Thomas Hadlari

My name is Thomas Hadlari. I did a Bachelor's degree at University of Saskatchewan in geology (1998). I obtained at Ph.D. in geology at Carleton University in Ottawa (2005).

I currently work in Yellowknife, NT, as a geologist at a territorial government office called Northwest Territories Geoscience Office. I also went to grade school in Yellowknife, so in some respects I came home after University (my family currently lives in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut). Living in the north is important to me because I want my daughter's native heritage to be passed on to her in a way that isn't available in southern Canada.

I enjoy the science aspect of my job and I don't think my role is very important to society in general, I just do geology. I have published research papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals (what I am most proud of). I have presented at scientific conferences (keeps me current). I am collaborating with researchers at Universities on graduate student theses (most rewarding).

My specialty is stratigraphy. I look at some drill core, but most of my work is based on, and my greatest strength is, fieldwork. I am interested in why sedimentary basins form and how they are filled.

My biggest accomplishment has been completion of Ph.D. thesis - the last push was difficult and I never want go through it again. But that news is a few years old, my two year old daughter is by far more important.

Q: What is the title of your job and what do you do?

A: Project Geologist & Stratigrapher
Plan research programs; conduct fieldwork, generally, from a small camp in a remote northern location; collaborate with University and other government researchers.

Q: Who do you work for, and where are you based?

A: Northwest Territories Geoscience Office Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Q: What kind of hours/shifts do you work? What is your typical work routine?

A: 9 to 5 in the office. I generally do 3-4 weeks of fieldwork in the summers: 7 am breakfast; 8 am helicopter departure; hike all day and clamber over rock outcrops to make the best observations possible; lunch with a view; 6 pm helicopter pick up; dinner by 8 pm; plan the next days adventure before bed.

Q: Where do you work?

A:In an office and in the field. Most recently in the Mackenzie Mountains

Q: What equipment/machinery do you use?

A: Helicopter usually.

Q: What education or training is required for your job?

A: B.Sc. and graduate degree in geology.

Q: What kind of personal traits do you recommend for this profession?

A: Imagination, Mental flexibility, Love of the outdoors, Be physically fit

Q: What is the salary range of your job?

A: $70,000 to $95,000 per year

Q: What do you like best about your job?

A: Science, Mountain fieldwork and camp camaraderie

Q: What are the advantages?

A: Outdoor activity, Generally good people, Research opportunities

Q: What are the advancement opportunities for this career?

A: Not really sure, I'm trying to avoid any sort of management.

Q: How physically demanding is your job?

A: Variable, I enjoy my work and put in solid effort, therefore I would consider it very physically demanding & climbing mountains and carrying rocks.

Q: Why did you choose this career?

A: The combination of science and outdoor activity

Q: What is your most memorable moment/event/place related to your experience as an Earth scientist?

A: I loved working in the alpine regions of northern BC for the long climbs and beautiful vistas. I enjoyed seeing wolves and Caribou on the tundra. I've had some absolutely beautiful lunch spots on lakes in the arctic and streams and ridges in the mountains.

Q: What is your advice to newcomers?

A: First, follow what you find to be interesting because then the work will flow more easily. Second, get some long summers of fieldwork done before you have a family.

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