Colloquium 2021

AGS 47th Colloquium and Annual Meeting – 2021
Held online
5-6 February, 2021

With thanks to our sponsors

Summary of the AGS Colloquium 2021

A very successful Colloquium was held by the Atlantic Geoscience Society on 5-6 February, 2021. The event was organized online, with a wide range of activities, including two professional short courses, an afternoon workshop, five thematic special sessions, and the closing awards “banquet”. Registration for the event totalled 197, with 53 oral papers and 10 poster presentations.

Special sessions were arranged on the following topics:
– Developments in Mineral Resources Research in the Northern Appalachians, by Kevin Neyedley, Aaron Bustard and Mitch Kerr
– Sedimentological and Paleontological Investigations from the Onshore and Offshore Realms, by Nikole Bingham-Koslowski and Lynn Dafoe
– Karst Research in Atlantic Canada, by Mo Snyder, Amy Tizzard and Tim Fedak
– Defining the Controls on Onshore and Offshore Pliocene-Quaternary Process, by John Gosse
– Developments in Geoscience Education, by the AGS Education Committee, chaired by Tracy Webb

The short courses and workshop were very successful, with nearly half the delegates participating in at least, and some in two of these events:
– Short Course: Applications of GIS to Earth Science, offered by Robin Adair, University of New Brunswick
– Short Course: QAQC Methods in Geochemical Research and Mineral Exploration, with a Focus on Gold Assay Quality Control, offered by Cliff Stanley, Acadia University
– Workshop: Looking to the Future; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as a Way of Being in our Discipline, organized by Anne-Marie Ryan (Dalhousie) and Deanne van Rooyen (Cape Breton University).

As usual, the quality of the presentations was very high, and the range was broad. Twenty of the oral presentations and eight of the posters were offered by students ranging from PhD to undergraduate level, and the student prizes were awarded at the closing banquet:
Rupert MacNeill Award for best undergraduate student presentation: Bailey Milos, Dalhousie University, Experimental study of the formation condition of trigonal etch pits on diamonds.
Sandra Barr Award for best graduate student presentation: Luke Bickerton, Laurentian University, Constraints on the emplacement of the South Mountain Batholith using zircon petrochronology and implications for Sn-W metallogeny in the northern Appalachians
Rob Raeside Award for best undergraduate poster: Margaret Scott, St. Francis Xavier University, Conditions of pocket formation in Zapot pegmatite, Gillis Range, Nevada
Graham Williams Award for best graduate poster: Anirban Chowdhury, St.Mary’s University, Is methane clumped isotopologue the future offshore exploration tool?

AGS 2021

Following the presentations, the closing banquet was organized by incoming president Anne-Marie Ryan (Dalhousie University) who announced the Society’s awards.

The Nelly Koziel Award is given to a person who recently has made a significant contribution to geoscience, beyond the call of duty, in the Atlantic Provinces. It was awarded to out-going president Dave Lentz (UNB) in recognition of the efforts he made to keep the geoscience community connected through weekly Zoom webinars throughout the past year.

The Laing Ferguson Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition of exceptional and altruistic contributions to the Atlantic Geoscience Society and/or to foster public appreciation of Atlantic Geoscience over a long period of time. It was awarded to Toon Pronk, New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development in recognition of his many years of work in the field of geoscience education.

The Gesner Medal is awarded to a person who has, through their own efforts (maps, publications, memoirs, etc.) developed and promoted the advancement of geoscience in the Atlantic Region in any field of geology. This year it was given to Erwin Zodrow, formerly at Cape Breton University, who has spent a lifetime research the Carboniferous paleobotany of the Sydney coalfields.

Following the awards, thanks were expressed to this year’s organizers of the Colloquium, Rob Raeside, Chris White and Donnelly Archibald, and a call was made to reconvene in February 2022 in Fredericton.

Conference Information

The location – your own couch

The colloquium is being held online through EventRebels. Sessions are being run on Zoom – we recommend you ensure you have the most recent update to Zoom installed on your device to get the best experience. The link to all the sessions has been sent by email to all registered delegates.

For help getting onto the virtual event platform, visit


Program is available at Program and Abstracts volume.

