Student life

The Earth Sciences Graduate Association (ESGA) organizes and facilitates many events to allow graduate students to meet their colleagues and have fun.  There are lots of different events and activities that should cater to everyone’s interests! Events are advertised through departmental e-mails sent out to all graduate students, and the ESGA’s Facebook page, as well as a calendar located in the department’s main office.

The University of Waterloo Geophysical Society (UWGS) is a student chapter of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, an international community of geophysicists. The UWGS is focused on serving the community at large by sharing experience and education about the vast realm of geophysics. Explore our site to find out more about what we do!

Main Events

  • Curling Bonspiel (March):  Each year, we go to a local curling club for an afternoon curling bonspiel, with a bonus curling lesson.  Look out for advertisements for this event in February, as it always fills up fast! 
  • Year-End Formal (April): We hope to start an annual academic year-end formal to celebrate the successes of the year.
  • Logan Day (September): Logan Day honours Sir William Logan, the first director of the Geological Survey of Canada, and occurs at the beginning of September.  Events include a BBQ, games and activities with the undergrads (piezometer throw, rock hammer toss, etc.), and an evening social. Plus there’s always a really cool t-shirt!
  • Graduate Student Welcome Mixer (September): We welcome a new class of graduate students in the fall term with a social mixer at the Grad House.  New and old graduate students alike are invited to this event.
  • Halloween Party (October): Plan on attending our Halloween-themed event, held at a local establishment.  Prizes will be handed out for costumes, so it’ll be time to show off your creative side!
  • Holiday Party (December): Join our department in some festive fun at the end of the year.

Lecture Series

  • Adrian Smith Lecture (March): This lecture was started to honour Dr. Adrian Smith’s commitment to the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, as an adjunct faculty member, colleague, and supervisor.  This annual lecture in environmental geochemistry is held in March every year.
  • Darcy Lecture (September): The National Groundwater Association funds the Darcy Lecture series to “foster interest and excellence in groundwater science and technology” (NGWA, 2016).  An outstanding groundwater professional is invited to share their work around the globe, through a series of lectures at different institutions.
  • Farvolden Day (October): This event was initiated in 1996 to celebrate Dr. Robert N. Farvolden’s contributions to the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the field of hydrogeology.  It seeks to develop interaction and communication between the department, alumni of the hydrogeology program, and the wider groundwater community.  A variety of events take place, including: the Farvolden Lecture series (which attracts a wide variety of high caliber lecturers) the presentation of the Farvolden Scholarship, and a symposium showcasing projects within the university relating to hydrogeology.  Students wishing to be part of the symposium will be given further details closer to the date. 

Miscellaneous Activities

  • ESGA-subsidized sports teams
  • Outdoor group excursions (skiing, hiking, camping, etc.)
  • Novelty and clothing orders
  • Conferences
  • BBQs, potlucks, and much more!