BCGS 2022 Workshop: Drones in Geoscience

The BC Geophysical Society is excited to announce our upcoming 2022 Workshop “Drones in Geoscience”.

This workshop offers a start-of-the-art examination of where the use of drones is now and where it is headed in the future in applied geoscience, and especially applied geophysics. The first day will consist of lectures and presentations from experts in drone fabrication and from service providers discussing how drones are used. The second day will be at a local outdoor facility where attendees will witness advanced and innovative drones in flight.

Our keynote speaker will be Ron Bell, Senior geoDRONEologist and Geophysicist. His talk will be titled “The Elegance of Drone Geoscience”.

During Thursday’s technical session, companies who will be demonstrating on Friday will be display booths set up. This will be a great opportunity to see the drones and discuss the technology up close.

We are currently looking for volunteers to assist with setup/cleanup on Friday. In exchange we are offering free attendance to the workshop.

Abstract Booklet:  Speaker Abstract Booklet PDF

Schedule – Thursday:  Schedule Thursday PDF

Schedule – Friday: Schedule Friday PDF

Dates:Thursday May 12, 2022 – Lectures & Presentations
Friday May 13, 2022 – Live Field Demonstrations
Times:Thursday: 8:15am to 5:00pm
Friday: 9:30am to 4:30pm
– Two Day Non-Member Price $250
– Two Day BCGS Member Price $230
– Two Day Student Price $20
– One Day (Thur only or Friday only) Price $180
– One Day Virtual (Thur only) Price $75
Registration payment link is below
SFU Harbour Centre, Fletcher Challenge Theatre (Room 1900)
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 5K3

Moose Down Under
830 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1J8

Burnaby Lake Sports Complex – East: Fields 3-6
3520 Sperling Ave, Burnaby, BC V5B 4Z6
**Access directions below

Workshop Event Abstract: Drone Workshop Abstract


Please register in advance of the symposium. Your registration is guaranteed once payment has been received. The attendee name must be entered for registration to be complete. Confirmed speakers and demonstrators do not need to register. If you need to register multiple attendees at once, please email Payment will be processed by Paypal and can be paid using a credit card, debit card, or a Paypal account.

Current paid 2022 BCGS members are able to register at the BCGS member rate for the two-day event. Other attendees must use the standard industry rate.

We have added a virtual registration option to participate in the Thursday lectures via Zoom.

Thank you to everyone who attended, both in-person and virtually. Your support is appreciated.



Ron Bell, Drone Geoscience, LLC
The Elegance of Drone Geoscience

Jan Franke, Groundradar Inc.
Challenges and Opportunities of Drone GPR

Alan Chapman, NAV Canada
Drones and the Airspace: Current Operations and Future Needs

Ian Wills, Coastal Drone
How I learned to love the RPAS; or Flying Drones Legally and Safely in Canada

Steve Donovan, Beyond Visual Light of Sight Innovation Centre (BVLOS InC)
VLOS to BVLOS Protocols, Challenges and Solutions

Nicolas Martin-Burtart, Radiation Solutions Inc.
Radiometric data collected with an UAV: Pre-flight and post-processing

Travis Ferbey, Quaternary Geologist, British Columbia Geological Survey
Can remotely piloted aircraft-borne radiometrics and magnetics detect dispersal trains in subglacial tills?

Zane White, Candrone
Photogrammetry and LiDAR – The Facts and Myths About Modelling Our World in 3D via UAV

Michael Burns, Pioneer Exploration
Lessons Learned in an Emerging Drone-Based Geophysics Industry

Rees Pillizzi, Measur
Large Area UAV LiDAR Mapping: Trinity F90+ with Qube 240 LiDAR

Laura Quigley, Seequent
UAV Geophysics Workflow for your Magnetometer Data

Eric Sazuk, BCIT
Drone-based Gas Sniffing

Geoff Pettifer, Terra Entheos Geoscience
NSG Inter-Society Committee on UAV Geophysics Guidelines and Standards – Drone Magnetic Guidelines


We have an exciting group of demonstrators who will be showing the latest and greatest in drone technology. Each of these companies will also have a display booth on Thursday.

