The Gussow 2022 Conference: Expanding Horizons will be dedicated to the exploration of opportunities for the geologist in the future energy, land, and water resources sectors of our world. The world is rapidly changing. Population growth, land disturbance, and climate change are placing strains on our food, energy, and water systems like we have not witnessed in our lifetimes. Alterations in global weather patterns are possible. As the events in western and eastern Canada during 2021 have shown, our societal systems are at risk and require climate-proofing. Temperature extremes, wildfires, intense precipitation and other events are exposing fragilities that place our people, property, and profits at risk from natural processes within a system that may be in disequilibrium. This is not about pointing fingers or deflecting blame, this is about realization and taking action to create a world for future generations.

The solution? Expanding our horizons and determining how we in the geoscience and engineering community can help transition our world to a more sustainable future – a transition that is already happening as nations take a hard look at their energy systems and commit to decarbonizing and bringing greenhouse gas emissions down to a more sustainable level. Active mitigation such as carbon capture and storage will play a part, as will deep basin geothermal. Adaptation strategies around water management and land management practices will be critical, and regional-scale monitoring, geomatics, and “big data” analytics will be needed to ensure we are on course to meet our set goals of this transition period. While some may see this as a threat, others see it as an opportunity to pivot already-learned skills in a changing economic and political landscape.    

Unlike past Gussow conferences, the 2022 edition has been purposefully designed to challenge the way we see our careers and identify pathways to new and exciting opportunities that will arise from the energy transition. From geological to geophysical to geochemical, all these aspects will play an important role in mitigating, and adapting, to the challenges that lay ahead. The changing role of hydrocarbons in our society is not the end, but the beginning of a new world where our professions play an important role if we expand our horizons and apply our skills in a new way.

Please join us at a conference designed to test your understandings, discuss the possibilities, and shine a light on how we, the geoscience and engineering community, can assist in helping the world adapt and succeed in our new reality.

 Why Attend?

You are a Student or a New Graduate: You always wanted to be a geologist, but it is hard to see how this is going to work out. At this conference, you will see the breadth and depth of new and exciting opportunities for you as an earth scientist. If you want to continue a concentration in oil and gas, we will show you why there can be a future for you, even in a NetZero world. If you are looking for another area, we will show you areas you may not yet have considered. 

You are a Young Professional: Let us be honest: it has been a very rough number of years for young earth professionals seeking to get established. For some, there have been forced pauses or exits from career-track jobs.  Maybe it is time to move on, you might be thinking.  But before you do that, let us talk about how your future can turn into a sustainable and welcome growth opportunity. Let us see how you can stay in the sciences you loved in the first place.

You are a New Canadian: New Canadians can struggle to find new opportunities and how best to add new skills to the ones brought from far-away homes. We will showcase where we think those future growth opportunities will happen. In some cases, experience from your past home could be quite advanced compared to the local market in Canada, because other countries have already gone down paths we are yet to start.  

You are an Established Practitioner: You are already in the middle of your career. The hard days are behind you. Now you are driving profits, efficiencies, and productivity in your company or department. But maybe you want to have a change, or at least know where change and disruption may come from next. Gussow 2022: Expanding Horizons may open opportunities to consider for your company for new markets and new profit centres.

You are a Thought Leader: You are the wise one in your group. Maybe a little grey even. But people listen to you and take your advice seriously. You are a mentor and guide to younger staff. You have earned the freedom to look at the big picture. This conference will feed that role and give you even more things to think about and bring back to the team. So, when the topics we discuss come up, you can say “have you thought about this? I heard all about it at Gussow 2022!”

You are a Decision Maker: You live in the world of financial decisions, regulators, policies, and shaping your organization. You make the hard decisions to deliver on strategy. You manage risk and make boards, shareholders, and stakeholders understand your directions and actions. Your job is to look at the horizon and see where to go next. We will bring you new ideas and maybe alert you to the next big thing for your organization, if not for today then maybe for five or ten years from now.  It is never too early for solid leaders to make plans.

Interview with the Gussow Co-Chairs

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Meet the Conference Committee!

Kevin Parks - Co-Chair
P.Geo., Principal Hydrogeologist & Founding President, Deep Time Advisory Services
Jon Fennell - Co-Chair
M.Sc., Ph.D., P.Geo., Hydrogeologist & Geochemist, Water Security | Climate Risk
Alex Haluszka - Committee Member
M.Sc., P.Geo., Senior Hydrogeologist, Matrix Solutions
Steve Sturrock - Committee Member
M.Sc., P.Geo., Senior Hydrogeologist, Waterline Resources

Gussow 2022: Expanding Horizons will be a single-track, technical conference for this conversation. It will focus on three thematic areas: energy, water, and land. Invited contributions in each thematic area will be anchored in six core practices of CSPG members: crude oil and bitumen, shale gas, geothermal energy, carbon-capture and storage, non-combustible uses of carbon, and technology.  

At the intersection of each key area and core practice area, we will present a talk about the emergent needs and opportunities for earth science and scientists at that intersection. By looking through the lenses of energy, water, and land we will tie the conference to the broader themes of transition, sustainability, and development. And by anchoring the talks to core areas of practice, we will be exposing participants to technical opportunities in what can be termed “the adjacent possible”, things you might not do today but can certainly do tomorrow.