British Columbia Geological Survey staff and some key guests met for two days in March 2008 to discuss the future for the organization. The Workshop was a particularly timely given the plans to hire more staff and the approaching retirement over the next eight years of a number of staff. The objective was to determine how best to chart the future path of the Survey.
The meeting started with a series of presentations by government and industry leaders to set the stage for the rest of the Workshop. The speakers provided context for how to proceed and presented a variety of visions for the future of the British Columbia Geological Survey. Several speakers spoke about the Survey’s mandate. Their recommendations ranged from staying close to the status quo to an ambitious and aggressive approach to responding to emerging societal issues related to geosciences, such as climate change.
The first day concluded with an initial breakout session to analyse gaps in government geoscience delivery relevant to British Columbians. The list was then shortened to reflect only those gaps considered relevant to the British Columbia Geological Survey at the present time. As the Survey frequently works and collaborates with other agencies, the gap analysis included identifying potential partners.
The second day was devoted to a series of targeted sessions for staff participation. These included focus sessions with smaller groups to discuss Survey activities – coal, database management and website, geochemistry, geoscience assistants, industrial minerals, mapping, mineral deposits, publications: products and marketing and Quaternary geology. As well, all participants were included in sessions regarding Clients; GIS, Geomatics and Geophysics and Post-retirement Work Options. Comments and recommendations were recorded for all the sessions. The Workshop ended by compiling a list of the most important recommendations which are profiled in this Overview Report.
The Workshop clearly identified a desire from most staff and some of the invited guests to continue to focus the Branch’s efforts on traditional activities with a primary focus on the mineral industry and existing government clients. Several aspects of the Survey were identified as needing new staff and/or enhanced resources, including aggregate, coal, geochemistry and geophysics. The importance of staff succession planning was brought up several times and the need for the coal geologist and geochemist positions were strongly profiled.
The Workshop outlined some of the steps/products that needed to be addressed over the next five years to ensure the Branch continues to innovate and produce more valuable products. For example, the discussions included using Google Earth, presenting 3D geology and starting continuous updates of the province digital bedrock geology map.
All participants left the Workshop with a renewed understanding of some of the geoscience opportunities to be considered and also a clearer sense of geosciences activities that were not projected to be part of the British Columbia Geological Survey’s program.
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For questions or more information on geology and minerals in British Columbia contact BCGS Mailbox or call toll free (B.C. residents only).