  • Drone Geoscience, LLC
  • Discovery International Geophysics
  • Measur
  • Pioneer Exploration
  • TurnTech
  • Candrone
  • Radiation Solutions Inc.
  • Terraplus
  • Stratus Aeronautics / Coywolf (Thurs display booth only)


Access to the Burnaby Lakes Sports Complex East, Fields 3 & 4, is easy by both vehicle and transit. Access to the parking lot is from Sperling Ave via Joe Sakic Way (Sprott St is currently closed due to construction).

BCGS/KEGS Roundup Breakfast 2022

BCGS/KEGS Roundup Breakfast – February 1, 2022

Speaker: Lindsey Heagy, PhD. Assistant Professor, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, UBC

Title: Geophysics in a changing climate

Date: Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Time: 7:30am – 9:00am PST

Location: Pearl Room, Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, 1038 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC, V6C 0B9


Geophysics in a changing climate
Lindsey Heagy, PhD. Assistant Professor, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, UBC

It is clear that the geosciences have an important role to play in working to understand and mitigate the societal impacts of the climate crisis. Locating critical minerals, monitoring geologic storage of CO2, managing groundwater, and characterizing changes to permafrost are all applications where geophysical data can provide insights. These applications raise interesting scientific questions about how to combine petrophysical, geologic, geochemical, and additional geophysical data sets to improve our ability to produce useful models of the subsurface. The next significant advancements will undoubtedly involve methodological improvements in inversions and machine learning, but importantly will require a more interdisciplinary approach, where the methods we design can be used to test and revise hypotheses specific to a given geologic context. The growth and adoption of open-source software and data standards is a positive step. Within the SimPEG community, we have seen many examples of how working in a modular, interoperable framework enables ideas to rapidly be prototyped and extended. Working in an open ecosystem allows us to more readily connect with methods in other fields, including geologic modelling and machine learning.

Although geophysics has an important role to play in mitigating climate change and its impacts, we are at risk of continuing to be a “field in decline.” Geosciences as a whole have a severe diversity problem, and with the strong association of geophysics with hydrocarbons deterring many students, we are missing out on the talents and ideas of many. In this talk, I look forward to opening up what I hope will be continuing discussions about growing our community and broadening the scientific and societal contributions we can make. 

About the Speaker:

Lindsey Heagy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at UBC. She completed her BSc in geophysics at the University of Alberta in 2012 and her PhD at UBC in 2018. Following her PhD, she was a Postdoctoral researcher in the Statistics Department at UC Berkeley. Her research aims to advance methods in geophysical inversions and machine learning for carbon sequestration, mineral exploration, groundwater, and environmental studies. She is a co-founder of the SimPEG and projects which develop open source software and educational resources for geophysics. In 2019, she was awarded the Gerald W. Hohmann Outstanding Young Scientist for advances in simulation and inversion of electromagnetic data and promotion of an open source culture for collaborative, inclusive and reproducible research.


A recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube channel.

2021 Annual General Meeting

Our 2021 annual general meeting (AGM) will be held:

at 4:00pm on Tuesday, December 21, 2021
(via Zoom Webinar)

The main order of business will be to elect the Directors of the BCGS and review the past year’s activity. Our bylaws allow for between 4 and 7 Directors. The current directors are all standing for re-election. One new individual has been nominated and will be standing for election.

The BCGS directors standing for re-election are:

ChairBrendan HoweTeck Resources Ltd.
Vice-ChairGraham ParkinsonKlohn Crippen Berger
TreasurerRoss PolutnikSJ Geophysics Ltd.
SecretaryJen HanlonDias Geophysical
Scholarship CoordinatorDennis WoodsDiscovery International Geophysics Ltd.
Student LiaisonDominique FournierMira Geoscience Ltd.
Membership Coordinatoropen

The following new individuals are standing for election:

Membership CoordinatorNihal YavuzTeck Resources Ltd.

Voting will occur virtually within the Zoom webinar.

We would like to remind you there are two classes of voting members in the BCGS:

  1. General Members: An annual fee of $20. Will be returned as a discount should they choose to enroll in our annual symposium; and
  2. Student Members: Free membership upon demonstration of enrollment in a post-secondary program at an accredited educational institution.

