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About the Harquail School of Earth Sciences

We stand for excellence in undergraduate and graduate level research and education in the geosciences.

The Harquail School of Earth Sciences (HES) has been educating geoscientists since the 1960's and some of today’s mineral exploration industry leaders have earned their degrees in Geology at this unit at Laurentian University. In recent years, the Harquail School of Earth Sciences has grown substantially with the founding of its Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC) in 1997 and the commencement of Canada's largest geoscience research project Metal Earth in 2016. HES and MERC are located in the Willet Green Miller Center (WGMC), which was designed from the ground up as a geoscience building. It houses the Ontario Geological Survey, the Ontario Geoscience Laboratories, the Mine Recorders Office, and several other mining-related research centres, making the WGMC one of the largest Earth science resource centres in North America.

The city of Sudbury lies amidst glacially-shaped ridges and green boreal forests, and contains 330 lakes >10 hectares in size and 112 lakes > 100 hectares in size. The success of more than 30 continuous years of environmental reclamation efforts has led to numerous national and international awards, including a Government of Canada Environmental Achievement Award, a United States Chevron Conservation Award, and a United Nations Local Government Honours Award.

Our recent achievements:

- Our “rock” star and MSc Geology alumna Ashley Kirwan, co-founder, CEO and Principal Geologist of Orix Geoscience, was in The Foundry Entrepreneur Spotlight on Nov 12, 2021. At Orix Geoscience, Ashley is leading a diverse team of Geology & Data experts and has been recognized for her achievements locally and globally!

- Dr. Nadia Mykytczuk, adjunct professor, was named as the new President and CEO of MIRARCO, and Executive Director of the Goodman School of Mines on June 28, 2021. Dr. Mykytczuk is one of Canada’s top experts in biomining and bioremediation.

- Dr. Elizabeth Turner, professor of paleontology and carbonate sedimentology, has published about the oldest animal ever discovered on Earth on July 28, 2021. This fossil is possibly a sponge, and dates back 890 million years, see the video here https://twitter.com/NaturePortfolio/status/1427240802426761219

- Dr. Rasmus Haugaard, research associate with Metal Earth at HES, revealed a missing piece of 3.2-billion-year-old continent in June 2021, see https://www.ualberta.ca/folio/2021/06/ancient-sand-reveals-missing-piece...

Derek Leung, PhD student at HES, professional curler and science communicator, published his research on curling stones in Rockwatch Magazine in March 2021! Rockwatch is the UK's national club for young geologists. See https://twitter.com/d_rock_leung

- NASA's Perseverance Rover landed on Mars on Feb 22, 2021, see https://twitter.com/NASAPersevere/status/1363929492138254340, with Dr. Alessandro Ielpi (LU) and Mathieu Lapôtre (Stanford) having suggested to NASA in their publication that the landing site be close to a delta within Jezero Crater, a promising site for the search of life on Mars.

- Dr. Andy McDonald, our mineralogy professor, who has discovered about 25 new minerals over his career, was honoured with a new mineral andymcdonaldite (Fe2TeO6), named after him on January 1, 2020. Andymcdonaldite is a ferric iron tellurate with inverse trirutile structure from the Detroit district, Juab County, Utah, and is named in honor of Andrew (“Andy”) M. McDonald, Professor of Mineralogy, Harquail School of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.




HES Experiences

Get a feel for our culture and take a peak inside the day in the life of a geologist through videos from our geologists and students, stories from alumni and HES social channels.

HES Experiences
Award Winning Faculty

The Harquail School of Earth Sciences (HES) and Mineral Exploration Research Centre comprise award-winning faculty (including three GAC-MDD Duncan Derry Medal winners) and award-winning students, and presently have the highest level of NSERC and TGI funding in economic geology of any university in Canada. Visit our people directory to learn more about our faculty and for contact information.


Award-winning faculty, award-winning students, and close ties with the Ontario Geological Survey, Ontario Geoscience Laboratories, the Geological Survey of Canada, and dozens of mining and exploration companies provide a wide range of research opportunities in economic geology, exploration geophysics, geochemistry, igneous- metamorphic petrology, mineralogy, volcanology, structural geology, and sedimentology, focusing on Precambrian geology and associated mineralization.


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