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Current/Upcoming Events and Highlighted News






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  • December 7, 2019: Three students from the Department of Geology, University of Regina, were recognized for their excellent poster presentations at the 50th Saskatchewan Geological Survey Open House, which was held from December 2 to 4 in Saskatoon. Arin Kitchen (M.Sc.) and Kelsey McKee (M.Sc.) won the first and third best poster awards in the graduate category, and Daniel Ferguson (B.Sc. Honours) was placed first in the undergraduate category. Congratulations to all of them!
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M.Sc. students Arin Kitchen (left) and Kelsey McKee (centre) and B.Sc. student Daniel Ferguson (right) with their posters at the Saskatchewan Geological Survey Open House, Saskatoon
  • October 27, 2019: The Department of Geology, Faculty of Science at the University of Regina invites applicants for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in environmental geochemistry. Closing date for applications is the 31st December 2019, with interviews planned for early in 2020. The start date of the appointment is July 2020 or as soon as possible, thereafter. Read more …
  • October 16, 2019: Congratulations to Ph.D. student Morteza Rabiei for winning the "Saskatchewan Innovation and Excellence Graduate Scholarship". The scholarship is awarded to him for his effort in understanding the origin of the recently-discovered deep-seated uranium deposits in the Patterson Lake corridor in the western Athabasca Basin, northern Saskatchewan. Supported by the Geological Survey of Canada Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI) program and an NSERC-Discovery Grant (to his supervisor Dr. Guoxiang Chi), Morteza’s research focuses on characterization of the ore-forming fluids and comparison with those from the eastern part of the basin. This is the second consecutive year that Morteza wins this prestigious scholarship, the last one being for his innovative research on the hydrothermal rare earth element (REE) mineralization of the Maw Zone deposit, also in the Athabasca Basin, which resulted in publication of a paper in Economic Geology, the top international journal in mineral deposit study, and presentations in several national and international conferences.
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Left: Morteza working in the Geofluids Lab; Right: Morteza (left with white T-shirt) with the Patterson Lake research group in the field

  • October 1, 2019: Congratulations to Dr. Kenneth E. Ashton, research geoscientist of the Saskatchewan Geological Survey and adjunct professor at the Department of Geology, University of Regina, on winning the National Geological Surveys Committee (NGSC) 2019 Canada’s Provincial and Territorial Geologists (CPTG) Medal. The CPTG Medal is awarded to recognize major contributions in the area of geoscientific research and related developments or applications that serve to meet the mandate of Canada’s provincial and territorial geological surveys. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Ashton has mapped over 5,500 square kilometres in Saskatchewan, or roughly the size of Prince Edward Island, spending the equivalent of 3 full years in the field. As an adjunct professor at the University of Regina and a thesis advisor, Dr. Ashton has taught and mentored countless undergrad and grad students who have gone on to successful careers in the industry. Read more …

                     Ashton CPTG 1   Ashton CTPG 2

  • August 30, 2019: Associate Professor Dr. Janis Dale and Lab Instructor Monica Cliveti recently travelled to Europe to establish connections with the Babes-Bolyai University Geoscience faculty in Cluj-Napoca, Romania to explore opportunities to run a geology field course in Romania. Dr. Lory Silye from the Department of Geology at Babes-Bolyai University led them on a field trip covering a wide range of potential geological sites for the proposed Geological International Field course (GEOL 497) for undergraduate and graduate students. They drove some 4000 km in two weeks exploring multiple geological sites modern to Precambrian in age and representing a variety of geological terrains from the Carpathian Mountains through the Transylvannian Sedimentary Basin to the huge delta of the Danube River. Read more ... 

                Romania 1 Romania 2 Romania 3

  • June 30, 2019: University of Regina researcher undertaking research on mechanism of breakup of continents.

    Continental tearing or rifting is one of the most important plate tectonic processes on earth, yet the cause and mechanism of rifting are poorly understood. A research project entitled “Rifting, volcanism, and neotectonic processes in Madagascar: understanding the mechanism of breakup of old, stable continental lithosphere”, recently granted by NSERC to Dr. Tsilavo Raharimahefa in the Department of Geology, University of Regina, will investigate how continental rifting starts, propagates and eventually forms oceanic basins.

    In addition to enhancing our understanding of how tectonic processes shape the earth's surface, the research results will help volcanic and earthquake hazards mitigation, as continental rift zones are often associated with earthquakes and volcanoes. Madagascar provides an excellent opportunity to investigate such processes, as it is undergoing active extension related to the possible propagation of the southern arm of East African Rift System.

    The 5-year NSERC-supported research will focus on the two seismically, tectonically, and volcanically most active regions of Madagascar, and will involve an integrated program of geological mapping, structural field study, remote sensing analysis, age dating, petrology and geochemistry, and analysis of geophysical data. The program will involve collaboration between professional geoscientists in Canada and Madagascar, and allow for the participation and training of Canadian and Malagasy students in field- and laboratory-based research.