In order to participate in the vote, we ask that you pay your 2022 member dues online via Paypal below. These member dues will provide membership in the BCGS through 2022. Eligible students, as defined above, are entitled to vote. Please email the executive at to be added to the official member list.

Membership Options:


The AGM is open to all members and non-members.

As no BCGS symposium was offered in 2021, the normally offered $20 discount offsetting the 2021 membership dues paid, will be allocated to the BCGS Scholarship program.

November 2021 – Technical Webinar

BCGS Technical Talk – October 2021

Speaker: David Wares, Sales Director (Western Canada), GHGSat

Title: Monitoring GHG Emissions

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021

Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm PST

Location: Webinar via Zoom (distributed via our newsletter)


David Wares graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He has been in the energy industry for 16 years with time at Shell (in their Green House Gas Department), Weatherford, Pason and most recently joined GHGSat to help utilize emission sensing technology and data technology for industries seeking to decarbonize their activities and the planet we all share.


The geophysical profession will be increasingly involved in climate solutions (earth science for CO2 sequestration, research into natural and anthropogenic GHG sources and sinks, GHG monitoring including remote sensing, airborne and satellite etc.). David’s talk will be particularly interesting to students examining career paths as GHGSat represents a Canadian company in a rapidly growing sector that will employ the geophysical skill set. Geophysicists from large multi sector resource companies are being asked to provide inhouse expertise and opinions on GHG monitoring options as more requirements begin to be implemented by regulators.

GHGSat’s new Pulse online map shows the effects of the earth’s seasonal and latitudinal variations in methane concentration (all rolled up with local methane emissions). GHGSat also provides airborne and satellite methane monitoring and analytical services that allow assessment of fugitive emissions from individual sites.


Monitoring methane emissions from oil and gas facilities requires the combination of several technologies to gain a full understanding of the challenge at a manageable cost. The integration of frequent and affordable high resolution satellite measurements to find the larger leaks with less frequent aircraft surveys, forms the basis of a tiered monitoring system showing great promise to optimize Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) activities. In this presentation, we will present examples of methane emissions measurements at oil and gas facilities acquired with both GHGSat’s satellites, and the airborne variant with the imaging spectrometer design.   While the combination of different technologies is not uncommon, this system is the first in the world utilizing the same sensor concept at two different altitudes. The performance parameters of each system will be highlighted and supported with recent examples. In addition, the advantages of the hybrid system will be discussed, including the opportunity for cross-validation of measurements. Also, we will discuss other methane detecting satellites currently in orbit or scheduled for launch. Finally, the potential of such a system to be used for regulatory reporting purposes will be discussed and contrasted to the standard of performing Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) camera campaigns three times a year used in jurisdictions, such as in Canada and the US.


A recording of this webinar will be made available after the talk on our Youtube channel.

October 2021 – Technical Webinar

BCGS Technical Talk – October 2021

Speaker: Alan G. Jones, PhD.

Title: Mining for Net Zero : The impossible task

Date: Thursday, October 14, 2021

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm PDT

Location: Webinar video via Zoom.


Alan G. Jones, a Manchester lad (Mancunian) and a Manchester United supporter for life, took Physics as his first degree at the University of Nottingham from 1969-1972. At the end of those 3 years, not finding jobs in physics very attractive (which perhaps he should of thought of before), Jones decided to go into geophysics and did the 1 year MSc in Applied Geophysics (1972-73) at the University of Birmingham run by the inspiring Don Griffiths and Roy King. His MSc thesis project was a DC resistivity survey, and to model the data he developed a Monte-Carlos inversion code for DC resistivity, which he called CRASH as it kept doing so. Still not enthralled by the idea of work, he then undertook a four year PhD in Geophysics at the University of Edinburgh (1973-77) in magnetotellurics under the pioneering and visionary Rosemary Hutton. One aspect of his PhD work was in developing a Monte-Carlos inversion code for MT data – he did get that one working.

