The Life and Times of an Environmental Geologist

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Ever wondered what an Environmental Geologist does? How do you get into Environmental Geology and what types of roles are available in the Environmental stream?

Join GeoWomen of Calgary for a noon-hour presentation from Hydrogeologist, Jennifer Arnold, who will share her experiences with us and how she made her way into the Environmental side of geology.

Details of the event:
WHEN | Tuesday, October 30, 2018  Noon-1PM
WHERE | geoLOGIC Room (2nd Floor), Aquitaine Tower, 540 – 5 Ave SW
AGENDA | 11.45 – 12 Networking | 12 – 1PM Presentation by Jennifer
NOTE | Everyone is welcome! This is free to attend, no registration required.

BIOGRAPHY | Jennifer Arnold is a hydrogeologist within the Liability Management and Remediation Service Group at Advisian, a division of Worley Parsons Canada. She has been in the environmental consulting industry for over 11 years gaining experience within the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry building conceptual site models and site assessments and remediation, specializing in bedrock characterization.
Jennifer provides technical support in areas of fractured bedrock characterization; data gap analysis; risk assessment; interpretation and application of Federal and Provincial remediation guidelines; as well as providing remedial options and recommendations for impacted sites based on hydrogeology; principal contaminants of concern; exposure and receptor pathways, and project goals. For over the past year, Jennifer has been seconded to Shell Canada with the Environment and Regulatory Compliance team to support contamination projects.
Ms. Arnold has experience in a variety of site settings including working within residential areas and sites with sensitive stakeholders. She has valuable experience in areas concerning the migration of NAPL contaminated groundwater in complicated hydrogeological environments including fractured bedrock, as well as NAPL characterization for the purpose of both building a strong CSM and remediation.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Earth Sciences and Microbiology and Immunology from Dalhousie University, Halifax, as well as a Master of Science degree focusing on groundwater remediation from the University of Saskatchewan and is a professional geologist with APEGA.


Preparing Geoscience Professionals for the Future of Work in Alberta: Managing your Career in 2018 & Beyond

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Join GeoWomen of Calgary for a presentation by Jackie Rafter, President & CEO of Higher Landing, where she will share her expertise on knowing your brand, emerging work trends in Alberta & steps you can take as a geoscientist to better manage your career.

Details of the event:

WHEN | Tuesday September 11, 2018  Noon-1PM
WHERE |  geoLOGIC Room (2nd Floor), Aquitaine Tower, 540 – 5 Ave SW
AGENDA  11.45 – 12 Networking | 12 – 1PM Presentation by Jackie Rafter

NOTE | This is a free event, no registration required. Bring your lunch & questions.

Jackie’s Biography:

jackieJackie Rafter is a visionary serial entrepreneur and a catalyst for bringing to life forward-looking ideas and businesses. As Founder, President & CEO of Higher Landing, Jackie works with and mentors professionals, executives and globally-known athletes to help them realize their greatest ambitions and career goals. The proprietary Career Transformation methodology she has pioneered at Higher Landing is being broadly adopted across professions, particularly in the oil & gas industries as they go through significant, disruptive change.

A born-and-raised Calgarian, Jackie is a passionate change agent who believes deeply in the ability of people to tap into their potential. She is particularly focused on helping people reinvent, brand and package themselves to take advantage of the massive systemic changes taking place in job search and career management. She has taught at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary and regularly appears in various media as an expert and thought leader on the oil & gas job market and the career transformation strategies necessary to thrive in it.

Previous to starting Higher Landing, Jackie built two successful executive search firms, including Quaderra, founded Canada’s first publicly traded company with an all-female Board of Directors, Roxi Capital (now trading as Plastifab Corp. – PFB.TSX) and was a founder of Anorak Capital (now trading as Total Energy Services TOT.TSX).

Jackie holds dual degrees from the University of Calgary with an MBA and Bachelor of Education (French) and is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She is a champion of helping people live healthy and authentic lives and enjoys travel and running long distance. She has worked in five countries around the world, including Monaco, the UK, Switzerland and South Africa.