     Photo: Dr. Tsilavo Raharimahefa pointing at a fault zone within a Quaternary basaltic formation

  • May 21, 2019: University of Regina students win the SIFT (Student Industry Field Trip) Technical Award for two years in a row! 

    Congratulations to Courtney Ruthven who was a member of the group that won the SIFT 2019 Bill Aryton Technical Award! The UofR winner from 2018 was Arin Kitchen. Both Courtney and Arin were selected to attend the annual 2 week field trip held early each spring in Calgary along with students from universities around Canada. Only one student per year is generally chosen from each geoscience program in Canada, which makes this double achievement even more unprecedented for a mid-sized university such as the University of Regina!


    Photo: Courtney Ruthven (2nd from left) along with Hannah Rzyszczak (at left), followed by Bill Aryton (for which the award is named), Jacob Newman, and Andrew Wagner.

  • May 21, 2019: The Co-Op Advantage: A Geological Example: Graduating student Dallas Dixon used his experience from 3 Co-op internships as a foundation from which to obtain permanent employment - all while earning a salary!          

    His first two placements with the Saskatchewan Geological Survey (Ministry of Energy and Resources) were followed by an 8-month internship as a Student Mine Geologist working underground in the Rocanville potash mine with Nutrien in 2018. Dallas credits these positions with helping him to develop and strengthen his geological expertise, experience unique work environments, and develop the necessary professional skills for permanent employment.

    This experience (and academic performance) resulted in Dallas being awarded the University of Regina position on the 2018 Student-Industry Minerals Exploration Workshop trip with other top students from universities in Canada and, subsequently, a Society of Economic Geologists trip to Chile in January 2019 with graduate and undergraduate students from universities around the world to visit a number of world-class mines and examine related drill core.

    Thus, these Co-op internships were the "springboard" that helped Dallas gain the experience and knowledge necessary to acquire permanent employment with Vale as a Mine Geologist (IT) in Manitoba (which required 1 year experience). Congratulations Dallas and best wishes!

  • May 6, 2019: Geol 102 Environmental Geology 2019 Spring semester.File102_poster
  • April 12, 2019: Five undergraduate students defended their theses successfully. Topics varied from structural analyses in Precambrian terranes of Saskatchewan and Phanerozoic rocks in southern Madagascar, basement geology of the eastern Athabasca Basin, to oil migration and production patterns of the Middle Member of the Bakken Formation in southeastern Saskatchewan. New mapping techniques and results were presented as well as new approaches to estimate oil potential. The students showed excellent competence defending their theses to a committee and an audiance of fellow students and guests. This was an excellent demonstration of the high quality undergraduate research at the Department of Geology. Congratulations to our undergraduates!


From left to right: Shelby Brandt, Erik Miller, Niko Wicharuk, Ryen Queypo, Evan Mass, Rae MaClintock

  • April 2, 2019: April 2, 2019: The Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan is well known for its unusually large-tonnage and high-grade ‘unconformity-related’ uranium (U) deposits, however, explanations for the basin-wide U endowment have not been clearly identified. A study by Dr. Guoxiang Chi and former Ph.D. student Haxia Chu (now with China University of Geosciences, Beijing), based on LA-ICP-MS analysis of fluid inclusions entrapped in quartz overgrowths in sandstones, in collaboration with scientists from the Geological Survey of Canada and McGill University, reveals that the diagenetic fluids within the basin contained up to 27 ppm U, which is two orders of magnitude higher than most naturally occurring geologic fluids. The research results, published by Scientific Reports, provide the key to understand why the Athabasca Basin is so rich in uranium deposits, and point to the great potential of finding more world-class uranium deposits underneath the basin. The paper is open access and can be downloaded here:


  • March 15, 2019: Arin Kitchen of the University of Regina was awarded 3rd place for a M.Sc. level poster at the PDAC-SEG Student Minerals Colloquium 2019. The poster, entitled “Nature and context of deformation bands associated with post-depositional faulting of the basal Athabasca Basin and their insight into the genesis of unconformity-related uranium deposits - case study of the C1 fault zone in the eastern Athabasca Basin, northern Saskatchewan” and coauthored by A. Kitchen, K. Bethune, G. Delaney and E. Miller, outlines the preliminary results of a research project supported by the Saskatchewan Geological Survey.


    Arin Kitchen

    PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada) annual convention ( is the world’s premier mineral exploration & mining convention for people, companies and organizations in, or connected with, mineral exploration. It is also an occasion for geoscience and mining students to show case their research results and make connection with the industry.

