UNIVERSITY of TORONTO
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A degree in geology provides you with in demand knowledge and unique skills to excel in a myriad of fields, for example environment, law, consulting, journalism, finance, management, or education. Here some of our graduates tell you about their careers.

Energy

Nick Wemyss, B.Sc. 1978
Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Exploration
Find Energy Ltd. (a TSE company)

I have been involved in the discovery and development of oil and natural gas with major and junior energy companies. We are in the process of selling the current company and starting yet another (the fourth one for me). My achievement include several significant discoveries of natural gas and light oil. My studies at U of T gave me knowledge of broad geological issues and training. Practical summer jobs with mining companies doing surface mapping helped get initial positions. I still have a great deal of admiration and respect for the quality of education I received.

 

photo: Nick in front of a well blowout in northern BC (the well was safely capped without incident).

Diamonds

Victoria Yehl (nee Bannister), B.Sc. 1993
Senior Project Manager
Teck Cominco Ltd.

Since graduating in '93 I continued my studies graduating from Queens with an M.Sc. in Geology in '96; During the following 3 years I also spent 11 months living in Guyana working on a Diamond Exploration project with a junior mining company. Currently, I have been with Teck Cominco Limited for over 10 years as a Senior Project Geologist -- I have worked on a variety of projects and continue to do so but, my primary role is managing Teck's diamond exploration projects. The most exciting aspects of my work as a geologist -- this is a double-edged sword -- the travel. Working all over the world and seeing all kinds of rocks, deposits & cultures...but it can be tiring. Over the past 14 years I have been to: Ireland, Britain, Germany, South Africa, Australia, Guyana, French Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico etc. My fondest memory of the Dept./Undergraduate time at U of T is field school.

photo: Victoria examines drillcores at a diamond project in the Canadian Arctic Islands.


Natural Resources

Patricia Dillon, B.Sc. 1974, B.Ed. 1976
Manager, Corporate Relations
Teck Cominco Ltd.

I taught science at high school for 3 years. I joined Teck in February 1979 and held various positions culminating in Senior Geologist Administration. I was seconded to the Lassonde Mineral Engineering Program at U of T in 1998 and returned to Teck in May 2001. I am the 2006-2008 President of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (2006-2008), on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Mining Association and the Mining Industry Human Resources Council. I was the first woman President of the CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum) in its 108 years history. I love the outdoors my studies allowed me to combine a number of existing interests in sciences and the environment with new and challenging fields geology and the minerals industry.


Environment

Tim Westgate, B.Sc. Environmental Geosciences 1996, M.Sc. 1998
Hydrogeologist/Project Manager
Barenco Inc.

I am currently employed at a medium-sized environmental engineering consulting company in the Greater Toronto Area. My U of T education provided me with the technical skills required for a career in the environmental consulting industry.


Journalism

Jim Whyte, B.Sc. 1981, M.Sc. 1983

Senior Staff Writer
The Northern Miner

I graduated from U of T in 1980 with a B.Sc after spending some very memorable years in the old Mining Building on College St. My geology days at U of T included several summer field seasons working with exploration companies and that experience landed me a job after graduation. I spent several more years with Urangesellschaft Canada, a German uranium exploration company working in the Thelon Basin, in what is now called Nunavut. From there I headed to the Ontario Geological Survey.

In 1983 I noticed an ad in The Northern Miner, the mining newspaper, advertising for a staff write and I applied. I spent the next seven years being introduced to the wilds of the Canadian junior resources sector meeting everyone from the broker and bankers to the staff working in the field. People such as Peter Munk when he came back to Canada to start his mining business, then called American Barrick, which came out of a reorganization of several busted companies. He then went on to methodically build one of the largest gold companies in the world.

In 1990 I took the plunge and got involved with my own junior company which was financed by Yorkton Securities. I've been involved with mining investment and management of resource companies ever since. I'm currently involved a director or involve with the management of several public companies such as Anaconda Gold Corp., Andina Minerals, Moto Goldmines and San Anton Resources. And in this boom market, a few more to come in the 2007.

The most exciting part for me as a geologist has been the field and seeing parts of the world that I would never have ever had the chance see and experience if I had not completed my degree at U of T. My first ever field work was in the eastern Arctic of Canada which to this day still mesmerizes me when I think of it. I've had the pleasure of being in the high Andes of Chile, deserts of Kazakhstan, grasslands of the Congo to just about most places throughout Australia and more. I've always gotten a thrill from exploration, seeing parts of the earth that few Canadians have seen, learning about the geology and potential of an area, especially when our work can make a significant contribution to an areas economy.

My finest memories at U of T really came from years three and four, when the classes were quite small and intimate. In particular, I enjoyed Dr. Goodwin's 4th year Mobile Fold Belts class which many times took place in his office or in the library as there were only about six people in the class. And it all took place in the good old Mining Building which just oozed geology from all its wood lined walls. It was very satisfying to be able to spend time on a personal level with one of the preeminent Archean geologists in the world. After all of that, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I left school.

 

Nick Tintor B.Sc. 1980

I began my first full time job as a geologist with Urangesellschaft Canada Ltd., a German company exploring for uranium in the Thelon Basin.

I also spent some time with the Ontario Geological Survey and in 1983 joined The Northern Miner as a staff writer. That work exposed me to the wild and dynamic Canadian junior resource sector and the unique world of lawyers, bankers, geologists and engineers who make it all work.

In 1990 I took the plunge and began my first junior with an equity financing in June, 1990 to finance a high grade chalcocite copper project on Michigan’s Keewenaw Peninsula. Since then, I’ve been involved in financing and managing a number of companies which have been involved with mineral projects around the world.

Today, I’m involved with publicly listed companies such as Anaconda Gold Corp., Andina Minerals, Moto Goldmines and San Anton Resources and have several more projects being readied for 2007.

My most memorable times at U of T took place in my third and fourth years, hanging out in the geology lounge in the Mining Building on College Street with the likes of Les Mann, John Gardiner and Jim Whyte. It felt then like I was a member of a community and one, which to this day,  I continue to be very proud of.

And of course I can’t forget the field camps. Espanola was fun, but Tweed was infamous!

Nick in the field

Teaching

Sheryl Bunting, B.Sc. 2002
Teacher
Oriole Park Primary School, Toronto

Last school year, her grade 5 class helped produce a movie about Canada's most haunted building (the Toronto Island Lighthouse). Sheryl graduated in January 2001 and has been teaching science at the Ontario Science Centre, and teaching primary, Junior and Intermediate grades with the Toronto District School Board. She enjoys eaching earth sciences and encouraging children to develop an interest in science. Her fondest memory of the department is the Whitefish Falls Field course (first year geology).