CSPG AWSN GeoWomen Event | June 2018

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GeoWomen is excited to have Amanda Obodovsky  who will be sharing her story on:

How to not just survive, but thrive during a downturn in the industry:  A case study of my life and what I have done to thrive in the past 5 years.


It’s a well known fact that the oil and gas industry is cyclical, and downturns are inevitable. The downturn that we have been in since 2015 has been especially bad. Everyone wants to keep their jobs and not end up unemployed. But what do you do? How do you keep your job, survive the downturn and make it through to the better times? And what if you are just starting out or what something more from your career? Using Amanda’s own life and experiences as a case study, she will give concrete examples of what has worked for her and what you can try in your own life to not just survive but thrive during a downturn.

Details of the event:

WHEN | Monday, June 11, 2018  Noon-1PM
WHERE |  geoLOGIC Room (2nd Floor), Aquitaine Tower, 540 – 5 Ave SW
AGENDA | 11.45 – 12 Networking | 12 – 1PM Presentation by Amanda

NOTE | This is a free event, no registration required. Bring your lunch & questions.

Amanda’s Biography:


Amanda obtained a B.Sc. Astrophysics in 2008, and an M.Sc. Astronomy (Planetary Science) in 2010 from the University of Western Ontario. Since 2013 she has been working as a seismic processor for Divestco. During this time she has given several presentations for her project that looks at impact structures in seismic data; the perfect union of her seismic processing work with her love of astronomy.  She is a member of the CSEG.

GeoWomen #MeToo and #TimesUp Survey January 2018 and Panel Discussion May 14, 2018

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There has been much talk about bullying and sexual harassment and assault in the workplace lately. In January, GeoWomen posted a short, anonymous survey to its website to ascertain how our community’s experiences correspond with the rest of the world’s. No names, no details, just collecting statistics on yes/no responses for the future panel discussion on this subject to inform us of experiences and strategies to manage similar situations.

GeoWomen would like to acknowledge Susan R. Eaton, P.Geol., P.Geoph., for assisting with writing the questions for this survey and Yulini Arediningsih, M.Sc., P. Geo,  for posting it and making it a reality.


GeoWomen #MeToo / #TimesUp Survey – January 2018 

These findings confirm other surveys:

41.2% – The percentage of GeoWomen respondents who have been sexually harassed at work.

44% – The percentage of GeoWomen respondents who reported to a superior or HR.

20.6% – The percentage of GeoWomen respondents who have been sexually assaulted in the workplace.

25% – The percentage of GeoWomen respondents who reported to a superior or HR.

Angus Reid, February 2018  

#MeToo Attitudes: Some findings challenge conventional wisdom

52% – The percentage of Canadian women who say they have been subject to sexual harassment in the workplace

28% – The percentage of Canadian women who say they have been subject to non-consensual sexual touching in the workplace


GeoWomen Panel Discussion May 14, 2018

The history of sexual bullying and sexual harassment and abuse here in Calgary in the oil and gas industry is long and persistent. Each female geoscientist has her own experiences and knowledge of other women’s experiences— yet, there has been no public accounting of gender-, race-, or sexual orientation-based bullying and sexual harassment or abuse to hold the perpetrators to account or to stop the practice altogether. While individual companies have internal harassment policies, rarely does the execution of these policies become public. It is “understood” that secrecy is the overarching policy of most companies when bullying, harassment, and abuse occur.

Our esteemed women panelists will discuss stories of bullying and sexual harassment and abuse, either in person or as anonymous submissions. Many submissions remain anonymous because of either the perceived and/or real and negative implications of speaking up publically. The panelists will describe the legal implications and psychological realities that are experienced by workplace bullying and sexual harassment and abuse. What are the steps that a woman geoscientist can take to mitigate the damage to her career, safety and mental and physical well-being?

We know that the best way to right persistent wrongs is to shine the light on them. To begin – ask some simple questions and examine the responses. Next, make these findings known to the public. Finally, insist that significant measures be put in place to drive change and ensure a safe and equitable workplace for all.

