PhD Position in Shale Gas Geochemistry at the University of Calgary, Alberta (Canada)

Fully Funded PhD Position in Shale Gas Geochemistry

Supervisor: Dr. Bernhard Mayer, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
We invite high caliber applicants to compete for a fully funded PhD studentship in Shale Gas Geochemistry at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The successful student will work in a project entitled “Environmental baseline conditions for impact assessment of unconventional gas exploitation: Advancing geochemical tracer and monitoring techniques” jointly funded by NSERC in Canada and ANR in France. The newly recruited PhD student will join a vibrant research team dedicated to establishing innovative tracer techniques for detecting and quantifying potential stray gas and saline formation water leakage into shallow groundwater and surface waters.
The recruited PhD student will be instrumental in contributing to a field-based research program with the primary objective to develop innovative geochemical and isotopic tracer approaches that are capable of assessing extent and rates of stray gas and/or saline formation water leakage from unconventional gas plays or overlying formations into shallow groundwater and surface water systems. The goal is to develop scientifically defendable techniques for assessing the potential environmental impact of shale gas development in areas with different geological, hydrogeological and climatic conditions and development histories. The student is expected to conduct a critical analysis of the sensitivity and spatial and temporal variabilities associated with sampling methods and tracer approaches and will also be responsible for GIS-based data management for all project results and data from external sources. Minimum and optimum requirements for baseline assessment and monitoring will be defined in terms of parameters, 3D spatial distribution, frequency, and duration of measurements. A strategy for in-situ characterization of fluids and gases during drilling operations will also be designed. The goal of the PhD project is to contribute to decision support and recommendations for stakeholders (regulators, industry) on standard baseline and monitoring programs, related costs, and availability of data (e.g. public databases).
This project is jointly conducted by researchers in Canada (Calgary, Guelph) and in France (BRGM, TOTAL). While enrolled at the University of Calgary, the student is expected to visit and conduct selected research tasks at participating research institutes. Applicants should have solid knowledge in aqueous and gas geochemistry. Experience in GIS, advanced data analysis methods, and isotope geochemistry are an asset. The ability to work in an interdisciplinary team environment, fluency in English and at least basic knowledge of French are essential.
Generous project support from TOTAL E&P will fund the selected student for three years, at $25,000/year for Canadian students and $30,000/year for international students. Applicants must have a GPA higher than 3.3 (4.0 scale) in the last 2 years of study or equivalent qualifications for international students.
Please send inquiries including a short letter of interest and a detailed curriculum vitae, including contact information for 3 references at your earliest convenience to Dr. Bernhard Mayer at: bmayer@ucalgary.ca
Screening of candidates will commence on July 15, 2015, and will continue until the position is filled hopefully no later than January 10, 2016. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of interested individuals.

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