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. We are going through a phase change in our economy, our society, and our environment. Our energy mix is expanding beyond oil and natural gas, while our demand for fossil fuels is unabated. Our economy has become technologically and digitally enabled.

The very nature of work is changing fast as we embrace artificial intelligence and machine learning. Our natural environment is experiencing stressful change as well. Growing populations, changing landscapes, and escape from poverty puts more and more pressure on our natural systems to feed, energize, and sustain us. Land and water resources suffer under the pressures of urbanization, population migration, energy and food production, and the pollution that occurs as a result. Greenhouse gas emissions have led to atmospheric warming and disruptions in familiar weather patterns and climate systems. The recent pandemic has also been a singular disruptive event, a historical discontinuity, and an accelerator of energy transition trends already in motion. What happens next will not look like what happened before.

The earth sciences and the practice of being a geologist will not go untouched by this change. But while these changes are disruptive, they produce tremendous opportunities for geologists to expand and enrich their careers. At this pivotal moment, we need to examine how our expertise in earth systems will help economies and societies make it through these transitions, while preserving our environment and enhancing quality of life for everyone. Gussow 2022 is about having this conversation. While we need to be realistic about where are we today, we should be excited about how we can be successful in the future. Our scientific contributions to the petroleum age of the 20th Century are worthy of celebrating.

We have found and delivered massive amounts of energy, minerals, metals, and water resources that have underpinned our industrial society. Moving ahead, we will continue to do so, contributing in new ways that build on our earth science heritage to develop our economy and society while protecting our natural environments and adapting to a changing earth. The time has never been greater for the geoscience community embrace this change and support the many aspects in food, energy, and water where our skills apply. 

 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.