Hometown: St. John’s
Company: Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
“The most rewarding aspect of my profession is the contribution of my geophysical knowledge towards making regulatory decisions, which affect the health of the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland & Labrador. The component of my job I enjoy the most is travel. I have traveled to a variety of places around the world to study geology and bring what I have learned in the field back into my workplace and incorporated into my presentations.”
Dianne has Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science degrees in Geology from Memorial University. She says her high school geology, physics, art and physical education courses were most applicable to her post-secondary studies. “Geophysics requires a conceptual understanding of earth systems, geological processes, how physical properties translate into data and how this data occurs in a 3-dimensional space. The combination of courses I did in high school really did help enhance my skill sets, which have become valuable to me as a geophysicist.”
Dianne credits her involvement in team sports with teaching her the value of communication and interpersonal skills. She says her love and respect for the outdoors is one of the reasons she studied geology. She adds, “The desire to be outdoors and understand the processes which sculpt our landscape keeps me motivated to learn more about geology.”
Dianne works from 8 am-4:30 pm. She lives just a five-minute drive or 25-minute walk from her workplace. Her position is mostly office-based, involving frequent use of a computer and workstation. She interacts with people working in all aspects of oil and gas exploration and development fields including: geologists, geophysicists, engineers, technologists, safety officers, environmental officers, records officers, lawyers, accountants, information technologists and administrative assistants. Dianne’s technical work focuses on seismic interpretation and geophysical mapping of offshore basins.
Because a lot of her work requires sitting and computer driven tasks, Dianne must be aware of sitting posture and remember to take stretch breaks. Fieldwork is a small component of her work and involves site visits to geophysical vessels, which acquire data offshore, or being in the field to do geological training courses. As a geoscientist, Dianne has many opportunities to travel, especially for training courses and meetings. As a student she worked in western Canada, Turkey and Italy, and attended field courses across Newfoundland & Labrador and through the Hawaiian Islands. Since being employed with the C-NLOPB she has traveled to Ireland, England, France and the United States.
Dianne has worked at universities, conducted research, and was a university field and teaching assistant. She also worked as an assistant scientist on a seismic vessel in Turkey, with NATO as a researcher on an Italian naval base, and in the oil and gas industry in both exploration and development capacities as a geophysicist with Shell Oil, Hibernia Management and Development Company Limited and now with the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board. Dianne’s future career opportunities are limitless. She says she could continue in a technical role as a geophysicist, working in an exploration or development capacity in the oil and gas industry. She could also develop managerial skills to become a manager of a technical team of professionals. At her workplace there is also potential to continue with more of a corporate focus, and move into the business/industrial benefits side of the industry, or into safety and operations of offshore installations. She could move from the regulatory environment into industry and work for an oil company or she could return to academia to conduct research or teach at a post-secondary institution. There is also opportunity to overlap into another energy sector such as environmental geology or geotechnical engineering.
Compensation and Benefits
In addition to her salary, Dianne receives full benefits from her employer and is entitled to an annual bonus. Her employer is very proactive and supportive of training and wants Dianne to remain current with geophysical work being conducted across the globe. On average, she attends one training course a year, which requires travel out of the province. She also attends all local meetings and conferences related to oil and gas exploration in Newfoundland & Labrador.