Welcome

The Department of Geological Sciences is western Canada's oldest geoscience department. It has built a reputation for its research contributions, excellence in teaching, and commitment to the geoscientific community.

Recognized as one of Canada's leading geoscience units, we are a dynamic and diverse group interested in a broad range of research in the geological sciences.  Areas of study include mineralogy and crystallography; environmental mineralogy and geochemistry; sedimentology and quaternary studies; invertebrate paleontology; crustal and mantle geophysics; applied/environmental geophysics; petrology and tectonics; mineral deposits; Arctic, marine and freshwater systems.  Our faculty have garnered numerous national and international honours and outstanding researchers include:

  • Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic Geomicrobiology (S. Rysgaard)
  • Canada Research Chair in Mineralogy and Crystallography (F. Hawthorne, O.C.)
  • Canada Research Chair in Isotope and Environmental Geochemistry (M. Fayek)
  • Junior Chair in Watershed Systems Research (G. Ali)
The Department houses research laboratories with state of the art equipment estimated in excess of $11 million. Highly skilled laboratory technicians operate these laboratories and train students in analytical procedures and proficient use of advanced instrumentation.

The Department offers balanced four-year undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences, Geology (Honours and Major Program) or Geophysics (Honours and Major Program). These programs allow students to obtain professional registration and move into the minerals, energy, or environmental industries. Staff and students in the Department have a strong sense of community and identity that has been sustained through a phase of increased undergraduate enrolment in recent years. There are opportunities for students to work closely with individual faculty members as student research assistants or as part of the final year Honours Thesis or Technical Report course. Hands-on work in lab courses, on field trips, and at field schools enhances learning. The Department is committed to advising and mentoring students, with an administrative assistant dedicated to academic advising and a program that assigns each student a faculty mentor.  

The Department offers thesis-based Master’s and Ph.D. programs. Each student is assigned a faculty supervisor and will develop a thesis project relevant to a specific area of research.   Our Master’s and Ph.D. graduates have gone on to leadership roles in universities, government, industry, and museums.

Our alumni are valued members of our community and partners in maintaining excellence in our teaching, research, and outreach facilities. Their contributions have built the E. I. Leith Cretaceous Menagerie, enhanced our teaching equipment and collections, and ensured that our students have many opportunities for scholarships and bursaries. An outstanding level of support from departmental alumnus Clayton H. Riddell has enabled major initiatives within the Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources that have greatly benefitted the Department's teaching and research programs.     

We maintain two museums, the R.B. Ferguson Museum of Mineralogy and the Ed Leith Cretaceous Menagerie, and an earthquake seismograph -- all open to the university community and the public.  Our students and staff participate in outreach programs and events, including Career Trek, APEGM Engineering and Geoscience Week, EdGeo workshops for science teachers, workshops for First Nations students, school tours and visits to schools, and science fairs. Recent initiatives include a partnership with the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy to enhance education in support of the resource industry in the north.