Board of Directors
President: Oliver Bonham, P.Geo.
Oliver “Ollie” Bonham retired in May 2018 as CEO of Geoscientists Canada/Géoscientifiques Canada – a position he has held from 2006. Prior to joining Geoscientists Canada, Ollie served as the Executive Director/Registrar of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario
(APGO). He is a professional geoscientist who spent 26 years in mining and mineral exploration, mostly with Rio Algom, where he ultimately served as Exploration Manager South America, based in Santiago, Chile. He also spent time with Billiton and BHP Billiton, in London, England, at the time of that merger. Ollie has a B.A. in Geology from Trinity College, Dublin and an M.Sc. in Economic Geology from Dalhousie, Nova Scotia. He is a P.Geo. in BC.
President-Elect: Rachel T. Newrick, Ph.D., P.Geoph., P.Geol.
Dr. Rachel Newrick is an exploration geophysicist working and teaching internationally with a focus on seismic interpretation. She completed a BSc (Geology) and BSc Honours (Geophysics) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and a PhD in Exploration Seismology at the University of Calgary, Canada. She is the co-author of the SEG Geophysical Monograph Series #13, Fundamentals of Geophysical Interpretation with Larry Lines, a contributor to two 52 Things… books, and has presented at a variety of technical conferences and luncheons. Rachel is a member of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG), serving as VP, President and Past President (2014-2017), the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), and is registered as both a Professional Geologist and Geophysicist with the Association of Petroleum Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).
Past-President: Graziella Kirtland Grech, Ph.D.
Dr. Graziella Kirtland Grech is Director of Processing at TGS’ office in Houston. She has over 20 years of technical and managerial seismic industry experience in Canada and overseas, including research and development, geophysical technical support and leading multidisciplinary teams. Graziella earned a BSc and a MSc from the University of Malta, and a PhD in Exploration Geophysics from the University of Calgary. She has presented award-winning papers at national and international conferences and served as technical session co-chair on several occasions. She is a member of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
Secretary: Charlie Jefferson, Ph.D.
Dr. Charles Jefferson is an emeritus scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) in Natural Resources Canada. During his BSc at Carleton University, and MSc and PhD at Western, he mapped for the GSC, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and several exploration companies. At the GSC from 1983 to 2017, he assessed mineral and energy resource potential for proposed national parks, managed mineral deposits research, completed the multi-partner EXTECH IV Athabasca Uranium Multidisciplinary Study, surveyed Canada's national uranium resources, and led a multidisciplinary consortium to map the northeast Thelon Basin uranium district of Nunavut. He is a member of the GAC, SEG and PDAC.
Financial Director: Jen Parks, Ph.D., LEL
Jen Parks is currently an Instructor and Academic Advisor in the Earth and Environmental Sciences department at the University of Waterloo. She obtained a PhD from the University of Waterloo in 2010. Her PhD research focused on using field mapping, geochronology, geochemical, and structural methods to study the tectonic evolution of an Archean greenstone belt and test different tectonic models in the Archean. Since finishing her PhD, she has focused on teaching at the undergraduate level. Jen currently teaches labs and lectures in areas of Mineralogy, Petrology, Structural Geology and Field Mapping. She served as the Vice Chairperson of the Precambrian Division of the GAC from 2011 to 2014.
Communications Director: Courtney Onstad, B.Sc. (Hons)
Courtney Onstad completed her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Geological Sciences in 2018 (USask) and completed two undergraduate honours projects. She is currently finishing her M.Sc. on the Fisher Gold Property at the University of Saskatchewan. Courtney has started her PhD in Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University where she is examining methods in which geoscience is communicated to various audiences and includes the development of educational resources for students, teachers, Indigenous communities, resource companies and the general public. Courtney has worked on exploration programs in the Athabasca Basin and the Meliadine gold district. While completing her M.Sc. she joined RESPEC Consulting Inc. in Saskatoon where she worked on environmental-focused projects. In 2018 Courtney initiated a formal geology outreach program at the University of Saskatchewan and mobilized over 20 undergraduate and graduate volunteers. Volunteering has always been a strong passion of Courtney’s and she has sat on many executive committees including U of S SEG Chapter, Ore Gangue Student Society, U of S Graduate Geological Society, Western Inter-University Geoscience Conference, and the Alberta Women’s Science Network.
