Chad Sisulak, MSc, Simon Fraser University


I completed my undergraduate degree in geology at The University of Western Ontario. I began university with a focus on biology/ecology, but after two years was converted to geology after taking a course in sedimentology and stratigraphy with Dr. Guy Plint. My honour’s thesis project, investigating the allostratigraphic relationship between the Cretaceous Viking Formation and Bow Island Formation of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, was later completed with Dr. Plint.

My first summer job experience as a geology student was with a junior mineral exploration company working as a field assistant in remote areas of Quebec and Ontario. I then decided to try a summer in the oil and gas industry. After participating in the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists annual Student Industry Field Trip (SIFT) I spent one year as an internship student with Imperial Oil working on oil sands projects, attending The University of Calgary as a visiting student. It was an excellent experience and introduction to the industry. Upon graduating from Western I spent the summer as a student with Devon Energy in their thermal heavy oil group.
These work experiences provided me with an opportunity to develop an appreciation for siliciclastic sedimentology and stratigraphy, and I decided that this was an area I would like to pursue in grad school.

After graduating I spent a few months in Hawaii, and then moved to Vancouver to begin an MSc at Simon Fraser University with Dr. Shahin Dashtgard.

Project: Characterization of the Sedimentology, Ichnology, and Internal Architecture of Tidally Influenced Point Bar and Mid-Channel Bar Deposits on the Fraser River, British Columbia.

Channel bars and point bars commonly form significant hydrocarbon reservoirs in the subsurface. These deposits are distinctive in that they largely comprise inclined beds of sand and mud (i.e. inclined heterolithic stratification [IHS]) deposited in tidally influenced fluvial channels. A detailed understanding of their depositional complexity and relationship to surrounding strata is a critical factor in their discovery and development. The goal of this research is to investigate modern day deposition on the Fraser River to develop process-response models for IHS developed in tidally influenced rivers. This will provide a valuable analog to ancient deposits of IHS in tidally influenced successions in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (e.g. McMurray Fm), as well as occurrences in other Canadian basins, such as the Nechako Basin.