Geology programs have spent two weeks exploring the province, learning and measuring their environment and the rocks under their feet, and discovering new skills like river walking and ledge sitting.


 The whole class (Environmental Science + Geology schools) at the start near Fall Brook.


The Geology field course perched high above the Arisaig shoreline on a rhyolite plug. [Click on images for larger versions.]
9 May 2011

Geology graduate student awarded Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarship

MSc student Donnelly Archibald was awarded the Kenneth R Stiles Memorial Scholarship, made possible by the Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation and Hockey Canada's Officiating Program of Excellence.  The award winners have demonstrated officiating excellence while maintaining a commitment to their post-secondary education.  The photograph shows Donnelly officiating during the Canada Winter Games in Halifax in February, 2011.  In his academic life, Donnelly's MSc thesis project on the West Barneys River Plutonic Suite in the Antigonish Highlands is co-supervised by Dr. Sandra Barr (Acadia) and Dr. Brendan Murphy (St. Francis Xavier).
9 May 2011

Campus Environmental Leadership Award to Linda Lusby

The Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ESST) Student Society has awarded Linda Lusby the Campus Environmental Leadership Award, which honours an outstanding person (student, faculty or staff) who has shown dedication to at least one environmental initiative on campus. A fruit tree will be planted adjacent to the Acadia Farm in her name.
Linda has been a dedicated member of the Acadia University staff for over 25 years, working in the Environmental Science Program. She helped make the Environmental Science degree what it is today by steadfastly helping and caring for Environmental Science students.
She holds potlucks for Environmental Science students at her house every year and has always gone above and beyond her duties to make sure that her students get the best education that they deserve. She has participated and helped many local sustainable groups/activities to promote the value of local economy in the region.
Linda is retiring this year, which means that many current and future students will miss out on her wonderful personality and excellent classes. By naming a seedling after her, a part of her will never leave Acadia campus and ensure that she is always remembered.
29 April 2011

Two graduate thesis defences in two days

Monday and Tuesday, 19 and 20 April were D-day for Jean-Luc Pilote and Robert Treat. Both graduate students were studying with Sandra Barr in opposite end of New Brunswick. Jean-Luc's thesis, "Petrology, petrogenesis, tectonic implications and economic potential of the Landry Brook and Dickie Brook plutons, northern New Brunswick, Canada" investigated the varied chemistry and origin of three sets of plutonic rocks west of Bathurst, and was examined by Reg Wilson, from the Bathurst office of the NB Dept. Natural Resources and by David McMullin as internal reader.  Robert's thesis, "A structural and petrological study of the Partridge Island block and adjacent areas, southern New Brunswick" was concerned with correlations, ages and deformation of rocks in the Saint John area. It was examined by Dr. Nick Culshaw, from Dalhousie, and Rob Raeside as internal examiner. We were also pleased to have Robert's co-supervisor, Adrian Park, UNB, participate in the defence.
    Both students gave presentations on their findings, and handled the rounds of examining committee questions well. Both students will graduate at the May convocation.
22 April 2011

Jean-Luc Pilote
Robert Treat

End of term - time to celebrate
It's the end of the winter term - that lull between classes and papers and the start of exams. A time to celebrate a term of lessons learned, projects finished, and courses completed. The Earth and Environmental Science Department celebrated at the Curling Club - about 80 students and faculty gathered to watch the year gone by, acknowledge the prize winners and scholarship recipients through the year, and to thank the club executives and the professors for a year well run.


Recognised as prize winners and scholarship recipients (left to right): Jennie Pick, Jon Gates, Stephanie Friedrich, Laurie Morin, Neda Đokic, Leah Chiste and Drew MacPhail.

This year we also celebrated the imminent retirement of Prof Linda Lusby - after 28 years in several roles at Acadia, but most notably as the person who was the face of the Environmental Science program, Linda was acknowledged by the senior class (from left to right: Jennie Pick, David Terry, Amy Buckland-Nicks, Melissa Cull, Alison Healey, Dewey Dunnington, Emily Beveridge, Linda Lusby and Stu Clow).
photo from Allie Healey, 8 April 2011

tl_files/sites/ees/Images/people/darchibald.jpgTravel Grant for Donnelly Archibald to attend national conference
Donnelly Archibald, a MSc student in Earth and Environmental Science, has received a travel grant from the Mineralogical Association of Canada to assist with his expenses in attending the annual meeting of the Geological and Mineralogical Associations of Canada in Ottawa, May 24-27.  Donnelly will be presenting a poster at the conference based on his MSc thesis project "Revised bedrock geology of the southern Antigonish Highlands, Nova Scotia, Canada".  His work is co-supervised by Sandra Barr (Acadia) and Brendan Murphy (St. Francis Xavier).  In his award letter, Donnelly was informed that competition for the grant was very stiff this year but that his application was rated highly by all members of the evaluation committee.

