Wednesday 26th September 2018

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Wanted: Your input

Geoscience B.C. seeks stakeholders’ advice to help guide its future

by Greg Klein

Often forgotten in the quest for the next big discovery are the wide-ranging advantages of learning more about planet Earth. With a mandate to gather intel for the public domain, Geoscience B.C. has undertaken about 160 projects studying British Columbia’s portion of the planet and what lies beneath its surface. Now the non-profit’s reaching out to the public for guidance on its upcoming five-year strategic plan.

Geoscience B.C. seeks stakeholders’ advice to help guide its future

In addition to smaller-scale and often innovative surveys,
Geoscience B.C.’s regional programs have covered vast swaths
of British Columbia. (Photo: Geoscience B.C.)

Late last month the organization began a three-part program comprising an online survey, focus groups and phone interviews “to get as much feedback as possible on how we’re doing and what sort of work people think we should be doing over the coming years,” says director of external relations Richard Truman. “We want to make sure we’re heading in the right direction and the work we’re doing is answering the right questions for people.

“Most of our funding is public funding and our core funding comes from the province of B.C.,” he adds. “I think it’s important to show we’re delivering good value and therefore we have to demonstrate that we’re answering the questions people have, whether they’re indigenous leaders, someone from a mining company or someone from the oil and gas companies. That’s one of the ways we demonstrate our value as an organization.”

The results will help guide the organization’s next five-year plan expected by April.

The easiest way to take part comes through an online survey that takes about eight minutes to complete. But don’t put this off. The survey closes January 26.

Interested in taking part in a short phone interview? You can submit your name to info@geosciencebc.com to talk with a Geoscience B.C. researcher.

Finally, there’s a series of focus groups tentatively scheduled for seven cities, with registration available through the following links:

The one non-B.C. event heads beyond the Rockies to hear from Calgary-based companies active in the northeastern oil patch.

As for the focus groups, they’re expected to attract governments at three levels, “municipal governments especially because they tend to use our information in their land planning process or to try to bring investment into their areas, especially in the north of B.C.,” Truman explains.

[Native groups are] interested in land planning and, on the oil and gas side, figuring out where water use might be appropriate or not for fracking. Or on the minerals side, where mineral deposits might be so they can decide whether future development might be appropriate and whether they want to be involved.—Richard Truman

Other participants will include native groups. “They’re usually interested for reasons similar to the municipal governments,” he adds. “They’re interested in land planning and, on the oil and gas side, figuring out where water use might be appropriate or not for fracking. Or on the minerals side, where mineral deposits might be so they can decide whether future development might be appropriate and whether they want to be involved.

“There’s academia as well, because we’re funding a lot of the work they do, and they have some good ideas about what we should be doing. And then you have the resource sectors themselves, minerals and mining, oil and gas, and we work on geothermal energy too. Generally speaking, those are the core people who show interest in what we do, so we want to hear from them about whether we’re headed in the right direction.”

Certainly the organization’s 160 projects so far show ambitious, even innovative undertakings. “At any time we’ve got an awful lot going on,” Truman notes. One project that’s just finished is Search Phase III, a helicopter-borne magnetic and radiometric survey that covered 9,600 square kilometres flying at an unusually low 80 metres above ground.

Targeting west-central B.C. regions, the earlier phases flew 24,000 square kilometres and 6,700 square kilometres respectively. Phase III extended the study eastward.

Results will be announced on January 23 at AME Roundup 2018, the Association for Mineral Exploration conference held in Vancouver this year from January 22 to 25. With the data likely complementing this year’s theme of New Generation of Discovery, Geoscience B.C. intends to “present the results with some analysis to give people an idea of what they can actually do with this information.”

Back to the survey, participants have three ways to take part but, Truman emphasizes, the online questionnaire ends January 26.

Read more about Geoscience B.C. and its Search program.

Read more about AME Roundup 2018, to be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre West from January 22 to 25.


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