The 55th Western Inter-University Geosciences conference (WIUGC) was hosted by Brandon University from January 9th to 12th. The WIUGC is an annual, student run conference that alternates between universities across Western Canada. This year 85 student attendants and professional delegates from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba attended. The conference provided opportunities for students to come together to further their career development and knowledge through professional development day, short courses, mentorship panel discussions, industry presentations and networking opportunities through multiple social events in the four days of the conference. This included a professional development day of resume and cover letter review, email writing techniques, short courses on drones, hydrogeology, and core logging and XRF.
The CSEG was represented throughout the entire conference by Brandon Clayton and Devika Naidu. Friday evening, Devika gave a presentation on the CSEG student member benefits. The talk outlined upcoming CSEG events which included highlighting GIFT and GeoConvention. The talk also spoke about student scholarships and student travel grants.
Following the talk, Brandon hosted the CSEG Foundation Challenge Bowl, an action-packed geoscience quiz game. The WIUGC Challenge Bowl serves as a regional qualifier for the National Challenge Bowl that will take place at GeoConvention on May 15th. The winners of the WIUGC Challenge Bowl receive an all-expense paid trip to GeoConvention to compete in nationals. The winners of nationals receive an all-expense paid trip to compete in the International Challenge Bowl Finals at the SEG annual meeting in Anaheim. Teams from Brandon University, the University of Manitoba, the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan competed. Alex Bairos-Novak and Ryan Desjarlais from the University of Manitoba won the competition.
Brandon and Devika also judged student posters and oral presentations. The CSEG F sponsored the second-place oral presentation award, given to Iona Funk from the University of Manitoba. Devika also manned the CSEG booth, where she registered over 20 new student members.
The Brandon University committee members were professional and efficient, and did an outstanding job hosting the event. The WIUGC 2019 president, Taylor Mcpherson proved to be an organized, confident and enthusiastic leader. The conference showed students the wide range of geological applications across the western half of our country and re-established a strong inter-provincial community of geoscience students. We look forward to next year’s WIUGC at the University of Saskatchewan.