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School of Applied Sciences and Technology

Geological Technology Exploration

Sep 03, 2019
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  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • Day - Courses taking place between Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Evening/Weekend - Courses taking place on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online - Sometimes called "Home Study" or "Computer-Based Learning"
  • Distance - Traditional correspondence format. These courses work best if you can't get to a campus or if your schedule can't accommodate fixed class times

Length

The average or expected time it will take to complete your program.

Open Studies

Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program.
It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in.

International Students

Program availability may be limited for international applicants. Contact your student advisor for more information.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced Credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section and on the Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF), your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 7 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C in the course(s) or program

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

If you do not qualify for transfer credit or credential recognition, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) may be an option.

Contact the program for additional information about Advanced Credit.

Unlock the undiscovered potential of what lies below the surface of the Earth. From resource exploration to surveying and land development, geological technologists use their knowledge of rock, groundwater and sedimentary formations to inform major decisions across a number of industries. 

NAIT’s 2-year Geological Technology diploma program will provide you with a solid background in physical geology, petrology, hydrogeology, geophysics, structural geology, historical geology and sedimentary geology. You’ll also develop foundational mathematics, chemistry and applied science knowledge and receive essential safety training to ensure you and your colleagues are safe in the field. 

This program is Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC) Certified.

Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

In addition to lectures and labs, our program is supported by immersive field trips and guest lectures from industry experts. You’ll see active mines and sites of geological interest, and in Year 2 of the program you’ll spend a full week in the field. These trips will help bridge course theory to real-world applications and give you a preview of possible careers. 

Throughout the program, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and interact with your instructors thanks to our commitment to providing small classes (30 students maximum) and labs (15 students).

Industry knowledge

Our instructors have years of industry experience and are committed to student success.

You’ll participate in a wide range of activities, including:

  • researching, interpreting and mapping geology of a given area 
  • identifying common rocks, minerals, glacial deposits 
  • using software applications used in the field
  • performing basic topographic, geophysical, geochemical, and geological surveys
  • conducting environmental site assessments
  • creating conceptual site models for remediating contaminated sites
  • evaluating natural resources for production and extraction

On average you can expect to spend:

  • 28 hours per week attending classes and labs over the course of a semester
  • 10 to 20 hours per week studying and completing class assignments

Choose your path

We offer 2 specializations that will help you target the career path that most interests you. 

Exploration

Our exploration specialization will give you the skills required to work in resource exploration and development sectors. You’ll gain a full understanding of geochemistry and geophysics, conduct and interpret geological, geophysical and geochemical surveys, prepare subsurface maps and cross-sections, collect field data and analyze rock and mineral specimens. 

Geo-environmental

In our geo-environmental specialization, we’ll show you how to assess groundwater quality and quantity, and discuss what is required to safely remediate contaminated sites. Water and the way it moves through the ground will be a major focus of study in this specialization, and your ability to properly assess environmental risks and conditions will be put to the test. You will perform environmental site assessments, implement remediation and reclamation strategies at contaminated sites, conduct groundwater exploration and determine groundwater quantity and quality. 

Enter the workforce with confidence

Upon graduation, you may find employment across a range of resource-related industries on the local, national and international scene. Many of our graduates find work within the petroleum, mineral and environmental sectors, and with engineering consulting firms, government agencies and environmental consulting companies. You may also find opportunities in groundwater control associated with mining and construction activities.

Senior technologists may move into positions that involve supervising other technologists and geologists.

 

Exploration specialization

Initial job placements for graduates of the exploration specialization stream are often:

  • technologists working in mineral exploration
  • technologists working with regulatory agencies
  • technologists working with oil companies and oilfield service companies

Geo-environmental specialization

Initial job placements for graduates of the geo-environmental specialization stream are often:

  • technologists working with environmental consulting firms
  • technologists working with regulatory agencies
  • technologists working with resources companies (mineral, petroleum, coal, etc.)

Become a trusted professional

Graduates of this program earn a diploma in Geological Technology. The program is Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC) Certified.

