Every year the CSPG Honorary Address committee brings a guest speaker to Calgary. The committee attempts to identify topics that are topical and interesting to our members, the geo-science community and the general public. The 2009 CSPG Honorary Address in association with the CSEG and APEGGA will hold the talk scheduled for November 3rd at the Southern Jubilee auditorium. It will celebrate three anniversaries: the 200 year of the birth of Darwin, the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species (which brought to light the natural selection theory), and a local anniversary, the 100th year since the discovery of the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park.

This year’s topic focuses on a fundamental understanding for all geo-scientists in the petroleum industry as we study and use species assemblages for identifying different and changing environments. When environments change, species will either move towards a more habitable environment, evolve to live within the changing environment, or die. The environment in which a species lives is a strong driving force which drives the need to change or evolve; these could include a position on or around mountain ranges, sediment transport within rivers, or being located on a tropical island.

We are pleased to announce our keynote speaker for this year is Brian Keating, Director of Conservation Outreach from the Calgary Zoo. Brian will present his talk “Islands of Time – Adaptation of Life to Local Environments”. This journey will bring the audience to remote and local Canadian landscapes, showing that when environments change, or do not change, has a direct impact upon species and environment characteristics and relationships. Brian will transport us from Papua New Guinea, Borneo, Madagascar, the Galapagos, and through Canada, reviewing biodiversity as we go.

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Our second speaker, Dr. Paul Johnston, Professor in the Earth Sciences Dept. at Mount Royal College and guide with The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation in Field, BC. The audience will be granted a visual tour of the super-rare biotic assemblage that has been found in the Cambrian-aged shale. This find represents a huge range of species that were unheard of prior to its discovery. The preservation of soft tissues during fossilisation has preserved species never thought to have existed, and which could be the super duper grand infinity squared grand parent of a species living today.

The committee is always excited to invite 2400 school children every year to the Jubilee in to see the talk in the morning. We hope to excite them about science and introduce them to our excitement of the geosciences. In this way the Honorary Address Committee plays a large role in our society’s outreach efforts.

This year’s evening session will begin with doors opening at 5:30 pm to the public. As in the past, our always popular lobby displays will feature many vendors and a silent auction. The silent auction will be raising funds for the CSPG’s outreach efforts. There will also be a cash bar. The talks start at 7:00 pm sharp, and you should have your children home by 9:30. Tickets are for sale on-line at TicketWeb.ca, $10 for all; kids under 12 are free. A limited number will be offered at the door for $15 on the day of the talk (November 3rd, 2009).

This is a great way to introduce friends and family to the fascinating and diverse world of Geology. We hope to see you all there.



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