Jeremy Major

My childhood in southern Ontario was spent playing outdoors in summer and winter, on the water and in the snow. Summer camping trips to Georgian Bay with my family gave me the chance to explore the rocky shorelines and forests, a landscape much different than my home in Windsor. I continually took these chances to explore with friends through high school, but after graduation I really just wanted to ski in the mountains so I packed up and moved to Lake Louise. Here I developed a great appreciation for the Rockies and how they came to be. While I knew that at some point I wanted to go to university, I still wasn't sure what I wanted to study so I held off for a few more years and moved to a number of towns and cities in southern British Columbia working as a ski patroller in the winter and teaching sailing in the summer. After countless trips and adventures I really started wondering if I could pursue my interest in the outdoors in a university setting. Starting off in Earth Sciences really was a leap of faith as I had no indication of where it would take me. Looking back now I can't believe all of the great experiences I had in university - learning so much, lots of field trips, and meeting many great people. I went on to work as a geologist right after graduating and found I was learning even more in exciting places. Now I look forward to how my career will evolve as I grow, knowing that it will always be interesting and rewarding!

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

A: Consulting geologist. I work in the mineral exploration industry, seeking out new discoveries of minerals containing metals like gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc.

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

A: I work for different companies that are based in larger cities, while I get to live in a small mountain town.

Q: What is your typical routine?

A: I may go in to camp for a month at a time and then come home for a nice long break, but also occasionally work a regular weekday office schedule.

Q: Where do you work?

A: I work in remote parts of British Columbia, Yukon, and Nunavut. When I'm not in the field, I work from my home in southern B.C.

Q: What equipment/machinery do you use?

A: In the field, I use navigation equipment such as a compass and GPS, and rely upon a pocket-PC to record data and look at maps while on the move. Our transportation in the field varies widely from trucks and ATV's to helicopters and float planes.

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

A: A bachelor degree in Earth Sciences and work experience.

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

A: Flexibility, good interactive skills with other people, and a sense of humour and patience.

Q: What is the salary range of your job?

A: $75,000+ per year.

Q: What do you like best about your job?

A: Working in incredible locations.

Q: What are the advantages?

A: A flexible schedule, rewarding experiences, good salary, meeting lots of interesting people.

Q: What are the advancement opportunities for this career?

A: As I've gained experience, I now run my own projects, and yet there is still so much to learn! Future opportunities may involve managing very large projects or playing an important role in the direction of a company.

Q: How physically demanding is your job?

A: It can be quite demanding at times when hiking all day in the mountains in all sorts of weather, especially since you constantly need to be thinking as well.

Q: Why did you choose this career?

A: I was drawn to working in the outdoors, and liked the variety of work the job offered.

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

A: Meeting my future wife on a backcountry ski trip with a group of Earth Science students while in university!

I also enjoy travelling to geological sites of interest. Some of the more memorable ones include Newfoundland, the Mohave Desert, Portugal, Yellowknife and Thunder Bay

Q: What is your advice to newcomers?

A: Earth Science is a very diverse field that integrates many disciplines so don't hesitate to dig deeper and find what interests you the most.

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