While enrolled in the program, you'll be eligible for student membership in the following professional associations:

After graduation and required work experience, you may also be eligible for professional accreditation. Graduates may choose to work toward Professional Licensee (P.L.) under APEGA.

Continue your studies

...at NAIT

You may also continue your studies after graduation by pursuing a Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management (BTech). Diploma grads can earn a BTech degree with just two more years of study. Full-time and part-time study options are available. 

Learn more about NAIT's BTech program

...at university

  • Advanced credit may be awarded on a course-by-course basis at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and other post-secondary institutions
  • BSc in Environmental Science, Royal Roads University - A formal transfer credit agreement exists with Royal Roads University that allows students entry into Year 3 of the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree program (some upgrading is required)

Articulation agreements

Post-secondary articulation agreements within Alberta are approved by the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer (ACAT). To view the details of specific agreements, please visit transferalberta.ca or contact articulations@nait.ca.

For questions regarding transfer agreements or to obtain a course description/outline that is no longer available on our website, please contact articulations@nait.ca.

BTech - Technology Management

Completion of this diploma qualifies as the first 2 years of NAIT's unique 4-year Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management degree.

Become a certified engineering technologist

Students of this program are eligible for student membership in the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET).

Have questions? We've got answers 

Student Service Centre

  • Email: askNAIT@nait.ca
  • Phone: 780.471.NAIT (6248)
  • Toll free: 1.877.333.NAIT (6248)

General program information



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Courses

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Term 1

CHEM1102General, Physical and Organic Chemistry
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Topics include properties of matter, chemical bonding and nomenclature, stoichiometric calculations, redox processes, properties of aqueous solutions, and basic analytical chemistry techniques.

ENGL1335Technical Communications
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course provides students with the fundamentals of effective communications skills. The course includes technical and business writing, with an emphasis on the process of researching, writing, and editing technical documents. Students will also apply critical thinking and reading skills, write literature reviews, and deliver industry-specific oral presentations.

GEOL1110Physical Hydrogeology
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Co-requisite: GEOL1120
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course introduces students to the basic principles of physical hydrogeology; these include the occurrence, distribution, and movement of water in the geological environment, as well as groundwater as resource. Topics include the hydrologic cycle, the interaction of surface and groundwater, well construction, the quantitative and qualitative assessment of groundwater flow, and determining hydraulic properties of hydrostratigraphic units.

GEOL1120Physical Geology
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Co-requisite: GEOL1110
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This introductory course introduces students to the composition and structure of the Earth, minerals and rocks, and the processes that shape it. Students will also learn to identify common minerals and rocks.

MATH1113Technical Mathematics I
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program.
  • Course Equivalencies: ASM133
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course is for Geological Technology students. The course introduces the fundamentals of mathematics enabling the student to solve technological problems. Students will acquire knowledge in topics including trigonometric functions, vectors, triangle solutions, linear and quadratic equations, and exponential and logarithmic functions.

PHYS1123Physics
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Topics include solving problems in mechanics; electricity, magnetism and magnetic induction; fluids; and nuclear decay.

Term 2

GEOL1210Geologic Structures and Mapping
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisite: GEOL1120.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course spends considerable time creating and interpreting maps, cross-sections, strip logs and fence diagrams as well as completing three point problems. Geologic rocks/layers will be correlated and features such as folds, faults and unconformities, will be recognized and classified. Students will also determine the absolute and relative ages of rocks/layers.

GEOL1220Petrology
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisite: GEOL1120.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Students will be introduced to the elemental composition of the Earth. Students will identify common rock forming minerals, and describe the classification and genesis of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

GEOL1245Environmental Health and Safety
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This safety course is designed to provide an overview of risk assessment, accident causation, and initial training in a variety of safety issues directly related to exploration, mining, and environmental assessment activities. Also included is First aid training - Level C CPR/AED, H2S Alive, Petroleum Safety Training (PST), Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). Instruction for these certificates is completed on the weekends or by independent study. Winter survival will also be included and will cover Instruction in map reading, compass work, fire lighting, shelter construction, survival rescues; as well as a weekend in survival situation.

