Travel Log: 2016-2017 GAC Hutchison Lecture Tour (Eastern and Western Canada) and Tour Summary

In February, March, and April I undertook additional stops of the GAC Hutchison Lecture tour, in both eastern and western Canada. The Atlantic Canada portion of the tour involved presenting two talks at the Atlantic Geoscience Society (AGS) Colloquium in Fredericton, NB, on February 10-11th (despite arriving late due to February weather in St. John’s). The first talk was a new presentation entitled “VMS deposits of the Tally Pond group, central NL as monitors of tectonics, crustal architecture, and ocean chemistry along the Ganderian margin in the mid-Cambrian” and was presented in a special session on The Northern Appalachian Orogen: Correlations and Conundrums. The second talk was the condensed Hutchison lecture talk on “Evaluating the interplay of magmatism, tectonics, and basin redox in the genesis of the Wolverine volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposit, Yukon, Canada” given in the Magmas and Metals session. The level of research at this meeting was outstanding ranging from big picture tectonics and metallogeny to nano-scale analytical and experimental research, and this was coupled with a fantastic social program.  The organizers of the meeting (Dave Lentz, David Keighley, Jim Walker,  Michael Parkhill, Chris McFarlane, Ann Timmermans, and  Robin Adair) deserve special recognition for putting off such a content-rich and well-organized meeting.

The next leg of the tour involved the western Canada leg (March 21-29th). The first stop of the tour was at the University of Saskatchewan. I gave two lectures there on March 22nd. The first lecture was in Kevin Ansdell’s economic geology class and was on “Seafloor Hydrothermal Systems: What are they? Their Significance. Resources on Sea and Land” and was a general talk on seafloor systems, how we explore for them, how do they form, and an overview of mining on the seafloor. The second talk was the Hutchison Lecture on the Wolverine deposit. The question sessions after both talks were great. After the talk I had the opportunity to look at a number of  plate reconstructions and VMS distributions with Bruce Eglington. Special thanks to Camille Partin, Kevin Ansdell, and Bruce Eglington for their hospitality while hosting me at the University of Saskatchewan.

The next stop on the western leg was at the University of Alberta on March 23rd, where I gave the Zn-rich VMS talk to the University of Alberta Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Students’ Society (ATLAS).  Thanks to Stephen Johnston for his hospitality while there. Special thanks to Merilie Reynolds for the invitation and being my host, and also spending time talking to me about her research on the Red Dog deposit (and you should check out her recent paper on a revised model for the Red Dog deposit!)

The third stop on the western leg was at Simon Fraser University on March 24th where I gave the Wolverine talk in their weekly speaker series. There were lots of great questions after the talk and I had a great time with my host Dan Gibson and his students Eric Thiesen and Lianna Vice, and thank them for their hospitality.

I then traveled to Whitehorse to give the Wolverine talk at Yukon College and the Yukon Geological Survey on March 27th. There was a great audience and I thank Joel Cubley for his hospitality at the college and for hosting the talk. I was lucky enough to have some downtime in Whitehorse to hang out with my colleague Maurice Colpron and spend some time at the Yukon Geological Survey with my colleagues there, including Esther Bordet, Don Murphy, and Steve Israel. I thank Maurice Colpron for his hospitality and hosting me while in Whitehorse!

The final leg of the western Canadian portion of the tour was at my alma mater, the University of British Columbia, where I gave the Wolverine talk on March 28th. I had a really busy day with lots of meetings and discussions with students, faculty, and staff, and a lab tour of the Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research. I thank Matt Bodnar, Nikki Kovacs, Matt Manor, Fabien Rabayrol, James Scoates, Libby Sharman, and numerous members of the MDRU group for spending time with me and talking about their research while there. Murray Allen and Dominique Weiss are thanked for the invitation to talk, arranging the tour, and being my hosts while there. It was also nice to see the rainy spring in Vancouver before returning the St. John’s ahead of a “spring” snowstorm!

The final stop on the tour for 2017 was at McGill University on April 7th. I gave the Wolverine talk at McGill and the question session thereafter was the longest one on the tour covering a range of topics from volcanology, replacement process in massive sulfides, nutrient sources in the water column, basin redox, and genesis of massive sulfides. It was pretty stimulating and enjoyable. While at McGill I thank  Vincent van Hinsberg, Nicolas Gaillard, Jethro Sanz-Robinson, Kyle Henderson, Noah Phillips, Peter Douglas, Galen Halverson, Bob Martin, Jim Clark, and Lyndsay Moore for spending time with me. Jamie Kirkpatrick is thanked for arranging things and sorting out my schedule, and Vincent van Hinsberg is thanked for being my host (and also thanks for the great EPS mug!).

Some final statistics for the tour:

  • Talks given: 12.
    • Zn-rich VMS: 2.
    • Wolverine: 8.
    • Seafloor hydrothermal systems: 1.
    • Tally Pond VMS: 1.
  • Universities/sites visited: 11.
  • Flight segments: 17.
  • Train segments: 2.
  • Total km traveled (estimate): 24093.
  • Lost items: 0 (unlike 2015-2016)!

Having completed two tours in two years, it is abundantly clear to me how many great people there are in Canadian geoscience. The numerous faculty, staff, students, government, and industry researchers that are undertaking outstanding research in all aspects of geoscience is amazing. It’s been a pleasure and privilege to interact with so many of these people, to meet new people, and to learn from them. I really appreciated your hospitality and generosity! To others – if given the chance to do such a tour – do it!

I once again thank the GAC for the chance to undertake the Hutchison Lecture tour, and Alwynne Beaudoin (GAC Tour Coordinator) and Karen Johnston (GAC Headquarters) for making is so easy and helping out so much.

See you all soon!


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