About Me

Ryan_Leaning_Rock

Here I am balancing on a rock in Nova Scotia.

 

I believe that our future hinges on using the Earth’s resources efficiently. I’ve read that we won’t find a bold new invention like fusion reactors or warp drives that will free us from our energy needs. Rather, the key to sustainability is in improving existing technologies that we already have. Whether it is getting a few more percentage efficiency from a solar panel, designing new wind turbines or increasing efficiency in mining. I believe that GIS is one of the most important tools we have to maximize our gains and minimize damage to our planet. Whether it is using GIS to apply fertilizer to crops targeted by remote sensing, selecting optimal sites for wind power sites or rapid relief planning in a natural disaster. I am very excited to be a geomatics professional and to present the latest projects I work on to you.

I recently completed the Advanced GIS Diploma program at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. I also hold both Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degrees from the University of Waterloo. The focus of both of my degrees was earth and environmental sciences, with a focus on hard rock geology. To get a detailed description of my educational background click here.

Between finishing University and going to COGS I spent four years working for Stillwater Canada Inc. At Stillwater my role was as an exploration geologist. In this position I was in charge of collecting field data, running field crews, logging drill core, producing maps of exploration activities and preparing 3D models of ore resources. I have also had a variety of work experiences through my co-operative education at the University of Waterloo and have worked as an Environmental Scientist at Terrapex Environmental, a Field Mapping Assistant at the Ontario Geological Survey and a GIS Technician with the Canadian Ice Service. More details about my work experience can be found with my resume.

You might be asking yourself how did a guy with a geology degree end up at COGS. A major part of my role as an exploration geologist at Stillwater Canada Inc. involved compiling field data, managing assay databases and creating 3D spatial models of our data sets. I found that I really enjoyed this part of my work and set my sights on getting a role where I spend more time working and analysing data. Once I decided I wanted to direct my career towards a more GIS focused role deciding to go to COGS was easy as it is Canada’s largest geomatics focused learning institute. At COGS I was able to build upon my GIS background and learnt a lot of new skills and software.

I enjoy traveling and have been on trips to New Zealand, Thailand, Hungary, and Peru. I hope to get globe trotting again soon. I’d love to do some more exploring in South America, Europe or the US. Currently I am in Nova Scotia and hope to find the time to get to Cape Breton, PEI and Newfoundland. A climbing trip to British Columbia or California also sound like a lot of fun.

I also enjoy cooking and am a celebrity chef at my house. I always enjoy making new dishes ranging from BBQ to Thai to Indian. While I was traveling in Thailand I took a cooking course that really got me interested and I bought a cast iron wok and butane stove as soon as I returned to Canada. A hobby that goes along side with cooking is gardening. I am fairly new to this endeavor but have had two successful (partially successful?) growing seasons in Marathon, Ontario (on the North Shore of Lake Superior). Not only was I new to gardening but it was also a challenging environment to grow in with frost in June and August and a regular cool breeze blowing off of the lake. It was fun and I also got to practice being a handy man creating square foot garden beds, trellis’s and a mini greenhouse.

A couple of years ago I was coerced to try rock climbing at an indoor gym in Hamilton by Katrina and a few friends. While I was at first hesitant, enough convincing finally got me on the wall. I won’t go as far to say as I was hooked the first time, but definitely by the second time I knew I had found my sport. I love the challenge both mental and physical that rock climbing provides. Being able to complete a move that you have been working on usually  involves both overcoming fear and physical limits. I can do things I never would have thought possible a few years ago and look forward to training more. I have also been lucky enough to go outdoor climbing in the Niagara Escarpment, Canmore, the Red River Gorge and Lake Wanaka.

Part of the reason I love traveling so much is from going camping as a kid with my parents. My mom is also an outdoor enthusiast and I think she made it her goal to get to every provincial park on Ontario (or at least close to). This even meant going out for the long haul to Killarney, Lake Superior Provincial Park and Pukuskwa National Park. Katrina and I plan to do more multi-day treks and got our first chance doing the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand.

I would love to hear from you so please send an email.