Colloquium 2023

NEW – Awards

See Colloquium 2023 Awards for a listing of this year’s award winners. Thanks to everyone who attended!

The 2023 AGS Colloquium is being planned for the Inn On Prince Hotel and Conference Centre (formerly the Holiday Inn), Truro, on February 3-5, 2023.

Organizing Committee

The 2023 colloquium is being organized by a small group of members: Denise Brushett, Lynn Dafoe, Rob Raeside, Deanne van Rooyen (registration), Chris White (sponsorship). If you are interested in helping with any aspect, please contact Rob Raeside.

Sponsors of the Colloquium

Earth and Environmental Science
Department of Geology
Nova Scotia Geological Survey
Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development


Registration for the AGS 2023 Colloquium is open from December 5, 2022 until February 4, 2023 on the Fourwaves event page here: Atlantic Geoscience Society Colloquium 2023 ( Early registration closed on 18th January, and purchase of luncheon and dinner tickets closed at 10 a.m. on 31 January. Requests for registration refunds must be submitted by midnight, 31 January. All participants are requested to wear masks for your own and others’ protection.

Abstract Submission

Abstract submissions are now closed at the Fourwaves event page here: Atlantic Geoscience Society Colloquium 2023 ( Abstract submission deadline was Wednesday, January 18th, 2023, but if you need any changes made, contact Rob Raeside ASAP. Special Session descriptions are found below and detailed abstract instructions are found on the Fourwaves event page. Maximum 300 words, no paragraphs or special formatting, please use sentence case for the title.


A final program is now available. If you see any problems with it, please contact Rob Raeside.

Oral presentations will be in 20 minute time slots.  These should be prepared as PowerPoint presentations – we strongly recommend you provide them in .pps (PowerPoint Show) format, to ensure that symbols and graphics transfer appropriately.  To make a .pps file, use ‘Save As’ and select the PowerPoint Show (pps or ppsx) mode.  Note you cannot edit a .pps file.  Time slots are 20 minutes – presentations should be tailored to 15 minutes, allowing 5 minutes for questions and change over. Screens at the Inn on Prince have a 4:3 ratio.


Posters will be displayed from Friday to 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Elm/Oak conference room (lower level).  Poster boards are being provided by Darwin Event Group, Coldbrook, as 4 feet x 8 feet coroplast sheets (twin wall corrugated plastic) mounted on a rigid frame (horizontal format).  They will mounted with pins.  Posters must be removed by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Workshops and Short Courses

One workshop has been planned on certification for pXRF use. This course is now full.

  • Workshop: pXRF certification (Dave Lentz, Claude Bureau)

Special Sessions

S1 – Same coin, two sides: Unifying conservationist values with mineral production needs in navigating the crises of the Anthropocene (Luke Hilchie)
Humans in the 21st century face unprecedented challenges in our relationships with the Earth, from local to global scales. Climate change and biodiversity loss are top of mind, both are interrelated and herald a cascade of potential catastrophic consequences. Having failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite decades of scientific consensus that global warming is a real and very serious problem, governments around the world, including in Canada, are seeking to rapidly adopt technologies to curb emissions in a hurry: Transitioning to non-emitting renewable energy sources, electrifying the transportation sector, and directly removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. These strategies, whose motivations are urgent, require extraordinary amounts of raw material to implement, and although recycling and exploitation of unconventional resources (e.g., from mine wastes and tailings) are certainly important, there is wide consensus that these streams cannot feed the anticipated material demand; new mines will be necessary.
The mining industry finds itself in an unusual position – commonly regarded as a destructive industry with a long and continuing record of human rights and environmental abuses, the sector is now at the centre of proposed solutions to a planetary scale environmental crisis.
As governments look to mining to fuel their climate change solutions, many are deeply concerned about runaway biodiversity loss. As habitat and ecosystem harms are associated with land development (e.g., agriculture, infrastructure, mining), skepticism verging on hostility towards mineral resource activities (mining but also exploration) seems to pervade the minds of many Atlantic Canadians, who tend to value our rich natural heritage. On the other hand, the region enjoys the comforts and conveniences of the developed world, and the material cost of this lifestyle is only possible because of extractive industries. Mining thus sits at the uncomfortable intersection where our conservationist values and propensity to consume meet.
The purpose of this session is to bring together parties from any subdiscipline in geosciences from any sector to shine a light on both sides of the coin and bind environmentalists and industrialists to the same shared reality as we navigate these difficult issues.

S2 – Marine and coastal geoscience for sustainable development (Cameron Greaves, Jordan Eamer and Ned King)
With the Government of Nova Scotia’s September 2022 announced target to offer leases for 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030, promising developments in tidal energy generation, and a nascent hydrogen industry that will increasingly depend on renewable energy sources, there is a critical need for geological and geotechnical data to characterize the shallow areas of Atlantic Canada’s continental shelf – areas that have traditionally been under-surveyed due to the challenging conditions, efficacy of surveying shallow waters, and changing government priorities. This session calls for research on Atlantic Canada’s continental shelves and coastlines that have broad applicability to the above issues, and may include:
– Surficial geology mapping and interpretations
– Shallow seismic data – correlations, seismostratigraphy, and heterogeneity on our shelf
– Geohazard investigations (e.g., mass wasting, shallow gas, salt diapirism, fault characterization)
– Seabed sediment mobility – bedforms and scour
– Geotechnical characterization of offshore soils and bedrock
– Coastal and nearshore mapping, erosion, and modeling, in particular the use of the wealth of recently acquired bathymetric lidar (e.g., for cable landfall)

S3 – Environmental Geoscience (Dave Keighley and Allison Enright):
This session is an opportunity for environmental geoscientists, geophysicists, geochemists, geobiologists, sedimentologists, geo-engineers, hydrologists, oceanographers, and others to come together and share their environment-related work with colleagues from other subdisciplines.  Contributions may range from contaminated lands and waters to carbon sequestration, waste disposal, and green energy.