Outreach Director: Beth McLarty Halfkenny, B.Sc. (Hons)
Beth McLarty Halfkenny is a geoscience outreach specialist providing informal geoscience education opportunities for youth, teachers and the public. She is Curator and Outreach Coordinator in the Department of Earth Sciences at Carleton University, has served as Chair, and now past Chair of EdGEO Canadian Earth Science Teacher Workshop Program, is a member of the Ottawa Gatineau Geoheritage Project, and a member of the Canadian Geoscience Education Network (CGEN), assuming the role of President in May of 2019. Beth is a graduate of Western University, with an Honours BSc. in Geology. Past work experience includes mapping with the Ontario Geological Survey in Northern Ontario, geochemical research assistant to Dr. Rob Kerrich at Western University, Earth Science Technician at Acadia University, and High School Science Assistant with the Sooke School Board in BC.
International Director: Mostafa Fayek, Ph.D.
Mostafa Fayek obtained his B.Sc. in Geology and Chemistry from Carleton University. He
worked for two years as an exploration geologist for Granges Inc. prior to entering graduate
school at the University of Saskatchewan where he obtained his Ph.D. Upon graduation he was
awarded an NSERC post-doctoral fellowship. He held a joint faculty appointment between the
University of Tennessee (UT) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and joined the
University of Manitoba in 2006 as a Canada Research Chair in Isotope and Environmental
Geochemistry. Dr. Fayek is currently a professor and Head of the Department of Geological
Sciences. He served as a councillor for the Mineralogical Association of Canada Council and is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists. His research interests are focussed on the
geochemistry of Arctic systems and the genesis of mineral deposits.
Special Projects Director: Linda Ham, M.Sc.
Linda started her career as a geology student working in the Yukon, followed by two summers in the Baker Lake area of what is now Nunavut. She obtained her B.Sc. (Hon) at Queen’s University, worked for two years in private industry, travelled for a year, and then obtained her M.Sc. at Dalhousie University. She worked as a Regional Geologist with the now-Nova Scotia Geological Survey until 2003 when she and her young family moved to Iqaluit, Nunavut. Since that time, she has worked with now-Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and the Government of Nunavut, Economic Development and Transportation as Manager and Acting Director of Minerals and Petroleum Resources. In 2015, she became Chief Geologist with the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office (CNGO), Nunavut’s ‘de-facto’ geological survey, on an Interchange Canada agreement, becoming full-time with CNGO (NRCan-GSC) in 2019. Linda is a Professional Geologist in Nunavut.
External Engagement Director: Andrew Abraham
From a kid collecting fossils in Lyme Regis, to a geological career exploring for metals in remote regions of the world, Andy has lived, breathed, and never stopped marveling at the Earth’s dynamic processes. He brings his love and enthusiasm for every aspect of earth science, the environment, and the quest to understand our sense of place in today’s world.
After graduating from Aston University in the UK, Andy completed his M.Sc. at the University of Regina and his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, where he was part of the ore deposits research group. He has been a geologist for almost forty years and has provided his knowledge and expertise for over twenty to North American and international exploration and mining projects.
Experience working on multi-faceted complex cultural and ethnic challenges developed his genuine passion for diversity and inclusion. He is equally enthusiastic about educating the public and building increased recognition of the historical role of earth science in society and how it will continue to positively shape its future.
Whilst not working on geological problems, Andy spends time with his family and is becoming recognized as an artist and writer, creating geologically inspired images and poetry.