In Nature | By Fogo Island Inn | April 6, 2018

Geologists-in-Residence at GatE 2018

Fogo Island has a 420-million-year-old geological history that has been shaped by ice, fire, and the sea. Sculpted by glaciers, strong waves, and erosion, Fogo Island is also one of the few places on earth where you can see the full spectrum of the magma chamber exposed. Since 2013, Geology at the Edge (GatE), a Shorefast initiative, has used the approach of asset-based community development to establish Canada's first community-based geologist-in-residence program. Each year, prominent geologists of varying specialties are invited to Fogo Island for the chance to study its unique geography and create opportunities for locals and visitors to learn from their expertise through research, public presentations, and other programming during their tenure on the Island, which can range from several weeks to several months. Rotating geologists also regularly lead guided geology hikes departing from the Inn on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings throughout the course of their residencies.

The Geology at the Edge program is led by geologist Paul Dean, who was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador. Paul has had a diverse career in research, mineral exploration, public service, and public education. He is the former Executive Director of the Johnson Geocentre, a world-class geological interpretation centre located in St. John's, NL, and has served as the Assistant Deputy Minister of Mines and Deputy Minister of Environment and Conservation throughout his 25 years in the public service. Beginning this May, GatE will be welcoming both new and returning geologists to the program:

Suzanne Nacha (Toronto): May 21st – June 21st

Jane Wynne (Vancouver Island): June 20th- August 1st

Jack Botsford (St. John's): July 28th – August 20th

Leonard Stoeckl (Hannover, Germany): August 20th - September 20th

Peter Croal (Ottawa): September 20th - October 20th

Past and future participants of the GatE program can be found here:

As of July 2017, Shorefast and the Geology at the Edge program established a permanent home with the opening of the Fogo Island Geology Centre in the community of Shoal Bay. Funded by Husky Energy, the Centre is located in the former St. Simon’s Church, a storied building that went through an extensive restoration. It now houses a permanent collection of geological specimens, maps, and interactive learning materials, and serves as a venue for exciting geology programming including youth workshops, lectures, and special events. Further information on Shorefast’s Geology at the Edge program can be explored here: