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UBC opens $2.4 million rebuilt geological field station in Oliver

The new facilities replace the original station that was built in the 1950s
The new Peter and Maggie Bradshaw Experiential Learning Centre at the Oliver geological field station. (University of British Columbia)

The University of B.C. has opened up its new $2.4 million geological field station in Oliver.

A $1 million donation from Teck is the single-largest contribution, with additional funding provided by 200 UBC alumni and friends according to a press release from UBC Science.

“The new UBC-Teck Geological Field Station will help build Canada’s skilled mining workforce of the future, while also supporting important research across the natural sciences,” said Don Lindsay, Teck’s president and CEO.

Replacing facilities that were originally built in the 1950s, the rebuilt station includes a 400 square-metre learning centre building, and a 130 square-metre cabin, as well as additional exploration-style shelters for additional accommodations. The buildings are designed to allow for operation through spring, summer and fall in the Okanagan.

The new facilities will be used by UBC students across multiple departments, including Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Geography and Forestry.

“The Oliver field school is unlike any other geology field course in Canada, and our expanding program has outgrown the existing 70-year-old facilities,” said Dr. Ken Hickey, director of the UBC Oliver geology field school and assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.

Every year, third- and fourth-year students spend up to three weeks in the field at the station, learning geological mapping techniques, and how to live and work in a realistic camp setting.

The redevelopment will enable the facility to open its doors to others in the community and be used almost year-round to support work in the geosciences, botany, climate studies, ecology, forestry and other areas.

Construction of the UBC-Teck Geological Field Station began in December 2019, with the new facilities opening to students in 2022.

The site is situated on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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