MATH1213Technical Mathematics II, Calculus and Statistics
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisite: MATH1113.
  • Course Equivalencies: ASM233
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course is for Geological Technology students. The course introduces the fundamental principles of statistics with geological applications. The basic concepts of differential calculus will be used including derivatives of elementary functions and the application of derivatives to practical problems. The analytical geometry of straight lines is also covered.

MATH1287Computer Applications
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program.
  • Course Equivalencies: ASM285
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course is for Geological Technology students. The aim of this course is to help students build an understanding of how to effectively use spreadsheet and database software before entering the workplace. We will be working within a Windows environment.

SURV1255Surveying and GIS
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program.
  • Course Equivalencies: CIV223
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This is an introductory course in basic surveying methods. The purpose of the course is to give Geological students a foundation in the use of conventional surveying instruments for field data collection, and to introduce them to field and office methods related to surveying and their technology.

Term 3

GEOL1390Field Placement
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Students will be assigned to an industry placement such as an Environmental Consulting company, Mining company, Geological Consulting company Oil and Gas company, or government agency for a two-week work term. An oral report and log book will be prepared by the students during this time. Successful completion of this course is dependent upon performance evaluation by the participating company and the NAIT Coordinator.

Term 4

GEOL2320Economic Mineral Deposits
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program with a Plan in Exploration and that has completed Level 1. Prerequisite: GEOL1220.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course outlines economic mineral resources, particularly those important to Canada. It models the formation and characteristics of metallic and non-metallic mineral deposits. Emphasis will be on VMS, SEDEX, Carbonate-Hosted, Magmatic, Porphyritic, Diamond, Gold and Uranium Deposits however Gemstone, Industrial Mineral and Rare Element Deposits will be also discussed.

GEOL2342Geophysics I
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisite: PHYS1123.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course provides an introduction to selected geophysical methods used in environmental assessments, resource exploration, and the characterization of subsurface features. Topics include magnetics, electrical and electromagnetic methods, and seismic refraction. Students will conduct field surveys using geophysical equipment and will learn how to process, present, and interpret geophysical data.

GEOL2350Applied Stratigraphy
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program and that has completed Level 1. Prerequisite: GEOL1210.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Topics covered in this course include sedimentary geology, glacial geology, stratigraphy and correlation, historical geology, facies analysis and petroleum geology. Students will learn to identify common glacial landforms and deposits. The historical geology component of the course will focus on the subsurface geology of Alberta. Students will be asked to map or correlate sedimentary units in the subsurface and to identify common sedimentary environments or facies. Students will use knowledge of sedimentary geology to assess hydrocarbon potential under given conditions.

GEOL2360Resource and Environmental Law
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program and that has completed Level 1. Prerequisite: ENGL1335.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Resource and Environmental Law, is intended to provide Geological Technology students with an overview of the legal framework that governs resource exploration and development and environmental protection in Canada. The course first addresses the historical developments in Canadian environmental law and then examines details of relevant federal and provincial legislation and their associated regulations. Federal legislation studied includes the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and the Fisheries Act. Alberta provincial legislation studied is focused on the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and the Water Act. Where timely and appropriate, other relevant legislation and case studies will be examined.

GEOL2370Geological Field Techniques
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program with a specialization in Exploration and have completed Level 1. Prerequisite: GEOL1210, GEOL1220.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

In this course students will demonstrate the fundamentals of geologic field mapping. Students will observe, measure, and record field data from outcrops of structurally complex Paleozoic strata in the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains in order to produce a geological map during a one week field school near Nordegg. Some extra living expenses will be incurred. In the Lab portion of this course students practice a variety of wellsite evaluation techniques and generate a lithologic strip log.

GEOL2480Geological Computer Applications
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisites: MATH1287.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Computer programs are useful in the both the hard rock and the soft rock geology streams. This course introduces students to industry software such as GeoScout, ArcGIS, Target and WellSite. Students will apply their knowledge of the computer programs to collect data, display data and/or interpret data.

Term 5

GEOL2330Geochemistry
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program with a specialization in Exploration and have completed level 1. Prerequisites: CHEM1102, GEOL1220.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course provides an introduction to applied geochemistry including geochemical sampling, geochemical analysis and geochemical data interpretation. Analysis of geochemical data to develop a mineral exploration target will also be completed.