Awards Banquet – Zoom recording Passcode: uvj1w!6q

Workshop and Short Courses

Three short courses or workshops are being planned (all times in Atlantic time zone):

1. Looking to the Future; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as a way of being in our discipline – Anne-Marie Ryan (Dalhousie University) and Deanne van Rooyen (Cape Breton University), 2.00 – 5.00 p.m. Atlantic, 5 February 2021
The relevance and need for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the geosciences has never been so great. As a regional scientific community, the Atlantic Geoscience Society is excited to host this workshop and we invite you to be part of a vision for EDI in the geosciences in Atlantic Canada as we move forward. The workshop offers a short presentation on EDI in the geosciences and a question-and-answer session with the presenter. Following a short break, participants will then divide into themed groups to workshop questions around future directions in the geosciences in Atlantic Canada as these relate to EDI. We will then regroup as a collective to highlight ideas and to begin to develop a moving-forward plan. It is anticipated that this workshop will generate the beginnings of a working document for the AGS as we move through the Twenties.

2. “Applications of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) to Earth Science” – organized by Robin Adair, P.Geo., University of New Brunswick; 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. Atlantic time, 5 February 2021
This short course focuses on an introduction to GIS and 3D GIS and their utilization in context of gathering, management and interpretation of geoscience data on the surface and in the subsurface. It will also demonstrate the link between subsurface data and surficial surface mapping and interpretation. By default, this course will be an introduction to 3D GIS and the application of large datasets to modelling the subsurface. The course is designed as a beginner’s guide to this important tool for geoscientists. As a foundation, quality assurance and quality control of GIS data will be reviewed in contest of GIS, augmenting the short course titled “QAQC Methods in Geochemical Research and Mineral Exploration” presented by Cliff Stanley. Full details of this course can be obtained from the course outline.

3. “QAQC Methods in Geochemical Research and Mineral Exploration, with a Focus on Gold Assay Quality Control” – by Cliff Stanley, Ph.D., P.Geo. FCG., Acadia University; 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. Atlantic time, 30 January 2021postponed to 12.30 – 9 p.m. (Atlantic time), Saturday 13 February 2021.
This short course (run a week earlier than the colloquium) presents both the theory behind geochemical data quality assessment methods for mineral exploration sampling and resource definition, and a clear and practical approach to the design, implementation, and assessment of such methods. Given the recent Au mining activity ongoing in the Atlantic Provinces, this workshop addresses both QAQC methods generally and the adaptation in method and interpretation necessary to assess data quality in Au assays and geochemical concentrations. Topics covered range from initial sampling, digestion, and analysis methods and how they impact QA/QC, through data quality assessment concepts, qualitative and quantitative data, types of errors, accuracy and precision assessment methods, to best practices, component errors, and strategies to reduce errors. Included are several practical exercises allowing participants to develop confidence in plotting and assessing quality control data using real-world data, and several critiques of QAQC reports submitted to stock market authorities as part of mining company due diligence efforts. Emphasis will be placed on the use of quality control data to reduce ambiguities that impede the interpretation of mineral exploration results, and to minimize uncertainties in resource estimation, both of which can be adapted to geochemical research activities.

Special sessions

Session 1: Sedimentological and Paleontological Investigations from the Onshore and Offshore Realms – Nikole Bingham-Koslowski and Lynn Dafoe

Building on the past success of bringing together soft-rock fields, we invite presentations on fossils, strata, or sediment dealing with sedimentology, paleontology and stratigraphy fields from both onshore exposures and offshore samples.
Zoom recording available here; Passcode &$PZ9q*r

Session 2: Defining the controls on onshore and offshore Pliocene-Quaternary processes – John Gosse, David Piper and Ned King

Observational stratigraphic data in the onshore and offshore are reaching a spatial and temporal frequency that is enabling the ranking of controlling factors responsible for surficial processes in and around Canada or analogous regions. This is important for mitigating geohazard risk and necessary for the understanding of the evolution of our continent over the past 5 Myr. We welcome presentations that focus on the tectonic, isostatic, or climatogenic controls and causes or on the innovative methods being used to distinguish those controls.
Zoom recording of first session available here; Passcode: #3H5BRV6
Zoom recording of second session available here; Passcode: aNx^56pS

Session 3: Developments in Geoscience Education – Tracy Webb & AGS Education Committee

The Education Committee invites members of the AGS to showcase or highlight their work or recent projects that relate to application in, or support of, earth sciences education. An open discussion and exploration of ways we can enhance the awareness of earth science concepts, issues and concerns will follow. This session is an excellent forum for further promoting new ideas, use of technology and discoveries!
Zoom recording available here, Passcode: P+Wbxho6

Session 4: Developments in Mineral Resources research in the northern Appalachians – Mitch Kerr, Kevin Neyedley & Aaron Bustard

