What to Expect
Geological Technology is a two-year diploma program that focuses on the application of geology in the the environmental field (assessment, remediation, reclamation, etc.) and in the exploration field (mineral, oil and gas, coal, etc.). Students take a common Year 1, and then choose either the Exploration or Geo-environmental specialization in Year 2.
- GeoEnvironmental Specialization - Students, perform environmental site assessments, implement remediation and reclamation strategies at contaminated sites, conduct groundwater exploration and determine groundwater quantity and quality.
- Exploration Specialization - Students conduct and interpret geological, geophysical and geochemical surveys, prepare subsurface maps and cross-sections, collect field data and analyze rock and mineral specimens.
Course delivery is based on a lecture/lab model, and is supported by field trips and guest lecturing. For lectures, class size is 40-45 students. For lab sessions, class size is 20-25 students. Students are taken on field trips to nearby mines and areas of geological interest. In Year 2 of the exploration specialization, students attend a one-week field school near Nordegg in west central Alberta. Geo-environmental specialization students attend a one-week field school and conduct practical geo-environmental field work in the Edmonton area.
Classroom & Study Hours
Students can expect to spend, on average:
- 30 hours per week attending classes over the course of a semester.
- 10 to 20 hours per week studying and completing class assignments.
Is This Program For You?
Graduates of Geological Technology are well grounded in geology or hydrogeology (depending on specialization chosen), and possess a wide range of technical skills preparing them for employment in multiple settings. Graduates of the exploration stream typically work in operating mines, offices and laboratories and in field exploration. Students who complete the geo-environmental stream typically work in environmental and water resources management. In addition to strong technical skills, successful graduates of the Geological Technology program must possess:
- sound interpersonal skills
- team skills
- effective listening and written communication skills
- the ability to attend to detail
In addition to these skills, graduates must have an aptitude for critical thinking to assist in problem solving and troubleshooting. To complement the technical aspect of the profession, the graduate will also have skills in written and oral presentations, technical writing and research.
Students in the Geological Technology program will participate in a wide range of activities during their studies, including:
- interpreting air photos
- researching, interpreting and mapping geology of a given area
- constructing geologic maps and cross-sections
- identifying common rocks, minerals, glacial deposits
- performing basic surveying
- using software applications used in the field
Women in Technology and Trades
The Geological Technology program is supported by Women in Technology and Trades (WITT), an offering of NAIT Student Engagement. The goal of WITT is to ensure that all female students are aware of and prepared for the career opportunities that are available to them in diverse technical fields. Throughout the year, WITT provides networking events, lunch and learns, mentorship opportunities and support services that are available to women in technology and trades programs at NAIT.