February 2009    Print this article

École de terrain Abitibi2009
Building on successs

Robert Maquis and Sylvain Lacroix, Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune
Denis
Bois, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Alain Cheilletz,
ENSG-INPL, France

Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF) and Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) set up a field school in 2008 to promote the recruitment of qualified geologists who would be in a position to rapidly and effectively meet the needs of the mining industry. According to everyone concerned, the field school was a big success. As in 2008, École de terrain Abitibi 2009 is intended for geology students about to graduate from French-language universities outside Québec, with the goal of developing common skills in applied geology. École nationale supérieure de géologie de Nancy in France will contribute its know-how in this field and will be the bridgehead for recruiting students.

École de terrain Abitibi 2009 provides two weeks of courses plus a three-month internship. Students will first take the UQAT North American field geology course—GNM-1101 GÉOLOGIE DE TERRAIN EN CONTEXTE NORD-AMÉRICAIN—from May 10 to 22, 2009. This course aims to develop the students’ practical know-how through exercises supervised by professionals from MRNF and UQAT. Exercises in the field are an excellent educational tool from both a technical and motivational point of view because they give the students the opportunity to experience the geological, economic, and sociological realities around them.

Field training is given in the form of workshops and individual exercises covering themes specific to Abitibi: volcanism and base metal deposits, orogenic and plutonic gold deposits, geophysics applied to exploration, and superficial Quaternary formations. Particular emphasis is put on health and safety, transportation, communications, traverses, and positioning. Students will be evaluated and will earn academic credit.

Internships offered by mining exploration companies operating in Québec and by MRNF will take place from May 23 to August 21. Students will be able to familiarize themselves with Québec geology and what it is like to work as a geologist in the province. Six (6) of the (12) students who completed the 2008 field school have begun their professional careers in Québec.

Partner firms help fund the field school, which is also supported by Emploi-Québec. A number of companies have joined this industrial learning adventure. Hurry! There are only a few places left.

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