The northern Appalachians are endowed with a great variety of mineral resources, and our understanding of many of these mineralized systems is continuously developing. We invite papers from industry, government, and academia related to research for all deposit types found in the northern Appalachians, including base, precious, and critical metals. Topics may cover, but are not limited to, controls on deposit formation, structure, metal transport, lithogeochemistry, isotopes, alteration, and exploration models. This session will facilitate discussions on recent developments in the understanding of mineral deposits and metallogenesis in the region.
Zoom recordings available:
   Friday evening session, Passcode: uD0M*tkQ
   Saturday morning session, Passcode: H^u5$dt%
   Saturday afternoon session, Passcode: j4*+fx7d

Session 5. Karst Research in Atlantic Canada – Mo Snyder, Amy Tizzard and Tim Fedak

Whether it is public engagement, geohazards, or numerical modeling, karst research has become increasingly relevant in Atlantic Canada. This session will work to bring together those involved in this varied and interdisciplinary science. We encourage submissions from researchers working in any field of karst science.
Zoom recording available here, Passcode: vZ25c&nf

General session: Mineralogy, Petrology and Structural Geology
Zoom recording
available here, Passcode: W3b!1%MA

General session: Geophysics and Environmental Geoscience
Zoom recording available here, Passcode: 30A0Y#Uf

Student Awards

Students take note!  Awards are made for the best oral paper and poster in both undergraduate and graduate classes. Preparing a paper or a poster and presenting it at an academic conference is a great experience for students, and AGS is pleased to recognize your effort with the following awards:

  • Rupert MacNeill Award for the best undergraduate student paper
  • Sandra Barr Award for the best graduate student paper
  • Rob Raeside Award for the best undergraduate student poster
  • Graham Williams Award for the best graduate student poster


Submissions have been received for oral and poster presentations at the Colloquium.  The deadline for abstracts was Friday, 15th January, 4.30 p.m. The list of titles and the full abstracts are now posted for review. A list of all submitted titles is posted as an Excel spreadsheet – please check your paper is included correctly. The abstracts can be found in the Program and Abstracts volume.


All registration is done online via the Event Rebels site. Payment can made by credit card or through PayPal. Young professionals within two years of graduation can register as “student members”. Cancellations for Workshop 1 and Short Course 2 can be made up to 1 February; for Short Course 3, cancellations can be made up to 27 January).


Professional – early (up to 15 January)$ 30
Professional – more casual responders$ 40
Student – early (up to 15 January)$ 15
Student – more casual responders$ 25
Retired$ 20
Atlantic Geology subscription$ 25
Workshop 1 – Looking to the Future – professional and academic$ 35
Workshop 1 – Looking to the Future – student or retired$ 20
Short course 2 – Subsurface Methods – professional$100
Short course 2 – Subsurface Methods – academic$50
Short course 2 – Subsurface Methods – student or retired$20
Short course 3 (13 Feb) – QAQC Methods – professional$100
Short course 3 (13 Feb) – QAQC Methods – academic$50
Short course 3 (13 Feb) – QAQC Methods – student or retired$20

Program and schedule

(All times in Atlantic time zone) 
5 February, 9 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. Short course 2
5 February, 2.00 – 5.00 p.m. Workshop 1
13 February, 12.30 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. Short course 3

AGS Council meeting

Virtual meeting – 1 February 3 p.m., by MS-Teams – documentation sent to councillors separately

Halifax 2022 LOC meeting

Virtual meeting – 11 February 10 a.m. by MS-Teams – documentation sent to councillors separately

Atlantic Geology Editors meeting

Virtual meeting – details to follow

Oral Presentations

Oral presentations will be in 20 minute time slots (unless you have been advised differently).  These should be prepared as PowerPoint presentations and shared on-screen. Time slots are 20 minutes – presentations should be tailored to 15 minutes, allowing 5 minutes for questions and change over.


Posters should be provided to Rob Raeside by Thursday, 4th February (files larger than 30 MB should be sent by services such as WeTransfer. Posters will be mounted in a static location for general viewing and the live poster session will run on Friday evening as a series of Zoom break-out rooms, linked from the conference access page and available as a unique link to each participant (previously emailed to all registered colloquium participants). Poster presenters will be able to access their posters electronically and share-screen them for discussion in the poster session. Outside the regular poster session, poster presenters are welcome to set up one-on-one Zoom sessions for pre-arranged discussions throughout the weekend.

