The Role of the Geologist
JOHN F. GARTNER, President, Terra-Scan Limited, Concord, Ontario
Traditionally, the geologists of Canada have been occupied with the tasks of finding new mineral bodies, locating gas and oil fields or hunting for economic deposits of industrial minerals. A very minor percentage of graduate geologists have applied their skills to solution of the "urban blight" or employing their understanding of "Nature" for the optimum use of land by mankind. However, things are changing quickly. The role of the geologist in the planning process is being established. It is an exciting time! Geologists are now being consulted on a wide range of urban planning problems. These vary, tor example, from assessment of the geological environment for the new communities of Erin Mills and Meadowvale, which will have total populations in excess of 100,000 people (truly a satellite city), to a complete geological/ geohydrological assessment of the new sanitary landfill for the city of Guelph. . Use of geologic techniques and methods for urban studies must be enhanced with certain skills not taught, in the past, to the geologist. These include airphoto interpretation, soil mechanics, geohydrology, municipal engineering and highway engineering to mention a few. The geologist has the unique training to assess the natural environment and to discover, warn and explain the implications of man's attempt to command his environment.
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