    The Student Minerals Colloquium at PDAC is sponsored by the Mineral Exploration Research Centre, the Goodman School of Mines, Metal Earth, and the Society of Economic Geologists Canada Foundation and hosted by the SEG Student Chapters at Laurentian University and the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre. Arin won the 3rd place award out of about one hundred poster presentations that highlight research on mineral deposits and related studies by students from across North America. Congratulations to Arin and his supervisor Dr. Kathryn Bethune.


  • February 26, 2019: Congratulations to Brianne McNab and Daniel Ferguson (3rd year undergraduate students) on finishing 2nd in the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG) Challenge Bowl!!
    This game was a portion of the recent Western Inter-University Geosciences Conference (WIUGC) held in January 2019. Their placing is particularly remarkable for students who have not taken the Geophysics course (Geol 460) yet!

Daniel and Brianne

  • February 14, 2019: Geology students have been actively participating in various geoscience-related activities since the New Year. Thirteen students (Christina Berry, James McWilliams, Ryley Green, Jackson Devine, James Smith, Dan Ferguson, Brody Strocen, Nicole Kerbs, Brianne MacNab, Michael Balkwell, Jack Easton, Lane Phillips, and Tiffany Blampied) went to the WIUGC in Brandon, Manitoba from January 9-12. Dan Ferguson and Brianne MacNab of the U of R team placed second in the WIUGC Challenge Bowl. WIUGC (Western Inter-University Geoscience Conference) is an annual student-run conference that allows students to network with other students, share their current research, attend short courses, and learn more about the industry. Three students (Niko Wicharuk, Colbi Kuppenbender, and Chris Kopytko) participated in the AME Roundup conference from January 28-31 in Vancouver.

    Coming up on March 3-6, the PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada) 2019 Conference will be held in Toronto. This is an international conference where students are able to learn more about mineral exploration, network, and look for future career prospects. Seven students from our Department (Colbi Kuppenbender, Logan Anaka, Grady Delmaire, Tyler Smith, Shelby Brandt, AK Bakar, and Arin Kitchen) will attend this conference.

    Further into the summer, two students (Brody Strocen and Courtney Ruthven) will participate in the SIFT (Student Industry Field Trip) and one student (Shelby Brandt) will attend the S-IMEW (Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop), organized by CSPG (Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists) and PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada), respectively. These field trips/workshops provide invaluable opportunity for the students to prepare themselves for careers in the petroleum / mining industry.

  • January 29, 2019: A recent paleontological study of the Cretaceous Battle Formation in western Canada, participated by Dr. Maria Velez, Monica Velez and Dr. Pier Binda from the Department of Geology, University of Regina, reveals that Aulacoseira and Fragilarioids diatoms, and possibly raphe-bearing species, colonized freshwater environments as far back as 66 million years ago. This finding is highly significant since the record of ancient freshwater diatoms is poor, and some of the few localities where they were reported are still questioned. This study suggests that Battle may be a unique archive recording a key moment in diatom evolution toward the conquest of freshwater environments. The reference for the complete article is: Siver, P., Velez, M., Cliveti, M. and Binda, P. 2018. Early freshwater diatoms from the Upper Cretaceous Battle Formation in Western Canada. PALAIOS. v. 33, 525–534.
  • December 5, 2018: In the 49th Saskatchewan Geological Open House held from December 3 to 5, 2018 in Saskatoon, undergraduate student Erik Miller from the Department of Geology, University of Regina, won the Best Poster Award (the SGS President's Award) in the undergraduate category. Another student from the same department, Shelby Brandt, won the Second Best Poster Award, also in the undergraduate category. Both students are supervised by Dr. Kathryn Bethune. Master student Zachary Maurer, supervised by Dr. Osman Salad Hersi, won the Third Best Poster Award in the graduate category.
  • November 23, 2018: The Annual Student Industry Geoscience Roundtable organized by the DM Kent Club of Geology occurred Friday, November 23rd, 2018. This very successful event included a key note speech by Pam Schwann (Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Mining Association) along with speakers from the Saskatchewan Geological Survey (Ministry of Energy and Resources), Isoenergy, Dias Geophysical, and JD Mollard among others.
  • August 21, 2018: Dr. Guoxiang Chi's paper entitled "Petrography, fluid inclusion analysis, and geochronology of the End uranium deposit, Kiggavik, Nunavut, Canada" was selected as one of the most influential articles of 2017 published in Mineralium Deposita. In an interview with Springer, the Editors-in-Chief, Dr. Georges Beaudoin and Dr. Bernd Lehmann, highlighted the contributions of the journal to shaping of metallogenic models for more than 50 years and its leading role in the field (with an Impact Factor of 3.370), and selected four most influential articles published in the journal in 2017, among which is Dr. Chi's paper. This paper provided the first detailed analysis of fluid boiling and its role in uranium mineralization related to sedimentary basins, and has drawn significant attention in the field. According to Google Schoolar, the paper has been cited 18 times since its publication in 2017