Subsequently lured by German beer, Jones went to Muenster University in NW Germany for almost four years (1977-1981) where he studied induction in Scandinavia and led Muenster’s International Magnetospheric Study (IMS) geomagnetic array study. A short stint at the Geological Survey of Sweden rounded out 1981, after which he moved to the University of Toronto for two years (1982-83) where multiple lunches with luminaries Nigel Edwards, Dick Bailey, Chris Chapman, Gordon West and George Garland broadened his perspectives tremendously.

An unexpected job offer from the-then Earth Physics Branch (EPB) of Natural Resources Canada took him to Ottawa in 1984, and he subsequently experienced the subduction (aka “amalgamation”) of the EPB into the Geological Survey of Canada in 1986. The leadership and mentorship of Alan Green during the 1980s at EPB/GSC was a tough trial-by-fire education into the necessity of explaining and justifying electrical conductivity studies, and he learned a lot under Alan Green’s mentorship.

Becoming Section Head of the group in 1987 was Jones’s first taste of management, and a stint as Acting Director in 1989 of the Continental Geoscience Division of the GSC cured him for life of any managerial aspirations in government.

Jones was very fortunate to be in Canada during the tremendous heydays of the Lithoprobe programme, and he led the EM aspects on most of the transects and had a stint as Chair of the Scientific Committee. Lithoprobe was outstanding not only in the science undertaken but in bringing together Earth scientists of all disciplines at transect workshops.

In a post-Lithoprobe world, Jones found the GSC to be too limiting in its vision and outlook (an attempt to convince a manager to allow Jones to be involved in the INDEPTH project in Tibet elicited the response “which province of Canada is Tibet in?”) and he eventually managed to escape in 2004 to Ireland, where he became a Senior Professor (appointed by then Irish President Bertie Ahern no less) and Head of Geophysics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), a research institute modelled on Einstein’s Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies. Jones stayed 11 years at DIAS undertaking studies on three continents including the largest academic MT study to date, which was in southern Africa (SAMTEX), before the call of Canada brought him home in February 2015. He built up the Geophysics Section from 7 to over 35 during his tenure, and oversaw the initiation of the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) and the initiation of the Seismology in Schools programme. He also formed and was Director of the Irish Geoscience Graduate Programme (IGGP), which brought broad teaching to geoscience graduate students across the whole of the island of Ireland. And the MT work he pioneered in Tibet led to fundamentally new understanding of the processes of continental convergence, and in Southern Africa to a better understanding of lithospheric-scale structures.

Jones took early retirement in January 2015 to return to Canada.

He is currently Senior Professor Emeritus at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, a Specially-Appointed Professor at the China University of Geosciences Beijing, and Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) and at the University of Western Australia (Perth, Australia). In addition, upon his early retirement he formed an MT consulting company – Complete MT Solutions Inc. – with former students and a colleague in 2016. CMTS provides high-level MT contracting services to industry clients.

Jones was awarded the Tuzo Wilson medal of the Canadian Geophysical Union in 2006, was Appointed an International Member of the Geo-Electromagnetism Committee, Chinese Geophysical Society in 2009, was elected to Academia Europaea also in 2009 and was made a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2010. He was a Blaustein Visiting Professor at Stanford University for the Winter Term of 2016, and was appointed a Life Affiliate Member of the Geological Society of South Africa in 2016. In 2019 he was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Jones is the most published (>200 papers) and most cited (>15,500 citations) scientist in his chosen field of magnetotellurics. Together with Alan Chave, he published the most authoritative textbook to date on MT – The Magnetotelluric Method: Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press).

He is a qualified Professional Geoscientist accredited by the Professional Geoscientists Ontario (PGO).



Mining for Net Zero: The impossible task

Net Zero by 2050

The world aspires, as it must, to move away from fossil fuels to renewables for energy production and transportation as soon as possible. This notion is encapsulated in the United Nation’s mission of Carbon Neutrality by 2050. The roadmap for this is laid out in the recent Flagship report “A Roadmap for the Energy Sector” by the International Energy Agency (IEA, 2021).

This aspirational goal of Net Zero by 2050 has been signed up to by 137 countries, and in fact some countries have accelerated the timeline. Uruguay plans to achieve Net Zero by 2030, Finland by 2035, Austria and Iceland by 2040, and Germany and Sweden by 2045. The goal for vehicles is that 60% of them would be EVs by 2030. On August 5th, 2021 US President Biden set the target that 50% of the vehicles sold in the US will be emissions-free – not quite 60% but close.

