Digging Deep: Geoscience BC Partnerships

By: Gavin C. Dirom, President & CEO

We know that listening to new ideas and partnering with others improves our projects and research outcomes. Our collaborative approach at Geoscience BC is not new, but the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have put it into sharp focus this year. It has created an opportunity to renew and strengthen some of our relationships, too.

Since our inception in 2005, we have known that collaboration with the natural resource sectors, community leaders, Indigenous groups, academia and government helps us to identify and attract the best researchers and methods and to ensure that our minerals, energy and water projects are done well.  Importantly, it strengthens support for Geoscience BC projects and coordinated efforts to deliver the best value from the research as possible.

Often, this is about building and maintaining day-to-day relationships that involve a wide range of groups to ensure our research incorporates different perspectives, and it happens in many ways.  Richard Truman from Geoscience BC and In3D Geoscience Incs’ Todd Ballantyne discussed the need for community involvement in a Society of Economic Geologists podcast (Episode 10 listen here/38:12) earlier this year while working on our Vancouver Island North Regional Project. In a very different example, our Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Carlos Salas is closely involved with the BC Oil & Gas Methane Emissions Research Consortium.

Community and business support for our research is also exemplified in resolutions from the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Union of BC Municipalities.

Sometimes more formal agreements are helpful, and I am proud to be leading the Geoscience BC team that is putting in place and implementing agreements with a wide range of partners. Some of these are summarized below. If you have ideas for other groups we can build new and successful partnerships with, click the button below to email us.

Geoscience BC Partnership Suggestions

BC Geological Survey: A Coordinated Approach to Public Data

In July 2020, we signed a new agreement with the BC Geological Survey (BCGS) that formalizes and expands on practical collaboration on research that stretches back to our inception in 2005.

The new agreement is important to the made-in-BC coordinated approach to public geoscience, which is recognized to attract investment and enable responsible natural resource development in British Columbia.

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Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada: Advancing Clean Technologies

Signed in August 2020, this agreement includes details on how we will work with the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) to use innovation, collaborative applied research and technology development, demonstration, deployment and technology commercialization to help Canada to produce sustainable clean energy oil and gas resources.

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Natural Gas Innovation Fund: Reducing Emissions and Boosting Economic Development

The Canadian Gas Association’s Natural Gas Innovation Fund signed an agreement to collaborate on research with us in April 2020. The agreement sets out how we will work together to invest in cleantech research that could deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions and boost economic development in the natural gas sector.

John Adams, Managing Director, Natural Gas Innovation Fund said: “Cleantech innovation is a huge opportunity right across the natural gas value chain, and this memorandum of understanding sets out how NGIF can collaborate with Geoscience BC to accelerate the process.”

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BC Oil & Gas Commission: Sharing Information and Collaboration

In January 2020, a new agreement with the BC Oil and Gas Commission was signed that sets out how the organizations will work together on earth science research relating to oil, gas and geothermal resources in British Columbia.

Geoscience BC and the BCOGC have been collaborating on research projects since Geoscience BC began research relating to energy development in 2007. This has included research focusing on induced seismicity; greenhouse gas emissions and on surface water and groundwater.

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Tahltan Central Government: Coordinated Research Planning to Inform Development and Land Use

Last year (May 2019), we signed a Collaboration Agreement with the Tahltan Central Government that sets how we work together on completed, ongoing and potential future Geoscience BC earth science research in Tahltan Territory in northwestern BC.

“Being involved early in Geoscience BC research in our territory, and understanding the data from past projects, puts the Tahltan Nation at the forefront of research in our territory, especially relating to mineral exploration and development,” said Tahltan Central Government President Chad Day.

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Fort Nelson First Nation: Keeping Water Data Flowing

Fort Nelson First Nation continues to manage four hydrometric monitoring stations in its territory as part of an agreement signed with us in 2017.

Data from the stations continues to be shared publicly, but are also an important part of Fort Nelson First Nation’s data collection that help to make accurate and timely decisions to ensure water is being used in a safe and sustainable manner.

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