Monday, July 15, 2024

Modern Earth Science: Researchers committed to a more sustainable future

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
"Subtly charming problem solver. Extreme tv enthusiast. Web scholar. Evil beer expert. Music nerd. Food junkie."

On Sunday, two researchers from the Canadian Geological Survey participate in a popular science event on the museum’s lawn. Stephanie Larmanat and Shiva Tirdad want to show “different faces of science that go beyond the preconceived image of the mad scientist in his laboratory.” These people will present their knowledge to the general public, and who knows, perhaps young women will get a taste of practicing this profession.

Science “for everyone”

Activity The platform It highlights women, non-binary scholars, and researchers who can therefore serve as role models for young people. It’s a way to tell girls that science is for everyone, regardless of gender, age or background.

Research for the common good

At the Quebec branch of the Geological Survey of Canada, on Rue de la Couronne, these researchers work to solve problems that affect the lives of Canadians and natural resources.

“It’s rewarding to say that we can do something for the greater good,” says Stephanie Larmaniat.

Geology is a modern science

Their work also leads them to “make innovative discoveries every day.”

For her part, Ms. Tirdad applies AI methods in geoscientific applications to enhance existing magnetic data, using it to avoid additional exploration work and reduce costs as well as its environmental impact.

Thus, thanks to new analytical tools of artificial intelligence, the holder of an inter-university PhD in Geosciences at INRS was able to “make magnetic data on land tenure speak again, some of which dates back several decades.”

If areas are difficult to reach, it can use artificial intelligence models and create accurate maps of these places.

“It really gives us the opportunity to make discoveries in remote areas.”

For her part, Stephanie Larmanat specializes in the geology of sedimentary rocks and their thermal properties. Often, projects where she draws on her expertise lead her to work with other researchers to solve groundwater problems, doing water quality or water resources monitoring, for example.

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Ms. Larmanat also conducts geothermal research, in industrial companies or even government institutions, to check “if heat from the ground can be used to cover heating and air conditioning needs.” Then the rocks say a lot about the depth of the soil, and how deep the systems can be installed.

On Sunday afternoon at the Soapbox event, she will present the results of her laboratory tests on rocks aimed at reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“It has already been done, there is a big project in Canada, it is being done a lot in Europe and all that (…) but there is still basic research to be done…”

“With other colleagues in the lab, we are trying to make the rocks react in subsurface conditions and at high temperatures. Then we see how it reacts with the tests and where the carbon dioxide will go, will it rush out, turn into a rock, keep moving, etc. »

Although their practices are different, these two researchers from the Canadian Geological Survey are using modern science to move toward a more sustainable future. Hence the title of their show Modern Earth Sciences: Moving Toward a More Sustainable Future.

A function with multiple possibilities

“Geology is also viewed as an ancient science, but we can achieve a lot of things thanks to modern methods,” emphasizes the Ph.D. in sedimentology obtained at the University of Laval.

“That’s what we want to get across as a message: science related to geology and natural resources, there are a lot of possible careers.”

Passionate and curious

Because ultimately, it is people’s passion for science and their own interests that lead to this stimulating career.

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“The important thing is not necessarily to get the best grades in school, but to find something that fascinates us and gives us the desire to learn more every day,” says Ms. Larmanat.

“It’s often the drive that makes you make a career out of it, I think. Personally, I want to do this every day. I really like it out there.”

For her part, Ms. Tirdad wanted to combine her “mathematical side”, to study and visualize more physical issues, and to use artificial intelligence and new technologies. This is what she was “so passionate about” and what still excites her today.

Soap eventa bilingual science popularization activity, this Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., in the Museum Park, on the west side of the Grand Allee.

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