These goals have been set by politicians based on policy advice, but are they achievable?

I would like to lay out just why they are certainly NOT achievable, and that most likely geoscience advice was not sought in setting these goals.

Perhaps politicians and policy advisors think that the minerals and metals needed to achieve Net Zero are lying around waiting to be extracted, but:

  1. many of our resources are being depleted,
  2. we are not discovering new major ones and bringing them to market quickly enough, and
  3. training of skilled geoscientists, particularly geophysicists, to find new resources in the 2030s and 2040s is in serious jeopardy.


Focusing on one metal that is essential for achieving Net Zero, copper (Cu), what are the needs and do we have the supply? Perhaps not well appreciated is the copper needs of electric vehicles (EVs). A standard internal combustion engine (ICE) automobile requires of order 9 kg of Cu. A hybrid EV requires 40 kg, over four times as much. A battery EV requires 83 kg, NINE TIMES the amount required by an ICE.

The world produces of order 100 million new vehicles each year, including busses and trucks (approx. 30%) with far greater Cu needs, so we need approx. 15 Bkg (=15 Mt) for these vehicles. Current recycling rate for Cu from vehicles is 55%, and is not likely to become much higher. So we need 7 Mt of NEW Cu each and every year by 2050 just for EVs alone, and to meet the 2030 goal of 60% of EVs then we need 4 Mt of new Cu by 2030.

For renewable energy sources, solar, onshore and offshore wind, similar calculations lead to a need of 1 Mt of NEW Cu each year by 2030, and double that by 2050. So we need 5 Mt of new Cu by 2030, and 9 Mt by 2050.

Right now we are producing 16 Mt of Cu globally per year, so we need to grow Cu extraction, processing and transportation by 25% by 2030, and by 50% by 2050. (And all of those steps should be done using renewable energies!)

BUT, the projections for global Cu production are decreasing, not increasing. Over 200 major Copper mines currently in operation will reach the end of their productive life before 2035. A Supply Gap of order 14 Mt of Cu is projected by 2035.

These same bleak projections exist also for other essential metals and minerals for achieving Net Zero, in particular lithium and cobalt.

Also, many of the minerals we need for Net Zero, especially critical minerals, are associated with supply predominantly from single sources and/or from areas with questionable human rights records. Countries and producers are adopting Supply Chain Diligence.

Finding more ethical metals and minerals

Just find more! And from ethical supply.”

OK, but the discovery rate of all metals and minerals is rapidly decreasing, the discovery space is getting deeper, and deposits are getting much harder to find and are smaller.

Also, time from economic discovery to mine has increased significantly. In the 1950s 50% of deposits became mines within 15 years, in the 2000s less than 10% became mines within 15 years.

So we need to find far, far more economic deposits in more and more inaccessible places (logistically and/or deeper) at an ever increasing rate over the next 30+ years. To achieve this we need to change our paradigm, and appropriately train young, enthusiastic minds in the broad, holistic skills required.

The paradigm shift required has already occurred in Australia, who has led the world in developing the Mineral System concept. We need to stop looking for deposits, but first take a regional view and search for physical/chemical anomalies in the mantle and deep crust that are the sources of the mineralized fluids that found pathways to the surface where they exsolved to form mineral deposits.

The training of future generations of holistic geoscientists, especially geophysicists, is absolutely critical if we are to achieve Net Zero. We must pivot today from training geoscientists in O&G, which is a sunsetting industry, but train in broad-based mining geophysics. Federal and Provincial programmes need to be initiated with such training in mind. We don’t need thousands of geoscientists, but we do need far more than are being trained right now.

Finally, Canada has to start national programmes for acquiring non-competitive data across the whole of our landmass that are equivalent to those in Australia, USA and China.


I would like to acknowledge Prof. Simon Jowitt of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Simon kindly shared some of his material with me that I use in my own presentation.


IEA (2021), Net Zero by 2050, IEA, Paris


A recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube channel.