That familiar line from Burns’ prophetic poem leapt to mind with the fire alarms blaring. “How am I ever going to keep the Symposium on schedule with this full building evacuation?”, I thought to myself as we all made our way to the emergency exits. That, combined with the blizzard raging outside made for a memorable day The marquee student event of GeoConvention 2018, the CSEG Foundation Challenge Bowl, a Jeopardy-esque quiz game, was yet again a resounding success. The 12th annual edition of this event, hosted by the CSEG Foundation University Student Outreach Committee (USO), took place on May 9th. Ten teams competed from universities across Canada, including Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. Francis Xavier University, Université Laval, University of Manitoba, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and Mount Royal University. Students competed for an expenses paid trip to the SEG Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA to compete in the world competition this fall. The ever-entertaining Peter Duncan emceed the event. Over 130 people witnessed three heats of intense competition, with questions becoming increasingly difficult as the evening progressed. Students relied on our panel of esteemed judges consisting of Ron Newman, Mel Best, Brian Russell, John Duhault, and Ron Larson to keep the competition fair and accurate. The enthusiasm of both students and professionals was demonstrated at the event as members of the crowd cheered and heckled each other while competing students raced to prove their University’s superiority. Kathleen McLean and Jessie Hilvo from the University of Alberta brought home the win, followed closely by Volodymyr Vragov and Rebecca Bryant of the University of Calgary, then Andrew Smith and Manuel Alejandro Jaimes from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The event allowed students to demonstrate their knowledge, passion and skills, and provided them with the opportunity to network with students and professionals from across Canada. Challenge Bowl is thought to be the highlight of many students’ geoscience conference experiences. We would like to thank the CSEG Foundation, Imperial Oil, LXL Consulting, Earth Signal Processing, and Brian Russell for their financial sponsorship – without their support the Challenge Bowl would not have been possible.