In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our friends, colleagues, and fellow geoscientists.

Alan Ruffman (December 28, 2022) – After graduating from the University of Toronto, Alan came to Dalhousie for a marine geophysics M.Sc. and then worked for a time at Bedford Institute. He realized the significance of Orphan Knoll for Canada’s future territorial claims and in 1970 participated in the cruise that drilled there. In 1973, Alan started the company, Geomarine Associates, which did site survey work for oil and gas development of offshore eastern Canada. Other endeavours included researching the 1929 Grand Banks tsunami, and resolving mysteries surrounding the Titanic’s sinking and the Halifax explosion. Alan was a lifelong AGS supporter, giving presentations on thought-provoking topics and asking penetrating questions at Colloquia.  He fostered public appreciation of marine geoscience through his contributions to many radio, TV and film documentaries and wrote a fine book on the sinking of the Titanic.

Anne Marie Ryan (January 20, 2022) – Anne Marie attended Dalhousie University (PhD), Mount Saint Vincent University (MEd), Acadia University (MSc and BEd), and University College of Dublin (BSc). She was a University Teaching Fellow in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University, Faculty Associate for the Centre of Learning and Teaching, and a 3M National Teaching Fellow. AGS members were deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our President, Dr. Anne Marie Ryan, just prior to our AGM.  Anne Marie has been continually supportive of the Society and its members for 40 years and has provided leadership that was collaborative and inclusive.  As an award-winning educator, she made a lasting impact on the lives of all the students that she encountered at Dalhousie University and across Atlantic Canada, in the classroom and out.  Her research bridged the earth and environmental sciences as well as pedagogic studies.  She worked to increase diversity and accessibility in the geosciences, which is where she hoped to make an impact as president of the AGS.  She guided the society through the ongoing pandemic and will be greatly missed by her friends and colleagues.

Warren Ervine (October 12, 2020) – Warren earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Toronto in Engineering. Warren spent his university summers working as a geologist by foot, canoe, and float plane from coast to coast in Canada. He obtained his Ph.D. in geology at Stanford University, California. Upon graduation he worked as an engineer scientist at NASA for two years in the western United States on the first Earth Observation Satellite.

Ronald Pickerill (April 5, 2018) – After graduating in Geology from the University of Liverpool, Ron immigrated to Canada to teach in Geology at the University of New Brunswick, a position he held for over 40 years. He was an accomplished researcher with numerous publications, leaving a valuable mark in his field; many of his fossil discoveries are on display at the New Brunswick Museum.

Nelly (van Huissteden) Koziel (May 26, 2017) – Nelly worked for more than 30 years as an administrative assistant for Natural Resources Canada in the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic) department at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography where she formed many lifelong friendships. Nelly was an active and dedicated member of the Atlantic Geoscience Society (AGS) where she served as Treasure for the Society, as a member on the AGS Education Committee, and as a member of the NS EdGEO Workshop Committee.

Dr. H. Wouter van de Poll (February 1, 2017) – Wouter graduated with a Bachelor degree in Tropical Agriculture in Deventer in 1956 but decided to pursue his affinity for geology. Four months later, he was working for Sherritt-Gordon Mines Ltd in Northern Manitoba. In1959, he was accepted into 3rd year Geology at UNB and following his graduation, completed a Masters of Geology in 1963. Shortly after completing a PhD at Swansea University (University of Wales) in 1970, he started his teaching career at UNB, eventually becoming the Department Chairman, before he retired in 1996. After retirement, he continued to teach part-time. He also worked with CARIS, a software company, on a volunteer basis, testing their GIS software on a number of geological digital mapping projects. He recently had donated a digital map display to the Quartermain Earth Sciences Centre at UNB.

Avard Dinsmore Hudgins (June 8, 2016) – Avard Dinsmore Hudgins of Truro, Nova Scotia passed away peacefully on June 8th, 2016. From 1953-1957, he attended Acadia University where he completed a B.Sc. in geology and received the Bronze Medallion for top marks in the graduating class. It was during this period that “Av” met the love (and rock) of his life, Joan Neatby. The happy couple were married in 1958 before venturing west to the nickel mines of Sudbury. Avard and Joan returned to his alma mater, Acadia University in 1959 where Avard completed his master thesis in 1960. Over the next 56 years, Avard developed an unrivalled passion for teaching, prospecting, exploring and promoting the varied mineral and geological environments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Reginald George Moore (February 2, 2014) – After graduating in Geology from the University of Western Ontario in 1954, Reg went on to study at the University of Michigan, and later to study Theology at the Atlantic School of Theology and Acadia Divinity College and Episcopal Seminary of the South West in Austin, Texas. In 1960, Reg took up a career as a Geology professor at Acadia University.

Dr. Laing Fergueson (December 25, 2013) – Laing graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1957 with a BSc Honours geology and in 1960 with a Ph.D. in Palaeoecology. After a two year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Edmonton Alberta and time spent working in the Arctic, Laing accepted an Associate Professor position at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. in 1962. Laing became the Head of the Geology department from 1973 to 1995.

Dr. David Hope-Simpson (July 10, 2013) – Dr Hope-Simpson studied Geology at McGill University earning a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in 1941. Upon graduation, he joined the RCAF and trained as a Navigator and flew 35 missions in Europe until the end of the War in 1945. In 1945 he returned to McGill to complete a PhD in Geology. David became a much loved professor of Geology first at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and then at St. Mary’s University in Halifax.

Dr. Bernard Pelletier (May 20, 2013) – Bernard liived an adventure-filled life: a veteran and a geologist, Bernard was also an explorer. He earned a PhD from Johns Hopkins University and worked for 50 years for the Geological Survey of Canada.

Dr. Alan Carson Grant (June 6, 2012) – Alan earned a B.A. in Geology from Acadia University, a B.Sc. from Dalhousie University, an M.Sc. from the University of New Brunswick, and a Ph.D. From Dalhousie University. Alan was awarded the AGS Gesner Distinguished Scientist Award in 2004. The following citation was read to the banquet by Alan Ruffman.

Dr. Hans Wielens (August 6, 2010) – Hans studied at the universities of Utrecht and Amsterdam, where he earned a Ph.D in Geology. Hans moved to NS in 1999 to work at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, from which he retired in July 2010. As an adjunct professor at Dalhousie University he assisted in the Earth Sciences department.

Dr. Paul E. Schenk (April 10, 2000) – In 1963, Paul earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and joined the Department of Geology at Dalhousie University.