GEOL2435Applied Research Project
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisite: ENGL1335.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Building on the skills and documents developed in GEOL2335, students will write and present a major technical report relating to a significant industry related topic. Students will focus on appropriate style, correctness in writing, and proper formatting of the report body as well as the front and back matter.

GEOL2440Advanced Exploration Geophysics
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisites: GEOL2342.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course elaborates on the theoretical aspects of the magnetic and electrical geophysical methods introduced in GEOL 2340. The unit on seismic investigations will focus on the use of reflection seismic surveys to determine subsurface features. The concepts of normal moveout, statics, and migration will be introduced. In addition, a unit on gravity methods of investigation will explore the use and interpretation of gravity data as well as the processing and presentation of that data. Further studies of electromagnetic surveys will also be included.

GEOL2450Oil and Gas Project Development
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisite: MATH1287.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course begins with a brief introduction to oil and gas reservoir engineering principles. The main focus of the course is economic principles and evaluation associated with the development of conventional and unconventional oil and gas resource plays.

GEOL2460Resource Development Procedures
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisite: GEOL2320.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course focuses on the development of a prospect into a mine. Topics will include acquiring land, estimating reserves, selecting surface and/or subsurface mining methods and recommending equipment and methods of extraction. Students participate in a mine tour field trip at the end of their 2nd year.

GEOL2470Formation Evaluation
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Geological Technology program. Prerequisite: GEOL2350.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course will introduce students to the most common and useful techniques used to analyze open-hole log and test data. The course focuses on petroleum industry methods and practices. Topics include data acquisition and manipulation, the borehole environment, standard logging tools and measurements, basic clastic evaluation, basic carbonate evaluation, auxiliary measurements, drill-stem testing and analysis. Students will learn to determine rock pore volume and formation water resistivity, identify pore filling fluids and lithology, as well as calculate permeability.

Tuition

Cost Per Credit: $180
Tuition Cap: $1,940

Tuition for International Students

Cost Per Credit: $747
Tuition Cap: $8,051

Mandatory Fees

NAITSA: $129
U-Pass: $175
Health & Dental: $128
Rec. & Athletics: $70

Pay Your Tuition & Fees
How much will first year cost?

Books, Supplies & Program Fees (est.)

Level 1 Term 1: $900
Level 1 Term 2: $350
Level 2 Term 1: $550
Level 2 Term 2: $450


Dates & Deadlines

We recommend submitting your program application at least 90 days before the application deadline.

Application Deadline: Sep 03, 2019

Term Start Date: Sep 03, 2019

Program Availability Status:  

Domestic Applicants: WL
International Applicants: WL

Entrance Requirements

  • Grade 12 English (English 30-1 or 30-2)
  • Math 30-1 or Pure Math 30 or Math 30-2
  • One of: Chemistry 20, Biology 20, Physics 20, or Science 30
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency

Apply to Program

Apply to the program with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application process. Please note, processing time may vary for applicants, so we recommend starting early.

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International Students

This program is open to international applicants. For more detailed information about applying, visit our admissions page. Learn more

Legend

Term Definition
Open Program still has seats available.
Waitlisting Program is full and qualified applicants are being placed on a waitlist. For information about waitlists, please visit the Waitlist FAQs.

If you’re on a non-competitive waitlist, you should consider NAIT’s Academic Upgrading program or NAIT Equivalency Tests to become a more competitive applicant.

There is no guarantee that waitlisted applicants will be offered a seat, however it is common for seats to become available until the start of class. As seats become available, they are filled from the waitlist.
Closed Program is no longer accepting applications.
N/A Not available for this term.


*Program availabilty is subject to change without notice.

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Additional information

BTech - Technology Management

Completion of this diploma qualifies as the first 2 years of NAIT's unique 4-year Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management degree.

Become a certified engineering technologist

Students of this program are eligible for student membership in the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET).

Apply to NAIT

Learn how to register through Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS) or begin the application process.

Apply Now How to Apply