The findings from this panel will be communicated to the Alberta Status of Women in answer to their Business Plan – Key Strategies 1.4 – Facilitate collaboration among community organizations, local governments, and stakeholders to share information and leverage collective resources to improve social outcomes for women and girls. Suggest that the Alberta government require reporting systems for bullying, harassment and sexual abuse occurrences, analyses, and outcomes that will result in government credits for good behavior and costs for non-compliance.

If you are a woman geoscientist in Canada, we encourage you to complete our GeoWomen #MeToo and #TimesUp online survey, click here to participate.



WHEN | May 14, 2018  Noon-1PM
WHERE |  geoLOGIC Room (2nd Floor), Aquitaine Tower, 540 – 5 Ave SW
AGENDA | 11.30 – 12 Networking | 12 – 1PM Panel discussion

This is a free event – no registration required. Bring your lunch and questions.


Susan R. Eaton, P. Geol., P. Geoph., M.Sc.

SREaton-080 8x12 @300 CLSusan’s career in the oil and gas industry has spanned more than 30 years—she’s worked as a geologist and geophysicist with multi-national energy companies and international consulting firms, as a regulatory geophysicist with the federal government in Ottawa, and as a vice-president of exploration with several privately-held and publicly-traded junior oil and gas companies.

Equipped with a journalism degree, Susan began her media career as an on-camera news reporter with CBC-TV. Today, as a freelance writer, she reports on science and technology, business, energy, the environment, geotourism and adventure travel. Her articles and photographs have been widely published in American and Canadian magazines and newspapers.

Susan explores the world’s oceans—from Antarctica to the Arctic—in the snorkel zone, a unique land-sea-ice-air interface where charismatic animals and snorkelers comingle. Since 2010, she has participated in several science-based polar expeditions, studying the interplay of plate tectonics, oceans, glaciers, climate and life.

The founder and leader of the all-female Sedna Epic Expedition, Susan has led two scuba diving and snorkeling expeditions to Labrador, Nunavut and Western Greenland, documenting disappearing sea ice in the Arctic and delivering ocean knowledge mobilization programs to Inuit youth and Elders, with a particular focus on empowering Inuit girls and young women.

In 2015, Susan was named one of Canada’s top 100 modern-day explorers and trailblazers by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (the “RCGS”). In 2016, the RCGS named her one of Canada’s 25 greatest female explorers.
She holds a B.Sc. Honours degree (Geology and Biology) from Dalhousie University, a B.J. (Journalism) Honours degree from Carleton University, and an M.Sc. in Petroleum Geology (Geophysics Specialization) from the University of London’s Imperial College (the Royal School of Mines).


Alicia Bjarnason, P.Geol.


 Alicia Bjarnason MA PGeol. is a Senior Geologist with 15 years of experience within the oil and gas sector. She is currently the President of the AWSN (Alberta Women in Science Network) and the Program Director for the Work Re-engagement Program – funded by Status of Women Canada and Alberta Status of Women. Alicia is the former Program Manager for the BESTT Program (Bridge for Engineering, Science, Technology Talent). She is a Co-Founder of the WINN Network (Women’s Workplace Improvement Network), and currently sits on the Women in APEGA Advisory Committee. Alicia has also volunteered for a variety of STEM-related groups including CCWESTT, MentorUP Calgary, and the Operation Minerva Calgary Program.

Alicia recently finishing her MA from the University of Calgary in the Geography department. Her project focused on the role Professional Women’s Groups play within the greater discussion of diversity and inclusion within the work environment of Alberta’s Resource Sector.


Catherine McAteer

catherineCatherine McAteer is a lawyer who runs her own practice focused on supporting individuals and small business during times of employment transition. She also practices in the area of immigration law and is a professional photographer specializing in birth.

