Give to Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta has an international reputation for leading edge research and dynamic PhD, MSc and MA programs. With outstanding laboratory and field research facilities, and excellent technical support, the department is able to provide unparalleled opportunities for collaborative, interdisciplinary graduate research.

C.R. Stelck Petroleum Geology Chair

For more than a century, the University of Alberta has been a leader in the exploration and development of Alberta and of Canada's northern territories-and nowhere is this more apparent than in the career of Charlie Stelck.

In addition to his leading edge geological research, Stelck was an inspiring and challenging teacher for nearly 35 years, and many of his students went on to make iconic discoveries of their own.

With the endowment of the C.R. Stelck Chair in Petroleum Geology, this icon of Canadian geology will continue to make an impact for decades to come. Fulfilling the endowment for this Chair is one of the essential elements in the university's plan to maintain its national and international reputation as one of Canada's finest schools for innovative geological research and Earth science education.

As previous Chairs, Brian Jones and the late George Pemberton pushed the limits of our knowledge and understanding of petroleum geoscience through their research. Their work and techniques have been critical to the geological field and to the oil and gas industry. For information about their contributions to petroleum geology, read Murray Gingras' take on the origins of the Stelck Chair.

The Stelck Chair is to be filled by a tenured professor from EAS on an interim basis until the Chair is fully endowed.

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Undergraduate Geology Field School

It is through field schools that students develop the diverse array of skills required of Earth scientists, establish life-long friendships, and get to know their professors. The observational and analytical skills taught in the field are prized by industry, and our field schools provide a historical link to the numerous University of Alberta geoscientists whose exploration programs and discoveries helped build Alberta. Field schools provide a forum for teaching how to recognize, name and describe rocks in the field. Understanding the effects of weathering, and developing the ability to distinguish different textures, compositions, colours and structures are amongst the skill sets that are enhanced through directed field studies. Students also learn to distinguish stratigraphic units, and to comprehend the geological history of western Canada as recorded in the sedimentary sequences that underlie the plains and mountains of Alberta.

Field schools are an integral component of an Earth Science education at the U of A, providing students with the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge learned in our classrooms and laboratories. Our comprehensive program furnishes all of our students with personal, face-to-face instruction, and provides them with exposure to some of Earth's most spectacular geological terrains. Field schools also provide us with a venue for teaching additional, highly valued skills including teamwork, project- and time-management, and the integration of geological and geophysical data. Though increasingly expensive, the Faculty of Science remains committed to maintaining and improving upon our high calibre, intensive slate of field schools through the endowed EAS Field School Fund.

Undergraduate Research

With a wealth of research opportunities in our department, we aim to offer our undergraduate students an opportunity to explore and engage in research through the offering of an undergraduate theses or directed studies projects. The purpose of the undergraduate thesis is to enable students to design and undertake research under active supervision, and to report on this in a substantive written format. A directed studies project aims to have students learn to conduct scholarly research and prepare a substantive written report. Both programs contribute to the development of students' analytical and communication skills, and provide a rigorous introduction to the research process.

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Contact Us


1-26 Earth Sciences Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Canada
T6G 2E3
Phone: (780) 492-3265
Fax: (780) 492-5741


Stephen Johnston
Professor and Chair
(780) 492-5249


Liz Hasham
Director, Development
(780) 248-1934