Sedimentological and Paleontological Investigations form the Onshore and Offshore Realms

  1. *Narges Ahangarian, J. Bentley, A MacDonald, M Fowler, C Campbell, C Hubert, GT Ventura  Lipidomic environmental ocean sediment baseline survey of Scotian Slope (pdf file, 1 MB)
  2. *Anirban Chowdhury, E Lalk, S Ono, MJ Kerr, J Bentley, A MacDonald, MG Fowler, C Hubert, GT Ventura Is methane clumped isotopologue the future offshore exploration tool? (pdf file, 1 MB)
  3. *John Dooma, K Azmy, A Chowdhury, GT Ventura Hydrocarbon fingerprinting of Cambrian-Ordovician sedimentary rocks in eastern Laurentia (western Newfoundland, Canada): organic geochemical approach to palaeo-environmental investigation (pdf file, 21 MB)

Developments in Mineral Resources Research in the Northern Appalachians

  1. *Alan Cardenas, D Lentz, C McFarlane, K Thorne Gold mineralization at the Cape Spencer area, New Brunswick – Project update (pdf file, 17 MB)
  2. Ayalew L Gebru The geological setting and Pb- and S-isotopic signature of the base metal mineralization at the Lumsden polymetallic deposit, southeastern New Brunswick (pdf file, 1 MB)
  3. *Moya MacDonald, D Lentz, A Cardenas, K Thorne Epithermal gold mineralization and associated alteration at the Golden Ridge Deposit, Poplar Mountain Volcanic Complex, southwestern New Brunswick: analysis of the role of pyrite and arsenopyrite during mineralization (pdf file, 2 MB)
  4. **Jessica Patterson, D Gregory, Bernd Milkereit Solving the structural puzzle: A 3D model of the Nash Creek deposit, New Brunswick(pdf file, 6 MB)

General Session

  1. **Nikita Lakhanpal, E Redshaw, J Dooma, JN Bentley, M Pasterski, F Kenig, GT Ventura Survey of potential syngenetic occurrences of archaeal lipid biphytanes in lower greenschist, Late Archean (2.65 Ga) metamorphosed argillites of the Abitibi Subprovince, Timmins, Ontario, Canada
  2. Gamra Oueslati Organic geochemical water column survey of the Labrador Sea (pdf file, 1 MB)
  3. **Margaret Scott, AJ Anderson, MA Wise Conditions of pocket formation in Zapot pegmatite, Gillis Range, Nevada (ppsx file, 51 MB)

Documents pertaining to the AGM

Documents pertinent to the AGM are included in the Program and Abstracts volume.

  • Agenda for AGM – included in program
  • Draft minutes from 2020 AGM
  • Financial Report (Paul Batson)
  • Report from the President (Dave Lentz)
  • Report from the Education Committee (Tracy Webb) – included in program
    • Update on Last Billion Years revision – included in program
  • Report from the Nova Scotia EdGeo Workshop Committee (Jennifer Bates)
  • Report from the New Brunswick Teachers Workshop Group (Ann Timmermans)
  • Report from the Video Committee (Graham Williams) – included in program
  • Report from the Products Committee (Rob Raeside) – included in program
  • Report from the Membership Secretary (Ann Miller)  – included in program
  • Report from the Awards Committee (Anne-Marie Ryan)
  • Report from the Publications Committee (Sandra Barr) – included in program
  • Report from the Atlantic Geology Editors (Sandra Barr, Rob Fensome, Denise Brushett, David West) – included in program
  • Report from the Webmaster (Joe MacIntosh) and Website Renewal Committee (Lynn Dafoe, Dewey Dunnington) – included in program
  • Report from the AGS-Science Atlantic Speaker tour coordinator (Deanne van Rooyen)
  • Report from the Travelling Speaker Series committee (Sheila Watters) – included in program
  • Report from CFES rep (Chris White) – included in program
  • Report from Halifax 2022 LOC / 50th Anniversary liaison (Sandra Barr, Ian Spooner) – included in program
  • Report from the Science Atlantic (Earth Science) Committee (Lexie Arnott)
  • AUGC 2020 UNB report (Grace Jackson, Hannah Sharpe) – included in program
  • Slate of nominations for Council and Executive, 2020 (Martha Grantham, Past President – provided at meeting)

Nominations for Gesner Medal, Laing Ferguson Award, and Nelly Koziel Award

Nominations for the Gesner Medal (AGS Distinguished Scientist Award), the Laing Ferguson Award (for distinguished service) and the Nelly Koziel Award (for a recent significant contribution to the promotion of geoscience in the Atlantic Provinces) should be submitted to vice-president Anne-Marie Ryan by 8 January 2021.  Criteria and procedures are available the Call for Award Nominations. Award winners will be announced at the Awards Banquet.