Catherine lives and works in the inner city with her two daughters, spouse and tries to squeeze in as much time on a bicycle as possible. Prior to starting her own practice, she was a lawyer with one of the largest law firms in Calgary and in-house counsel for an oilfield services company. Now she is able to juggle it all with the help of a very understanding boss.


Dr. Dianna Campbell-Smith

Dianna_0451HRDianna Campbell Smith is a psychologist, executive coach, author, and speaker who works with individuals and couples, solopreneurs and executives to help them understand, manage, evolve, and be successful in their life and their work. After spending over a decade as a geologist in the oil patch and over another decade as a psychologist, she truly understands the connection between logic and emotions – how to be successful both in life and in the workplace. She knows it matters how well you connect with others and are able to communicate that understanding back to them.  Her experience as a Director for over 5 years in a large counseling agency allowed her to put those strong communications skills into action.

She has been interviewed for television and radio on a variety of topics, as well as for print articles. She has developed and taught a number of workshops including ‘Towards Happiness’ with her most recent being ‘Sharpen Your Emotion Awareness and Skills Edge’.  This last online workshop has expanded on the work of her PsyD and her book ‘Skills for a Life of EASE’.

Dianna holds a BSc in geology from Carleton University, as well as 3 degrees in psychology leading to a PsyD from the University of Southern California.



Uzoamaka O. Sanni 

AmakaAmaka Sanni is an IT sales Manager at Axia Fibrenet. She has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Madonna University but moved into the IT space because she found it very interesting and challenging. With over 10 years experience in customer service and quality assurance in the Telecom industry, she enjoys solving problems and sometimes creating new ones.
Amaka has led and facilitated many training sessions and discussions on leadership and effective communication in Toastmasters international where she is currently serving as an Area director.

She is passionate about empowering women and encouraging them to support each other.

Reinventing Your Career | GeoWomen March Event

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In celebrating International Women’s Day 2018, GeoWomen will have Julia McElgunn presenting a very interesting topic titled Reinventing Your Career.

Details of the event:

WHEN | Monday, March 19, 2018

WHERE | geoLOGIC Classroom, +15 Lvl, 2nd Floor, Aquitaine Tower 540 – 5th Avenue SW

AGENDA |  11:45am – Networking | 12:00pm – Presentation by Julia


Numerous job or career options are available for geoscientists within and outside the oil and gas industry.  Although the opportunities are not always the traditional jobs we’ve been accustomed to, these opportunities are out there but require a new approach.

Firstly, innovation happens through transformation.  To create the necessary innovation, you must learn to transform how you view your experience and knowledge into a new wholistic and more general perspective.  Much like horizontal drill technology transformed and revolutionized the gas industry into a liquids-rich gas industry.  It’s through recognizing failures and asking questions that you can truly transform and be innovative about career opportunities.

Secondly, your expertise and knowledge are unique to each individual and become the differentiators.  By recognizing your expertise and knowledge, they become your assets.  Understanding your assets creates an opening to see the potential and the transferability of those assets.  We must know what we own. For example, geologically speaking, once knowledge is gained about a particular formation owned (or one wishes to own); decisions can be made to set the individual or company up for economic success, but the unknown can result in missed and lost opportunities.

Lastly, it’s important to couple passion with demand.  Understanding what your passions are, what gets you excited and what drives you each day is fundamental to being engaged and fulfilled.  Bringing the passion and drive into an area that has demand will increase the COS (chance of success) of finding satisfying employment.

In summary, there are options available. Three factors differentiate those who recognize these opportunities from those who don’t: 1) innovation through transformation, 2) owning your expertise and 3) understanding where passion meets demand.


juliaJulia is a professional exploration and development geologist. She has broad geotechnical experience from across Canada, including exposure to the Wolfcamp Basin. Julia has worked the entire Western Canada geological stack: Devonian, Mississippian, Triassic, and Cretaceous. Her strong technical skills are the foundation of her mapping, and although, her primary focus has been on mapping large exploration-based prospects, she has also enjoyed success with integrated detailed mapping required for good development.
This mother of 4 is extremely passionate about the dance between science and human behavior. Her strong connection to critical thinking causes her to constantly question both sides of a story, seeking to understand before providing a creative win-win solution.
She is an Advocate for Environmental Sustainability and works continuously to build awareness, education, and dialogue around the integration of multiple priorities, including equity, inclusion, environmental, health and economic. Julia strongly believes all of these can be achieved if we think and lead from our most creative, innovative and engaged selves.
In a time where the oil and gas industry is under political scrutiny, Julia sees an opportunity to bring a voice to how Alberta oil and gas lives up to the standards.

