Belinda Culgin

It is a honour to be incoming president of a thriving professional organization. Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous effort of the existing council and committee members supporting Geoscience Nova Scotia initiatives and representing our association well. The past year has been successful with increased enrollment and continued financial stability.

I've enjoyed an interesting career as an environment geoscientist in the consulting industry for Golder Associates for over 14 years. I became an APGNS member after moving back to NS from Ontario in 2009. Not long thereafter Bev Smith, a fellow Dalhousie Earth Science classmate, invited me to join the APGNS council. It's been an interesting journey joining APGNS council in 2013, being a part of executive council since 2015 and moving onto to the Vice President position last year. One of the first challenges being on council was understanding all the acronyms during our council meetings. I needed a list of abbreviations to keep up with the conversation. Over the last few years I've enjoyed meeting many fellow geoscientists in the local industry thru the APGNS.

Going forward, the new Council will be tasked with the preparation of a new five year strategic plan for the period of 2017 to 2022. We’ll use the existing strategic plan as our foundation to develop a good road map for going forward that supports our guiding principles of the Association and its mandate.

We’ll continue to promote Geoscientists Nova Scotia to universities through the student committee. The Academic Advisory Committee was formed this past year to open lines of communication between the Association and the University Earth Science / Geology Departments. The primary focus is to work together to advise students of professional geoscience requirements in a clear and consistent manner. The first meeting was very successful and we’ll continue to collaborate in 2017.

We'll continue to work with government to provide input for the new self-regulating professions policy, promote professional development sessions for members, and develop a mentorship program.

Over the last year Jennifer and I have volunteered as geoscience role models with Techsploration to encourage and empower young women from grade 9 to 12 to explore science, trades and technology occupations. Techsploration is a not for profit organization joint initiative of NSCC, Women in Trades and Technology and the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. I look forward to representing Geoscientists Nova Scotia along with Jennifer and other members promoting the benefits of following a rewarding career in the geosciences. This initiative supports Engineers Canada goal to raise the percentage of newly licenced engineers to 30 percent by 2030.

We are fortunate to have dedicated volunteers that are passionate about the profession and support APGNS. I look forward to working with existing council and committee members and meeting the fresh faces joining us for this year.

Belinda Culgin, P.Geo.