Earth Science for Society

Our Team

The ESfS organizing committee members are all geoscience volunteers.

The ESfS team is setting the groundwork for a successful event in 2019 and we need to identify passionate and energetic volunteers to deliver the program. If you, or someone you know, would be a good fit for the ESfS Organizing Committee, please contact us at esfscanada [at] gmail [dot] com.

ESfS 2019 Organizing Committee Chairs

Organizing Committee Chair – Marissa Whittaker
Marissa is a Professional Geophysicist with 10 years’ experience in oil, gas, potash, and gas storage plays across Canada and internationally. She has volunteered with ESfS for many years as a guide and on the Exhibits, Volunteers, and Budget & Finance committees.

Marissa is responsible for the overall coordination of ESfS, including project management, meetings and minutes and status reports. She keeps things organized and on-track to ensure the success of ESfS.

Organizing Committee Vice-Chair – Daniela Waldbott von Bassenheim
Daniela is in the final year of her undergraduate degree in Geology with a minor in Geophysics at the University of Calgary. During her degree she has worked several summer internships, as well as doing research projects in the fields of igneous and carbonate geology. Her passion lies with fostering environments that nurture experiential learning and conversation, enabling community interaction. She first got involved in ESfS in 2016 and has increased her involvement year over year.

Daniela’s responsibilities entail supporting and acting as an alternate for the Chair in all areas of responsibility.

Organizing Committee Past Chair – Brodie Sutherland
Brodie is a Professional Geologist with Hekla Consulting Ltd., where he helps develop mineral exploration projects around the globe. He is looking forward to helping youth understand the Earth Sciences and encouraging them to explore our fascinating exhibits.

Brodie is serving in an advisory role for ESfS 2019.


Venue & Logistics Chair – Rebecca Haspel and Venue & Logistics Vice Chair – Taylor Foret
Rebecca is a Professional Geologist at Total E&P Canada. Her professional experience is in oil sands, in mining, geotechnical site investigations, hydrogeology and Quaternary geology. She believes in experiential education and enjoys opening young minds to the exploration and discovery of the physical and natural world.

Taylor is a graduate of the University of Calgary with a double major in Geology and Earth Science. She will be returning to university in the fall to complete a masters in Geology with a focus in Hydrogeology and Geochemistry. She has volunteered at ESfS events for two years and this will be her first year volunteering on the committee. She is very excited about becoming more involved in the ESfS Organizing Committee.

Rebecca and Taylor coordinate our venue and logistics needs. They are responsible for booking the facility and on-site goods and services, coordinating the ESfS on-site space, security, and emergency response requirements, and establishing designated staging areas for schools and buses.

Venue & Logistics committee: Rebecca Haspel, Taylor Foret

Sponsorship Chair – Julia Davison and Vice Chair – Bruce Moore
Julia Davison is a Professional Geologist, studying for her M.B.A. Julia has a master’s degree from the University of Calgary and a bachelor’s degree from UBC. Over the past ten years Julia has worked on petroleum basins across the country, such as unconventional ‘shale’ and conventional Cretaceous reservoirs in Western Canada, offshore reservoirs in Eastern and Arctic Canada, and CO2 storage potential in Ontario and Quebec. Julia volunteered as a guide at the 2016 ESfS event, was sponsorship chair in 2017 and is excited to work on sponsorship again in 2018.

After retiring from the Canadian Forces in 2015, Bruce completed his BSc degree in Geophysics at the U of C. He is working as a processing Geophysicist (GIT) at Thrust Belt Imaging. Bruce first volunteered at ESfS 2018 with Yukon Dan and as a group guide. He was moved by the impact the exhibition was able to have on so many youth, teachers, and families in building awareness and understanding of geoscience, technology, engineering, and related industries.

Julia and Bruce are responsible for leading the team which solicits funds from donor companies – donations which allow ESfS to remain financially accessible to the targeted school and youth group audiences. This duo also ensures sponsor recognition during the event, prepares the Sponsorship brochure content, tracks sponsorship and exhibitor progress, applies for grants and helps coordinate the post-event Thank-you mail out.