February Event | The Future of the Oil Industry in Canada

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GeoWomen is excited to have Astrid Arts who will give a presentation on The Future of the Oil Industry in Canada. Details of the event:

WHEN   |  Monday, February 12, 2018
WHERE |  geoLOGIC Classroom, +15 level, Aquitaine Tower, 540 – 5 Avenue SW
AGENDA | 11:45 AM Networking
12:00 Presentation by Astrid Arts
This is a free event – no registration required. Bring your lunch and questions


If you believe the media and vocal environmental groups – the Petroleum Industry is a sunset industry and we are at the end of the fossil fuel era. But are we really?
We use energy every day and yet most of the population doesn’t understand where it actually comes from. Even so, many people emphatically believe that we can get off fossil fuels and completely convert to renewables for ALL our energy needs by 2030.
Globally, we use energy for two broad categories: Electricity and Transportation. Electrical demands are currently met by a combination of coal, natural gas, hydro, nuclear, wind, solar and geothermal. Transportation demands are dominantly met by oil. Recently, there is momentum to convert vehicles from internal combustion to electric engines. This switch would put all energy needs on the electric grid. This is the dream, but can it be done in the time frames suggested? Will people really be willing to give up their addiction to oil? Is this the end of the Oil Industry in Canada?
The energy business is about supply and demand. Global energy demand continues to increase. There are still 1.3 Billion people worldwide who don’t have access to electricity. With population growth, increasing numbers in the middle class and a developing third world; energy demand will only continue to grow. Social license plays an import role in Energy. Coal, Oil and Natural Gas are not the first energy sources to play on the social conscience. Nuclear power lost its social license in the 1980s and continues to be phased out globally. At the end of the day, there is a huge gap between the amount of energy we consume now and in the future with the amount of energy, we can produce from “socially acceptable” sources.

Biography :

AstridAstrid Arts, Staff Geologist, Cenovus Energy
Astrid Arts is a Staff Geologist at Cenovus Energy. She is a native Albertan who moved to Calgary to pursue a career as a Petroleum Geologist. Astrid studied at the University of Alberta earning a BSc (Hons) in Geology and an MSc in Carbonate Sedimentology. After 8 years in the industry, she took a 5-year leave to stay at home with her boys and made the transition back to work 7 years ago. She understands the unique challenges women face in the Petroleum Industry in balancing life and a rewarding career.

Boardroom Diversity and its impacts on Energy Investments

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Join us on December 13, 2017 at noon for a panel discussion on:

Boardroom Diversity Impacts Profitability; Is Diversity a Factor in Energy Investments?

WHEN:    Wednesday, December 13, 2017
WHERE:   geoLOGIC Classroom, +15Lvl, 2nd Floor, Aquitaine Tower 540 – 5th Ave SW
WHEN:     12:00 Noon

Some topics will  be discussed:

Women on boards and the ‘comply or explain’ rule
Companies listed on the TSX (but not the TSX Venture Exchange) are currently required under securities law to provide disclosure regarding the representation of women among their directors and executive officers (Caroline Moreau, February 27, 2017)

Companies With More Women in Management Positions Are More Profitable
A recent study shows that having at least 30% of women in leadership positions in companies results in greater profitability. Analyzing 21,980 publicly traded companies in 91 countries, the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY demonstrate that having a management group comprising of at least 30% women will add 6% to the company’s net profit margin. “The evidence on women in the C-suite is robust: no matter how we torture the data we get the same result: women in the C-suite are associated with higher profitability.” (Marcus Noland, director of studies at the Peterson Institute)
Has this information influenced the number of women on boards and in leadership positions in the Energy Industry? If not; why not?

