The CSEG Geophysical Industry Field Trip (GIFT) was an incredible experience for me and would be for any student passionate about geoscience. From the committee members to the industry professionals, the level of organization, knowledge and passion shown was incredible. Taking place Wednesday evening and through to Saturday, the program is run with consideration of the limited time students would be able to take off from work terms.
The program started off with an introductory dinner which was a good networking event and gave participants a chance to meet industry professionals and each other. Thursday and Friday included seminars with topics that were industry applicable like processing, inversion, microseismic and machine learning which was my personal favourite. Participants also got to witness the full process of how seismic data is acquired with geophones which was informative and exciting.
Software training sessions for Seisware and RokDoc were also included on these days and provided some valuable exposure to industry software that will likely be used by many of us in the future. On Friday afternoon we bussed to Canmore and had a nice barbeque on the rocks outside the Canadian Rockies Earth Science Resource Centre (CRESRC) to cap off the day.
The geologic field portion took place on Saturday and was a perfect way to complete the program as we got to see some rocks first-hand. Having an opportunity to see examples of rock formations and geometries distinguishable on seismic helped us gain a valuable perspective of what magnitude of scale to expect for the different types we will encounter. The value of this great experience can not only be measured in the knowledge obtained but in the connections that can be made.
The importance of these contacts can often be over-looked by many people, but with the current state of the industry even just one connection may be the deciding factor in getting an internship or full-time position somewhere. With the summer job market for geoscience positions constantly being flooded, if you want to stand out from the crowd of people this trip can be a vital way to distinguish yourself. Especially while you’re still in undergrad there are many people just like you, just as qualified as you, just as good at interviews as you and just as convincing that they’re ready to break into the industry as you are. If you are not willing to put in the extra effort and participate in these types of events to separate yourself from your peers, you will be putting yourself at a disadvantage to those who do.
I look forward to giving back to the program next year and becoming a GIFT committee member. I know many people who volunteered time out of their busy schedules to give me a first glimpse into the real-life applications of what I am studying, and I would feel privileged to return the favour.
About the Author
Cole Narfason is currently entering his 4th year at the University of Calgary working towards a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Geophysics (Double major) and was just awarded the Matt Bjarnason Memorial Prize for the best all-around student in the third year of the geology program. This past summer as well as participating on GIFT, he was selected to attend the Student Industry Field Trip (SIFT) put on by the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geoscientists (CSPG), completed two online courses from Stanford University in Reservoir Geomechanics and Unconventional Reservoir Geomechanics and completed a 4 month geoscience internship at Pipestone Energy Corp. In addition to his many sporting activities and volunteer work, he is eagerly working towards a career in geoscience.