About the Foundation


The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation was established in 1993 to interpret and educate the Burgess Shale to the world. The Foundation has built strong partnerships with schools, universities, institutions and organizations locally, nationally and from around the world to promote the development of earth science education programs.

The Foundation embraces students, professionals, scientists and the general public from around the world. Locally, the Foundation works closely with the Rocky Mountain School District No. 6 (Golden) and other organizations and institutions in the Columbia and Bow valleys, the National Parks and the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site, North America and around the world.

The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation is a Not-for-Profit Society with charitable status. Any profits from the educational hikes and associated lectures will be directed toward the establishment of the Burgess Shale Learning Centre or our earth science education and research programs. Contact us for more information or to become a friend of the Foundation.

If you wish to support the Foundation, please fill out a Pledge Form and return it to us or you can donate here.

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Board of Directors

Jim Abbott
Foundation Chair
Jim Abbott - Foundation Chair

Jim Abbott served seventeen years as Member of Parliament, Kootenay-Columbia. He was Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of International Cooperation. The Prime Minister called Mr. Abbott to serve on the Privy Council to Her Majesty the Queen. Mr. Abbott sat on the Foreign Affairs and International Development Standing Committee and on the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan. Previously, he was Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and served on the Canadian Heritage, Environment, Justice and Human Rights Committees. Mr. Abbott served as Chair and other executive capacities in Asia Pacific Parliamentary organizations. Following retirement, the BC Premier appointed Jim Abbott to the Board of Governors, College of the Rockies. He sits on numerous NGO, education and “outreach” boards.

Philip Benham
Director
Phil Benham

Philip Benham is Regional Discipline Advisor of Production Geology for Shell Canada Limited. He is also Chair of the Paleontology Division for the CSPG and is the past Technical Program Coordinator for the Alberta Palaeontological Society. He is an active board member of the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation. One of his key roles for the Foundation was the development and running of the High School Teacher’s Geology Workshop. He has given numerous talks on his travels in the high Arctic, Indonesia, Madagascar and East Africa. He defines his life by adventure, fulfilling his passion for knowledge and hopefully turning others on to the natural and cultural wonders of the world.

Paul Carriere
Science Advisor
Paul Carriere

Paul Carriere is the Superintendent of School District No. 6 (Rocky Mountain) in British Columbia. The District has 19 schools, and covers the area from Field, BC through Golden, and down the Columbia River Valley through Invermere to Kimberley. Paul began his teaching career in School District No. 35 (Langley) and served as a Secondary School Vice Principal before moving to a Principalship in School District No. 81 (Fort Nelson) in 1995. Paul came to Rocky Mountain in 1998 where he has served as both an Elementary and Secondary Principal, and as Assistant Superintendent with responsibilities for Human Resources and Technology Services before being appointed to his current position in August, 2010.

Brian Chatterton
Science Advisor

Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta - Paleontology

Roderick B. Davison
Director
Roderick B. Davison

Roderick is a senior partner in Parlee McLaws Edmonton office and practices primarily in the area of civil litigation, with particular emphasis on all matters pertaining to the insurance industry, product liability litigation, professional liability claims and employment law.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Rick attended university in the Maritimes before moving to Edmonton, where he articled under the late J.C. Cavanagh of Parlee, Irving, Henning, Mustard & Rodney.

He has appeared before the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, the Alberta Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories and the Federal Court of Canada. He has been certified for specific litigation matters in the provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Yukon Territory.

Rick is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch, as well as the Edmonton Bar Association. He has been lecturer for the Bar Admission Course, the Trial Advocacy Course in Calgary and for various programs presented by the Legal Education Society of Alberta. He has also participated as a panel member in providing seminars to the insurance industry.

Jon Dudley
Director
Jon Dudley

Jon has been involved with the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation since 1998 and he has served as a guide, technical advisor, Teacher Workshop instructor and outreach volunteer. Jon is currently serving as current Chair of the Education Committee.

After retiring from a 26 year career as a professional geologist, Jon continues to pursue his passion for geology and public education not only through his involvement with the Foundation, but also as a Research Associate with the Arctic Institute of North America and as a geology interpreter on Arctic expedition cruises.

Jon earned degrees in Geology - a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary. He is a registered Professional Geologist with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) and Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada.

Godfrey S. Nowlan
Director
Godfrey S. Nowlan

Godfrey is a research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada. He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (B.A.), Memorial University of Newfoundland (M.Sc.) and the University of Waterloo (Ph.D.). He is expert on Lower Paleozoic stratigraphy and biostratigraphy with special interest in phosphatic microfossils and has published more than a hundred refereed scientific articles. Godfrey is active in promoting public awareness of science through local, national and international organizations. He is co-founder of the Calgary Science Network and the Alberta Science Literacy Association. He has served two terms as Chairman of the Canadian Geoscience Education Network and is a member of the board of the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences. He was Program Chair on the Canadian National Committee for the International Year of Planet Earth and is the Chair of the Canadian National Committee for Geoparks. He is a recipient of the E.R.W. Neale Medal for public education and outreach (Geological Association of Canada 1995), the McNeil Medal of the Royal Society of Canada for scientific outreach (1996) and the Ambrose Medal (Geological Association of Canada 2005) for service to the geological profession.

Kevin Root
Director
Kevin Root

Kevin Root is currently employed at Griffiths Energy International where he works on oil exploration and development projects in Chad. He has previously worked at Nexen, EnCana, Shell, and the Energy Resources Conservation Board. His primary professional interests involve working on structurally and stratigraphically complex hydrocarbon plays, and he has worked in a variety of regions in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Other geoscience passions include trying to gain a better understanding of the development of the ancient continental margin that was present on the western side of North America during the Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic, and the later Mesozoic and Tertiary deformation that converted the margin into the Rocky Mountain Thrust and Fold Belt. Additional passions include hiking, scrambling and skiing in the mountains, sea kayaking, and music. Kevin has a PhD in structural geology from the University of Calgary.

Dr. Nathaniel Rutter
Director
Dr. Nathaniel Rutter

Nat is a Quaternary Geologist with many accomplishments throughout his career. After graduating with his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Nat joined the Geological Survey of Canada in Calgary focusing on the glacial history and climate change of Western Canada. After a short stint as Environmental Advisor with the National Energy Board in Ottawa, he returned to the University of Alberta as a Professor and then as Chairman of the Department of Geology. At that time, his climate change research expanded to be conducted not only in Canada, but also in China, Europe, Africa and South America. Currently Nat is a University Professor Emeritus of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta.

Within his career, Nat has been the President of the International Union for Quaternary Research, been a founding member of the international on Past Global Change, a founder and first Editor-in-Chief of the scientific periodical Quaternary International, and is a founding member of The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation. Finally, Nat’s many honours include Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada, Honourary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Honourary Doctor of Science degrees. He also has distinguished career awards from the Geological Association of Canada, The Geological Society of America and the Canadian Quaternary Association.

Rob Taerum
Director
Rob_Taerum_2.JPG

Rob Taerum earned a Ph.D. in structural geology with specialization in the Alberta Foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Previously, he earned Bachelor degrees in Physics and Geophysics, worked for a major petroleum company in Calgary for 23 years and has also worked two years as a meteorologist for Environment Canada. Rob is a certified guide and has been a member of APEGA for 27 years. For the past 3 years Rob has been sessional instructor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Calgary.