Technical Program

2016 Technical Sessions

Abstract Submission Closed!

The technical sessions for the 2016 Geoscience Forum are described below and include:

Posters - All topics

Geoscience & Environmental Science Research

  • Geoscience & Exploration
  • Diamond Geology & Exploration
  • Petroleum in Canada’s North
  • Transport & Fate of Contaminants
  • Permafrost & Hydrogeology Interactions
  • Environmental Monitoring and Research Session

Geoscience-Related Presentations

  • Celebrating 25 years of Diamonds in the North
  • Innovation, Community Engagement & Education
  • Regulatory & Policy Updates
  • Mining Updates
  • Regional Mineral Development Strategy

Descriptions of Sessions


 Beth Fischer (NTGS-GNWT) and Kumari Karunaratne (NTGS-GNWT)
The Poster Session allows presenters to highlight their projects and discuss results with colleagues. Continuing this year is the ever-popular 5-minute ‘soap-box’ talks.  All poster abstracts or summaries on any topic are to be submitted online to the Poster Session.

Geoscience and Environmental Science Research


Geoscience and Exploration 
Chairs: Bernadette Knox (NTGS-GNWT) and Edith Martel (NTGS-GNWT)
Once again this session will highlight a variety of mineral prospects in the NWT and Nunavut, summarize mineral-exploration activity that took place in both territories over the past year, and provide the latest results of geoscience research and mapping projects in the NWT and Nunavut.  Presentations from government, academia, and industry are welcome.  

Diamond Geology and Exploration
Barrett Elliott (NTGS-GNWT) and Scott Cairns (NTGS-GNWT)
Exploration for, and the development of, diamond resources have played an enormous role in the evolution of the NWT for nearly 25 years. With the first diamond mines nearing middle life, exploration for new diamond resources is also becoming more mature. A depressed exploration market around the world has slowed diamond exploration in the Northwest Territories for several years.  Now exploration financings are showing signs of recovery, and diamonds are returning as an exploration target of choice in the NWT. This session will explore the state of existing mines and producers, as well as showcase the latest diamond exploration projects and techniques at play in the Territories.

Petroleum in Canada's North 
Kathryn Fiess (NTGS-GNWT) and Viktor Terlaky (NTGS-GNWT)
This year's Petroleum Session will feature petroleum related geoscientific studies in the Central Mackenzie Corridor, Peel Plateau and Liard Region – NWT. Speakers from government, academia and industry will highlight and summarize current research, exploration and energy related issues.

Transport and Fate of Contaminants
Chairs: Jennifer Galloway (GSC-Calgary), Michael Parsons (GSC-Atlantic), and Michael Palmer (Carleton University)
Limiting the impact of natural resource development and remediating former industrial sites requires an understanding of the geological and biological processes controlling contaminant mobility. In the rapidly changing north, dynamic Earth system processes such as climate, hydrology, and biogeochemical cycles have profound impacts on the process controlling the transport and fate of potentially hazardous materials.  This session will feature research on monitoring, characterization, and controls on the transport, fate, and impact of contaminants in Northern Canada.

Permafrost & Hydrogeology Interactions
Steve Kokelj (NTGS-GNWT) and Peter Morse (GSC-Ottawa)
Permafrost interacts with geology to control surface and ground water pathways. Heat advected by water movement can contribute to permafrost degradation. Permafrost, surface and ground water regimes are also impacted by changing air temperatures and precipitation. Considering the important influence of permafrost and hydrologic conditions on natural and built environments, this session will focus on new findings in these fields of study with emphasis on applied research and topics of future concern.

Environmental Monitoring & Research
 Isabelle de Grandpre (ENR-GNWT) and Tim Ensom (Golder Associates)
This session will focus on advances and challenges in environmental baseline and effects assessment monitoring relevant to mining and oil and gas projects across the North.  The session will cover emerging approaches to and outcomes of environmental research with applications across the project lifecycle, from exploration through closure and reclamation.  Topics will span physical and biological sciences, including atmospherics, soils and vegetation, aquatic ecology, fish, and wildlife.


Geoscience-Related Presentations*

Celebrating 25 Years of Diamonds in the North
 Barrett Elliott (NTGS-GNWT) and Scott Cairns (NTGS-GNWT)
As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our diamond industry, and prepare for the opening of a new diamond mine, this special session invites presenters with a historical perspective on our great northern diamond adventure.

Innovation, Community Engagement & Education 
Chairs: Landen Powell (NTGS-GNWT) and Mike Byrne (CSCR-GNWT)
This session will highlight case studies related to resource and infrastructure development as well as community engagement in the north. A focus will be on examples and strategies for successful investment in the north and how industry and communities have overcome challenges.  We invite abstracts that showcase a variety of perspectives on the development of sustainable communities related to exploration, mining, petroleum and infrastructure development in the north.

Regulatory and Policy Updates
 Cathleen Knotsch (MRD-GNWT) and Tejas Kashyap (MRD-GNWT)
This session will feature talks on operating under the Northwest Territories regulatory setting including initiatives for all resource sectors stemming from the pillars of the Mineral Development Strategy and from the management of Oil and Gas resources. Emphasis will be on programs and services that are available to communities, Aboriginal Governments, and the exploration and mining industry that will encourage investment in the NWT.

Mining Updates
Tom Hoefer (NWT & NU Chamber of Mines) and Hendrik Falck (NTGS-GNWT)
This session includes presentations on Mines and Advanced projects. The talks will cover updates of current status and project progress as well as introductory technical overviews of the geology. The focus will be on the existing mines in the north as well as those projects that are nearing the opening of new resources to build the economies of the north.

Regional Mineral Development Strategy
Benji Straker (MRD-GNWT) and Angela Norris (CSCR-GNWT)
This session will feature talks on the opportunities, benefits and potential approaches toward developing regional specific Mineral Development Strategies. A more regional driven natural resource development approach has been evolving in the NWT. New undertakings to work together with Aboriginal Governments through the signing of the Devolution Agreement facilitates more regional interest in resource development through the creation of local jobs and business opportunities and the sharing of resource royalties and other tax revenues. Emphasis will be on stimulating regional interest in the opportunities and benefits of mineral strategies which enable communities to actively participate in attracting mineral investment, jobs and revenues to its region.



*Geoscience-related sessions provide an opportunity for non-scientific presentations. Talk summaries are required and are submitted through the abstract submission webpage.



The 44th Yellowknife Geoscience Forum invitation to submit an abstract to the technical program.