We have asked a number of professionals to come and discuss this topic from the perspective of investment banking, legal implications of board governance and disclosure of Boards of Directors.

1- Erin Poeta, Manager at Hugessen Consulting
2- Roger Serin, P. Eng. Managing Director and Senior Energy Advisor TD Securities Global Energy and Power Investment Banking Group
3- Janel Young, Associate – Corporate Group Stikeman Elliott LLP

Moderator:  Wendy Shier, P. Geol., Strategy Advisor, WCP Strategy, Chair, Women’s Leadership Network-Action Committee, Husky Energy.


erin'Erin Poeta, Manager at Hugessen Consulting. Prior to joining Hugessen, Erin worked in the operations and business development department at a Canadian manufacturer of environmental protection technologies. Erin later worked as an implementation-based management consultant across a variety of industries, namely, healthcare, and financial services. Throughout her university and professional tenure, Erin also spent time working with organizations within the realm of social finance, impact investing and corporate sustainability. Erin graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2010 with an Honours Business Administration degree and a certificate of Global Leadership for her academic and professional experiences abroad. Prior to Ivey, Erin spent a semester abroad at Menéndez Pelayo International University studying Spanish and international business.

rogerRoger A. Serin, P.Eng., Managing Director, Senior Energy Advisor, TD Securities Managing Director and since August 2013, Senior Energy Advisor to TD Securities Global Energy and Power Investment Banking Group, located in Calgary. Prior to that, he was a Managing Director and the Head of Energy Research, also at TD Securities. Roger joined TD Newcrest (the predecessor to TD Securities) in January 2003 as an oil & gas analyst covering the mid-cap E&P sector. During his time at TD Securities he also provided research coverage for the oilfield services sector. Roger is a professional engineer who has over 25 years of oil & gas industry experience with various large and small oil & gas companies and over 15 years in sell side research and Investment Banking. He was consistently top ranked in Brendan Wood surveys as an analyst in a number of categories. In addition, he was a partner in the predecessor firm to GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd., one of Calgary’s premier evaluation consulting firms. Roger graduated with a B.Sc. (Honors) in mechanical engineering from Queens University in 1975.


Janel Young, Associate – Corporate Group Stikeman Elliott LLP. Janel Young is an associate in the Corporate Group of Stikeman Elliott LLP whose practice focuses on general corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance and securities. She acts for private and public companies and investment funds on a broad range of matters including public and private offerings of securities, initial public offerings, asset and share purchase and sale transactions, plan of arrangement transactions and corporate reorganizations. Janel also acts for public entities with respect to stock exchange listings, corporate governance, and securities regulatory compliance matters. Janel attended the University of British Columbia (J.D. 2012) and Queen’s University (First Class Honours B. Comm. 2009).

wendyWendy Shier, P. Geol., Strategy Advisor, WCP Strategy, Chair, Women’s Leadership Network-Action Committee, Husky Energy. Throughout her more than twenty-year career, Wendy Shier has held various technical and leadership positions with small, mid-size and major oil and gas producers in Calgary. These include Geologist, Team Lead, Geoscience Manager, and Strategy Advisor. Wendy has developed a passion for mentoring, coaching and leadership. In addition to finding and developing hydrocarbon pools, leading teams through good and bad economic times, aligning and developing strategies and processes, Wendy has taken on additional roles that support career development, leadership development and diversity. In her role of Challenge Champion at BP, Wendy supported new graduate engineering, geoscience, and commercial employees by facilitating mentorship relations, coordinating job rotations, and advocating for training. Since joining Husky, Wendy has served on Husky’s Diversity and Respectful Workplace Council, coordinated and actively participated in formal and informal mentoring programs, Co-chaired an internal Technical Forum and is currently the Chair of Husky’s Women’s Leadership Network.