S4 -New Developments in the Study of Igneous Systems and Associated Critical Mineral Deposits in the Northern Appalachians (Fazilat Yousefi and Donnelly Archibald)
The northern Appalachians host many igneous rocks that are associated with a variety of critical mineral deposits. Recent advances in the application of petrochronology combined with the geochemical and isotopic signatures of minerals, fluids, melts, and whole-rock samples has yielded valuable information for studying critical mineral systems associated with igneous rocks. In addition, this information can also provide a better understanding of the evolution of magmatic systems. We invite contributions from academic researchers, industry, and government that focus on a broad range of topics associated with critical mineral deposits associated with igneous system in the northern Appalachians.

S5 – Palaeontological and Sedimentological Advances in Maritimes Geology (Lynn Dafoe and Jade Atkins)
Sedimentary basins located in the Maritimes region cover a wide range of geological time and history, with varying basin-forming mechanisms and related tectonic processes that affected the resultant stratigraphic succession. The units within these basins contain important fossils that often represent the oldest example of their lineage. These basins have been arguably well-studied in the last century, especially when considering classic sections, such as those preserving Carboniferous stratigraphy, as well as key core intervals collected from offshore and onshore units. Despite the breadth of understanding, new methods and approaches continue to lead to new discoveries and ideas regarding the nature of the stratigraphic record. We invite contributions that address these types of new research results in the fields of palaeontology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy within the Maritimes region.

S6 – Showcase of developments, programs, and research that promotes education of the earth sciences (Tracy Webb and Education Committee)
The Education Committee is keen to promote new developments, research and ideas in outreach programs, information, and education about earth sciences in general. Join us for an informative session as we engage in sharing and discussing various topics and perspectives!”

S7 – Gold in the Northern Appalachians (Aaron Bustard, Kevin Neyedley, and Mitchell Kerr)
Given the ongoing flurry of gold exploration in Atlantic Canada, this session will focus on current work that is advancing our understanding of gold mineralization in the region. We invite papers from industry, government, and academia related to all aspects of gold deposits including transport and deposition, geochronology, structural controls, geochemistry, and refinement of genetic and exploration models. This session will provide an avenue for discussing the current and future work to further our understanding of gold in Atlantic Canada and beyond.

S8 – Tectonic interactions of Appalachian-Caledonide terranes and their host continents (Phil McCausland, Shawna White, Deanne van Rooyen)
This session welcomes contributions related to the tectonic history of the Appalachian-Caledonide orogen with a focus on the interactions between terranes and continents. This can include terrane provenance, terrane-terrane interactions, and terrane arrival at either the Laurentian or Baltican margin. Examples of studies include but are not limited to stratigraphy and sedimentary facies comparisons, paleontology and faunal associations, structural studies of deformed rocks, geochronology and geochemistry of magmatism or metamorphism, and paleomagnetic or geophysical studies. 

S9 – Geoscience Communication (Jason Loxton and the Video Committee)

S10 – Terrestrial and seafloor surface processes and climate change (John Gosse) As Atlantic and Arctic Canadians brace for more socioeconomic impacts from climate change, a wealth of new onshore and offshore sediment, paleoenvironment, and chemical records are expanding our knowledge of climate-change induced surface processes. We invite oral and poster presentations on research that investigates the linkage between (paleo)climate change and geological consequences on land, coasts, and the sea floor anytime during the late Cenozoic.

General sessions

S11 – General sessions will be organized depending on availability of papers or posters and grouped in themes. Contributions are welcome on any topic of interest to AGS members.

Call for Nominations for AGS Awards

The Atlantic Geoscience Society will be accepting nominations in the following categories:
AGS Distinguished Scientist Award (Gesner Medal)
AGS Distinguished Service Award (Laing Ferguson Award)
AGS Nelly Koziel Award
Award criteria and procedures are posted in the following pdf file: AGS 2022 Awards
DEADLINE is January 2, 2023. 

Student Travel Grant

The AGS Student Travel Grant enables up to 4 students to attend and present at the AGS Annual Colloquium. Students can apply for up to $400 in funding in the first instance. Priority will be given to students who are travelling more than 500 km to attend the conference, presenting talks or posters and who wish to attend a workshop
offered as part of the conference. Students should send their applications directly to Rob Raeside, attaching a single pdf with a short cover letter including a statement indicating their degree program, why they wish to attend the meeting and how they expect to benefit from it, a copy of the abstract as planned to be submitted to the AGS Colloquium and a budget of the costs associated with attendance, including travel, and other sources of funding available. The submission deadline for a travel grant is 3 January and applicants will be informed of the results by 5 January to provide time for travel planning and conference registration. Successful applicants will be required to provide receipts after travel (or a travel claim from their institution). The funds will be provided to the student at the colloquium.

Colloquium location

The conference will be held at the Inn on Prince in Truro, Nova Scotia.
Room bookings are now open: call the Front Desk at (902) 895-1651, and ask to pick up from the block of Atlantic Geoscience Society. Block booking ends Friday, 13th January.