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Meet the 2017 NTGS Summer Students!

Jared Tordoff

Although Jared is a Physics student, he is applying his science skills and curiosity to learn about geology and help with the permafrost database development. Jared Tordoff was born in Hay River, NT and attended grades 1 through 12 in Yellowknife, graduating from Sir John Franklin as part of the class of 2015. After completing his first year of a B.Sc. program at McEwan in spring of 2016 he decided to take a year away from school to focus on training for the National Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Championships in April of 2017.  Jared won a gold medal in his weight class, securing him a spot on the national team which will be competing in the Amateur World Championships in Bahrain, this November.  In September of 2017, Jared will be attending the University of Victoria for his second year, where he has been accepted to continue his B.Sc. with a major in physics.

This summer, Jared is working with the Northwest Territories Geological Survey’s project to build a Permafrost Database.   The publicly-accessible database will contain permafrost ground temperature and geotechnical information useful for monitoring climate change and informing land use decisions.  He will be working with permafrost geologists Steve Kokelj and Kumari Karunaratne to compile the data and will have the opportunity to install permafrost ground temperature equipment at a remote site about 115 km east of Yellowknife.  This will be Jared’s first experience of working in the field – don’t worry Jared the bugs aren’t going to be too bad!

Rebecca Canam

Rebecca Canam - 2017 NTGS Summer StudentRebecca Canam was born in Red Lake, Ontario and has spent the majority of her life residing in Yellowknife, NT. She graduated from McGill University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and is currently pursuing her second undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia with a major in Geological Sciences. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, hiking, bouldering, and exploring BC’s coast and mountains.

This is Rebecca’s first summer with the Northwest Territories Geological Survey. She will be working on the ongoing drill core project, which involves transporting several hundred pallets of core and organising them in the new warehouse. This will increase the accessibility of the drill cores. She will also spend a month in the field this summer assisting with bedrock mapping at the Sunrise/Sunset Lake project.

Aaron Doan

Aaron Doan, 2017 summer student at the Northwest Territories Geological Survey.Aaron Doan was born in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, and has spent the majority of his life residing in Yellowknife. He graduated from Sir John Franklin High School and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree concentrating on a major in geoscience at Vancouver Island University. The geoscience program at Vancouver Island University has provided Aaron with the opportunity to travel and research the geology of many regions, including Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 2015, and an upcoming trip to Iceland this summer. Aaron is also a returning summer student at the Northwest Territories Geological Survey (NTGS), which has been an employment opportunity that has provided several summers experience as a Junior Geological Assistant. In the fall, he intends to return to Vancouver Island University to complete his degree and obtain the necessary course credits to register as a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists.

Aaron is spending the summer of 2017 working on the Northwest Territories Geological Survey’s ongoing drill core project, which involves the transport of several hundred pallets of drill core, and organising them in a new storage facility. This project will ensure that drill core from all over the Northwest Territories is catalogued and stored in a way that will allow clients to view core from geological regions of interest. Aaron has also been provided with the opportunity to conduct field work with the Northwest Territories Geological Survey and looks forward to any potential opportunities that may arise this summer.

Dawson Stone

Dawson Stone will be working in the Geological Materials Storage Facility this summer.Dawson Stone was born in Yellowknife, NT and graduated from Sir John Franklin in 2013. He is currently working on a BSc majoring in Earth Sciences with a minor in human geography at the University of Alberta and hopes to return to the north after graduation. After working as a summer student at the Snap Lake Diamond Mine until its closure, he decided to gain some valuable public sector experience and started working for the Northwest Territories Geological Survey. When not working, he tries to spend as much time outside as possible, hiking, canoeing and annoying his friends by staring at rocks for inordinate amounts of time.    

Last year Dawson spent 2 weeks at Sunrise/Sunset Lake as a geological assistant with the NTGS and will be returning this summer for a month to help map bedrock and investigate volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits. He hopes to take this opportunity to start an undergrad thesis on a rock formation or zone of interest in the area. Dawson is also working on the Northwest Territories Geological Survey’s ongoing drill core project for the summer of 2017, consolidating and cataloguing core that’s been left in various states of decay all over the territory, into one easily accessible warehouse and viewing area. This will make it easier for people to view core from distant geological sites.

Justin Kokoszka

Justin Kokoszka is continuing to study permafrost conditions in the NWT for a second summer. Justin Kokoszka was born and raised in Yellowknife, NT and graduated from Sir John Franklin. After graduating high school, Justin worked as a laboratory technician for Taiga Environmental Laboratory while completing on-line courses at Athabasca University. In 2015, Justin graduated from Capilano University with an Associate of Science degree focused on environmental sciences. After working with the GNWT’s Forest Management Department as a summer student, Justin developed an interest for understanding earth systems within northern Canada. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Honours in Physical Geography as well as a Certificate in Spatial Information Systems at Simon Fraser University. In his spare time, Justin enjoys hiking, kayaking and fulfilling an endless appetite for burgers.

Justin is a returning summer student at the Northwest Territories Geological Survey (NTGS), where he will assist permafrost scientist Steve Kokelj. Justin’s work includes several mapping projects that aim to monitor landscape change associated with retrogressive thaw slumping in northwestern Canada. In particular, Justin will help explore the impact of thaw slumps on fluvial systems with the use of geographic information science (GIS). He will also begin his honours thesis, which involves investigating the geochemistry of icings along the Invuik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, in an attempt to understand the geochemical flux of streams during the winter season. This will be Justin’s second year working with NTGS and he looks forward to working in the dynamic northern landscape he calls home.

Susan Machan

Susan Machan - 2017 NTGS Summer Student Susan Machan is a Tlicho citizen who was born in Fort Nelson, BC but moved to Saskatchewan and Alberta where she finished her secondary education in Prince Albert, SK. She moved to Yellowknife, NT afterwards and has loved it up here since (except for the mosquitoes). She then went to the University of Calgary to pursue a science degree in the geoscience program. She’s hoping to explore the possibility of becoming a volcanologist while she is up here and while she is on Mount Vesuvius when she goes on her field school to Italy this summer. She loves travelling when she’s not in school or doing field work. It was her first time riding in a helicopter and shooting a rifle while working here at the NTGS  as a summer student

This is Susan’s third year with the NTGS. She has been helping with an ongoing project to rehabilitate drill core that have been collected and/or donated at several locations which included Gordon Lake and Sunset Lake amongst various others. These pallets of drill core have been restored, catalogued and stored to make them easy access for clients interested in them.

Sara Lilley

Sara Lilley - 2017 NTGS Summer StudentSara Lilley is a Calgary-born and raised summer student. She completed her B. Sc. in Geology at Mount Royal University in Calgary, AB. Being so close to the rocky mountains has allowed for a lot of opportunities to learn about the geology of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, especially in her field schools and during the 2016 Student Industry Field Trip (SIFT). In 2015, Sara attended a geologic field study in Iceland, where she hiked volcanoes and looked at basalt for two weeks straight. Last summer, she spent some time in Wyoming studying lacustrine deposits of the Green River Formation. She also attended a two-week field school to Flin Flon, Manitoba where she got a taste for bedrock mapping on the Trans-Hudson Orogen.

This summer, Sara is excited to begin her master’s project work on volcanic rocks in the Sunset Lake area of the Slave Province. She will be spending most of her summer in the field doing bedrock mapping and living among the bears. Next year, Sara will be attending Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario for her graduate studies.


Updated: 19 May 2017