Technical Sessions

( Abstract submissions will open August, 2020 for the 2020 Geoscience Forum. All abstracts must be submitted before 11:59 pm MT Friday, October 2nd, 2020)

2019 Technical Sessions

Posters - All topics

Geoscience & Environmental Science Research

  • Geoscience & Exploration
  • Diamond Geology & Exploration
  • Energy in Canada’s North
  • Environmental Monitoring & Research 
  • Thawing Permafrost

Geoscience-Related Presentations

  • Community Engagement & Education 
  • Regulatory & Policy Updates
  • Mining Updates

Descriptions of Sessions



 Kumari Karunaratne (NTGS-GNWT) and Beth Fischer (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 are to be submitted online to the Poster Session.


Geoscience and Environmental Science Research


Geoscience & Exploration 

Chairs: Bernadette Knox (NTGS-GNWT) and Edith Martel (NTGS-GNWT)

This session will highlight a variety of mineral prospects in Northwest Territories and Nunavut, summarise 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 Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Presentations from government, academia, and industry are welcome.  

Diamond Geology & Exploration

Barrett Elliott (NTGS-GNWT) and Scott Cairns (NTGS-GNWT)

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 Northwest Territories for several years. Now exploration financings are showing signs of recovery, and diamonds are returning as an exploration target of choice in Northwest Territories. This session will explore the state of existing mines and producers, as well as showcase the latest diamond research, exploration projects, and techniques at play in the territories.

Energy in Canada's North 

 Viktor Terlaky (NTGS-GNWT) and Jonathan Rocheleau (NTGS-GNWT)

This year’s Energy in Canada’s North Session will feature energy resource topics that will range from petroleum geoscientific studies in the Central Mackenzie Corridor and Peel Plateau to geoscience-related alternative energy resources such as geothermal energy and natural gas. Speakers from government, academia, and industry will highlight current research pertaining to resource exploration and energy-related issues.

Environmental Monitoring & Research

Tim Ensom (Wilfrid Laurier- Ph.D. Candidate) and Jane Fitzgerald (ENR-GNWT)

This session will focus on advances and challenges in environmental baseline and effects assessment monitoring across the north. Monitoring programs are undertaken for research into natural environmental systems and for the assessment of potential effects from mining, energy development, infrastructure, or other projects across life cycles. Topics will span physical and biological sciences including atmospherics, soils and vegetation, geosciences, aquatic ecology, hydrology, fish and wildlife.

Thawing Permafrost

Steve Kokelj (NTGS-GNWT) and Ashley Rudy (NTGS-GNWT)

Warming climate and changing precipitation patterns are causing permafrost to thaw which is affecting northern ecosystems and infrastructure. It is increasingly critical to develop new tools for mapping thaw sensitive terrain and monitoring changes that affect landscape and infrastructure. This session will include presentations on the natural and infrastructure consequences of permafrost thaw, and on techniques to monitor effects. We also encourage papers with focus on applied research and cold regions engineering.


Geoscience-Related Presentations*


Community Engagement & Education 

Chairs: Landen Powell (NTGS-GNWT) and Gideon Lambiv (NTGS-GNWT)

This session will focus on new initiatives and strategies related to community engagement for resource development in the north. Talks should focus on how to effectively engage all stakeholders to support strong communities that can benefit from full participation in sustainable resource development.

Regulatory & Policy Updates

Benji Straker (MRD-GNWT) and Johnny Lennie (ITI-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 Northwest Territories.

Mining Updates

Tom Hoefer (NWT & NU Chamber of Mines) and Philippe Normandeau (NTGS-GNWT)

This session focuses on the current status of mining activities and advanced exploration projects, as well as introductory geology overviews of the areas of interest. We welcome all talks on existing northern mining activities as well as projects nearing the opening of new resources to build the economy of the north.

*Geoscience-related sessions provide an opportunity for non-scientific presentations.