Sponsorship committee: Julia Davison, Bruce Moore, Nanna Eliuk, Annette Milbradt, Lida Goldchteine, Cassie Vocke, Hilary Schumacher

Exhibits Chair – Melissa Sawyer and Vice Chair – Laurie McGhie
Melissa is a Geologist-in-Training with a Master’s of Science in Geology, and is currently working as a Junior Geologist-in-Training. Before joining her current company, she worked several summer internships in New Ventures and Development teams. Her current role as an operations Geologist I.T. allows her to use both her exploration and development backgrounds. She enjoys mentoring others and providing insight from her experiences as a student in geology.

Laurie McGhie is a Professional Geologist at Total E&P Canada. Laurie’s 16 years in the industry split evenly into oilsands (both mining and SAGD) and international petrophysical experience. This is her third year volunteering for ESfS, and her second on the Exhibits committee!

Melissa and Laurie are responsible for helping recruit ESfS exhibitors to ensure a fun and dynamic exhibition. They prepare the Exhibitor brochure content, lead the team that solicits for ESfS exhibitors, develop the pavilion and exhibitor floor plan, compile exhibitor requirements for venue and logistics, prepare the exhibitor kit, coordinate the exhibitor summary, coordinate on-site assistance, compile the exhibitor feedback surveys, and contribute to the post-event Thank-you booklet.

Exhibits committee: Melissa Sawyer, Jennifer Welsh, Laurie McGhie, Richard Chow

Marketing Chair – Ryan Day and Vice Chair – Ryan Taylor
Ryan Day graduated from the University of Calgary and is currently working towards his professional designation with APEGA. Over the past 5 years Ryan has worked in a variety of positions, including research with a local laboratory as well as owning his own consulting company. His interest lies in structural and basin geology. This is Ryan’s second year with ESfS and he is excited to take over this year’s position as Chair. Some of his responsibilities involve coordinating with other societies to be featured in their magazines as well as displaying ads at luncheons.

Ryan Taylor graduated with dual degrees in geology and chemical engineering from the University of Calgary, and is currently working towards both PEng and PGeo designations with APEGA. Over the past several years, Ryan has worked for multiple major oil companies in various roles, from engineering to open pit mining to wellsite geology. Ryan is passionate about Canada’s oil and gas industry, energy literacy, and science. This is Ryan’s first year with ESfS, and he looks forward to supporting the Marketing Committee as Vice-Chair.

Ryan and Ryan develop the marketing and communication plan, work with the marketing team to prepare all collateral material and advertising, coordinate with other technical societies, connect with external youth groups, coordinate all branded event material, ensure consistent ESfS branding and communication, prepare newsletters, develop signage requirements, develop and compile feedback surveys, organize the welcoming committee and coordinate the post event Thank-you mailout.

Marketing committee: Ryan Day, Ryan Taylor, Renu Sahota, Ariana Pumo, Annette Milbradt, Michel Nzikou, Allison Altenhof, Christine Ciszkowski, Taylor Foret, Leonluca Klein, Ashlea Parker (advisory)

Volunteers Chair – Phil Harms and Vice Chair – Hilary Schumacher
Philip Harms is an interpretation Geophysicist with a strong geological background. Phil currently manages the Geoscience Group at GEOSEIS and leads and executes geoscience consulting projects in international and domestic markets. Phil is a lifelong learner and is passionate about getting a younger generation excited and educated about the planet. This is Phil’s second year with ESfS and he is excited to take over this year’s position as Volunteer Chair.

Hilary graduated from the University of Calgary, receiving a BSc with a major in Geophysics. She is currently working at Suncor Energy Inc. in the Chief Sustainability Office. Hilary started with ESfS last year as a volunteer and this year she joins the team as the Volunteer Committee Vice-Chair and a member of the Sponsorship Committee. She has a passion for geoscience and the environment which she hopes to share with the youth that get involved with ESfS.

Phil and Hilary are responsible for coordinating event volunteers, which includes preparing and managing the volunteer schedule, preparing volunteer reference documents, coordinating volunteer on-site requirements, providing on-site briefing, recognizing volunteer efforts, and reporting volunteer statistics.