A visit to meet Sue, the TRex

The History of Life class went to Halifax to visit Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil ever discovered, at the Nova Scotia Museum. Here the class poses with Sue, who seems to be taking a bite out of Patrick Englehardt’s shoulder.
25 March 2011

APICS Environmental Conference, Dalhousie University
The APICS Environmental conference was held at Dalhousie on 11-12 March - representing Acadia were Dr. Nelson O'Driscoll, Emily Beveridge, Jennie Pick, Amy Buckland-Nicks and Allison Healey. Three concurrent sessions for Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture and Environmetal Science were hosted this year. One of the highlights of the environmental studies session was a plenary talk by Dr. John Smol who overviewed his pioneering work in the development of paleolimnological techniques. Dr. Smol demonstrated how complicated effects such as acidification in Nova Scotia lakes can be recorded and quantified into the distant past using diatom markers in lake sediments.
25 March 2011

Environmental Science thesis defences
tl_files/sites/ees/Images/news/vglass.jpgFour students in Environmental Science recently defended their theses successfully. Shown here after the successful double-header defence in the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre are Emily Beveridge (second from left) and Jennie Pick (right), both supervised by Linda Lusby (standing between the students). External examiner for Jennie's thesis was Dr. Vimy Glass (left), a graduate of Acadia's Environmental Science class of 1997, who now works as a research scientist for the Department of Agriculture in Truro. Also defending in the past few days were Amy Buckland-Nicks and David Terry. The topics of their theses can be found on our thesis page.
21 March 2011

Sara Akin participates in Trinidad field course
Over the study break the Petroleum Field Methods course, led by Dr. Grant Wach from Dalhousie University, traveled to Trinidad for the 9th time. This trip was made possible with support from Shell, Imperial Oil, Nova Scotia Department of Energy, and the Acadia Department of Earth and Environmental Science. Trinidad provides a pristine environment to study petroleum systems and this course focused on clastic sedimentology (deltaic deposits), sequence stratigraphy, and reservoir characterization. Daily exercises combined outcrop and well log data to facilitate discussions with peers, geologists and engineers from Petrotrin and Ten Degrees North. The sedimentology and depositional environments of Trinidad are similar to offshore deposits of Nova Scotia, and this course provided valuable information for those who wish to pursue sedimentology or petroleum exploration in the future.

tl_files/sites/ees/Images/news/tt-akin1.jpg Some of the group experience Geology in the tropics - few outcrops, but interesting diversions (here examining a pit viper in its habitat, at the Asa Wright Nature Centre).
photo by Derrick Midwinter
tl_files/sites/ees/Images/news/tt-akin2.jpg The whole class, joined by Petrotrin geologists and engineers, assembled for the group photo. Leader, Dr. Grant Wach, Dalhousie University fifth from right.
tl_files/sites/ees/Images/news/tt-akin3.jpg Sara (right) and other class members at the Devil's Woodyard mud volcanoes.
Photo: Derrick Midwinter


Atlantic Geoscience Conference, Fredericton
Fifteen students and five professors from the E&ES department ventured off to Fredericton to the annual AGS conference on 11-12 February. Several of the graduate students participated in a workshop on laser ablation ICP-MS analysis, run by the Quartermain Centre at UNB, where they were introduced to the technique and in live time were able to watch pits being ablated and analyses made. Most of the undergraduate students stopped off at Sussex on the way to the conference and visited the PCS potash mine, exploring the 80 m high underground caverns.
     Masters students Jean-Luc Pilote and Robert Treat and PhD student Ravinder Pannu gave talks on their projects and seven masters and honours students presented posters. Congratulations to Jon Gates who achieved an "honourable mention" for his poster on Petrology and Tectonic Implications of Mafic to Intermediate Dykes in the Kellys Mountain Area, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and to Ravinder Pannu who won the Sandra Barr Award for best graduate student presentation, entitled "A Laboratory Method for the Quantification of Mercury and GHG Volatilization from Soils."
14 February 2011

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