The Geological Society of America Annual Meeting attracted more than 8,000 attendees last year in Denver, Colorado USA and I am looking forward to attending the show in my home country. In fact, the meeting has been held in Canada eleven times in its 126 years, but this is the first time it is being held in Vancouver. GSA is sponsoring some local Vancouver tours for anyone who wants to explore the area, and has some suggestions for anyone staying some extra days (from seeing killer whales in the wild to eating at some hip neighborhoods and first-class restaurants). But neighborhood traveling is not the only exploring that will be done. According to GSA President Hap McSween, “the major emphasis of the Annual Meeting is sharing scientific results with the broader geoscience community. GSA strives to foster innovative research that transforms the understanding of geologic processes that have shaped Earth and other planets, and that advances our understanding of global resources, geohazards, and the environment….GSA’s members and staff are active in leveraging geoscience research in ways that profoundly impact education, publications, and public policy.” Technical sessions, field trips, short courses, exhibits, networking opportunities, and more will offer something for everyone. The Exhibit Hall, however, is where you will be able to meet with vendors and see the latest technology. I’ll be in Booth 805 showing how x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology is helping to advance mining and geochemical analysis. In all stages of the geochemical and mineral exploration process, decisions are based upon site conditions, judgment, and experience. Meanwhile, quickly obtaining accurate exploration assay data to guide mining operations is one of your biggest obstacles to high productivity. The fast acquisition of this data for rapid delineation of ore boundaries and the in-depth, quantitative geochemical analysis of metal concentrations for geochemical mapping is critically important for your efficient mining functions. I’ll be demonstrating how, with portable x-ray fluorescence analyzers, geologists can identify element concentrations at unprecedented low levels, even at or below the averages naturally found in the earth’s crust. This enables you to detect even the most subtle geochemical anomalies. If you’re looking for entertainment in the Vancouver area, I’ve got some suggestions:
- Drive the sea-to-sky corridor up to Whistler. You will see picturesque scenery including beautiful ocean and mountains.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, hike the Stawamus Chief OR for the more relaxed, there is a new sea-to-sky gondola that takes passengers to a lookout over the lovely Howe Sound.
- Take in the activities at Grouse Mountain — which include grizzly bear viewing, paragliding, heli-tours and great dining.
- Shop at the Granville Island market and shops.
- Discover the great cuisine offered by local Food trucks.
- Do some Deep Cove kayaking.
- Visit the world famous Stanley Park (Ranked best park in the world by trip advisor – 2014).
- Catch a hockey game (Vancouver Canucks – NHL).
Jon Culbertson, the Mining Vertical Market Leader for the Portable Analytical Instruments group of Thermo Fisher Scientific, offers his own favorite nearby adventure: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. With a suspension bridge, cliffwalk, and treetop adventure, you’ll get a birds-eye view of nature … but you better not have a fear of heights. If you can’t stop by the booth or attend the show, follow us on twitter (@ThermoSciMining using #GSA2014). GSA has public pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, as well as a guest blog “Speaking of Geoscience. Show Details: GSA 2014 October 19 – 22, 2014 Booth 805 Vancouver Convention Centre West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Twitter: hashtag #GSA2014