Volunteers committee: Phil Harms, Hilary Schumacher, Judith Chan, Jinny Donovan (advisory)

Program Delivery Chair – Allison Altenhof and Vice Chair – Helen Isaac
Allison Altenhof is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Calgary working towards completing a double major in both geophysics and geology. This is her second year volunteering for Earth Science for Society and she is excited to share her passion of the geosciences.

Helen works part-time for CREWES at the University of Calgary, where she specializes in seismic data processing, interpretation and modelling. Helen has been a very active volunteer with the CSEG for many years and has been deeply committed to ESfS since its inception in 2010.

Allison and Helen are responsible for coordinating all aspects of student visits. They coordinate school sign-ups and communications, prepare the school rotation schedule, compile volunteer guide requirements, coordinate buses, prepare school packages and provide them with an itinerary letter, prepare geoscience reference materials for educators, create the Scavenger Hunt Booklets, work with exhibitors to prepare Q&A for the booklets, coordinate bag stuffing, and compile materials for the students’ bags and the teachers’ bags.

Program Delivery committee: Allison Altenhof, Helen Isaac, Rick Green

Budget & Finance Chair – Maverick Cue and Vice Chair – Vacant
Maverick loves to challenge himself to try new things, such as cooking. He graduated from the University of Calgary in 2015 with a BSc in Geophysics and a Geology minor. This will be his second year on the ESfS Committee. During his time in University he volunteered for Geophysics Undergraduate Student Society as a VP in Finance. He volunteers to help at the Drop-In-Centre with EPP under CSEG. He hopes to one day be the captain of his own sailboat.

Maverick is responsible for preparing the budget, assisting with coding payables, and tracking revenues and expenses to ensure that ESfS stays on budget.

Budget & Finance committee: Maverick Cue, Marissa Whittaker

Speakers Chair – Aliya Kairzhanova and Vice Chair – Michael Le
Aliya graduated from the University of Calgary in 2015 with a BSc in Geophysics. This is her fifth year volunteering with the ESfS committee and she is very excited to raise awareness and educate the community and its youth about the Earth Sciences.

Michael graduated from the University of Calgary with a BSc in Geophysics with a minor in Geology. He has previously volunteered with the CSPG as their event photographer for several events as well as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the CSPG Honorary Address. This is his second year volunteering for the Earth Science for Society committee and he is excited to share his passion for the Earth Sciences with the public.

Aliya and Michael are responsible for arranging and coordinating the geoscience speakers for the Sunday Geo-Theatre.

Speakers committee: Aliya Kairzhanova, Michael Le

ESfS in Motion Chair – Glenn Malcolm and Vice Chair – Rick Wierzbicki
Glenn is a Professional Geophysicist who has been working in the oil and gas industry for over 30 years. He has served on the CSEG executive for two years and many years as a volunteer guide with ESfS guiding young students around the exhibits. This is his second year on the ESfS Organizing Committee.

Rick is a (mostly) retired consulting geologist. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. For most of his career he worked for PanCanadian Petroleum and then Encana, performing carbonate exploration and development work in Western Canada and offshore Nova Scotia. He is interested in all aspects of sedimentary geology and enjoys collecting fossils and discussing ancient life. Throughout his career he served as a mentor to young geologists and is very supportive of educating the public about geology and the impact the geosciences have on modern society.

The ESfS in Motion committee organizes the Yukon Dan gold panning exhibit, the ESfS Fossil station, and the Geoscience Activity tables at ESfS every March.
ESfS has developed travelling exhibits that we can take to science education and outreach events or add as a booth at ESfS. We’ve participated in Science Odyssey in May 2017 and May 2018 and will participate in Science Literacy Week in September 2018.

The ESfS in Motion travelling exhibits showcase three fun and interactive stations: the Trilobite Fossil Station, the Rock Cycle Station and the Our Changing World station. The Trilobite Fossil Station allows participants to touch, identify and classify trilobite fossils. The Rock Cycle Station has sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks and mineral samples to examine. The

Our Changing World station has activities related to plate tectonics and seismic methods.

ESfS in Motion committee: Glenn Malcolm, Rochelle Longval, Rick Wierzbicki, Doug Hackbarth, Victoria Desjardins