Applications for summer 2022 field assistants are now closed. The deadline for applications was March 31, 2022.

Overview

The Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) activities are grouped around three core functions, including:

  • geological mapping and surveying
  • geoservices based on chemical and physical analyses of inorganic geological materials
  • local area mineral investment expertise that includes inventorying and assessing Ontario’s Earth resource potential

Every year, we hire up to 40 geoscience students for summer work experience opportunities in Northern Ontario. We offer a unique outdoor experience while working and learning with internationally recognized geoscientists.

You will:

  • receive extensive training
  • gain hands-on experience
  • contribute to geoscience mapping and data analysis

You can also conduct thesis research with a specific OGS project.

Employment opportunities

Students can work in the following areas:

  • bedrock geological mapping
  • environmental and surficial investigations
  • helicopter-supported lake sediment and geochemical sampling
  • aggregate and industrial mineral assessments
  • groundwater quality and aquifer mapping

Positions available

Senior assistant

Image
Evan Hastie and field assistant Jessica Verschoor examining an outcrop of sandstone from the Mississagi Formation.

Senior assistants are fourth year undergraduate or graduate students in an earth science program in university or college. To be hired as a senior assistant, you must have at least two summers of field experience.

Duties include:

  • co-leading the field crew and sharing responsibility with the project leader
  • geologic mapping
  • data and sample collection
  • leadership of the crew
  • data entry
  • develop daily work plans
  • crew and/or camp management
  • work closely with project geologist
  • navigation
  • independently collect geological information in the field

Junior assistant

Junior assistants are undergraduate students in an earth science program in university or college. You do not have to have any field experience to be a junior assistant.  

Duties include:

  • assisting with data collection
  • navigating in the field
  • sampling and sample preparation
  • data entry
  • operating vehicles (trucks, ATVs) and/or watercraft
  • cooking and camp maintenance

Eligibility requirements

Image
Summer students Kevin Ho and Hannah Meagher using a soil auger to collect a peat sample.

You are eligible if you:

  • are a continuing, full-time student in the geosciences or related studies at a college or university. You can be a first year to fourth year prospective or full-time graduate student.
  • are able to work in Ontario
  • are team oriented with good communication skills
  • are willing and able to work outdoors for extended periods
  • have some knowledge of, and/or experience with, applicable computer software and hardware
  • hold a St. John's Ambulance (with CPR) first aid training certificate (or an equivalent) in good standing. We will reimburse you for all training related expenses.

Things to consider

Season duration

Image
Summer student, Sasha Schouten, utilizing ATV trails to get to areas not accessible by road.

The average field season is 12 to 14 weeks. It begins in mid-May and lasts until the end of August. One week in May is devoted to health and safety training that includes:

  • ATV and bush road driver’s training
  • aircraft safety
  • wilderness first aid training for remote field crews
  • assisting with data collection
  • navigating in the field
  • sampling and sample preparation
  • operating vehicles (trucks, ATVs) and/or watercraft.

Living accommodation

Living and working conditions vary widely depending on the location of the project and the work involved.

You might live in cottages, motels or tents for all or part of the field season. Some crews operate in remote areas and get around using:

  • boats
  • canoes
  • helicopters
  • float planes

Work assignments

Image
Summer student, Amy Cartier, looking at a section of a Quarry in Haldimand County

Depending on the nature of the project, work can include:

  • collecting and preparing rock, sediment or water samples in the field
  • working with digital data, maps and databases
  • taking field notes
  • learning the fundamentals of geologic field operations

Field crew members

Field crews typically consist of:

  • one or two professional geoscientists or project leaders
  • one to six students

The number of students on a field crew varies depending on the type and requirements of individual projects.

Thesis research with a specific OGS project

If you want to discuss the possibility of doing thesis research with a specific OGS project, please indicate this on your application.

How to apply

We will begin accepting applications in January 2022. To apply:

  1. Download and complete the application form (PDF).
  2. Send the application form, your cover letter and resume by email or mail to:

OGS Field Crew Recruiter
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Willet Green Miller Centre
933 Ramsey Lake Road, 7th Floor
Sudbury, Ontario
P3E 6B5

After you apply

We carefully screen student applications to make sure your skills and experience match with each field crew.

We will contact students that successfully screen in. Crew leaders will contact students to discuss the hiring process and answer any questions.