2015 MPDA scholarship recipients

Greg Ashcroft - PictureGreg Ashcroft

B.Sc. Honours – Geological Sciences (2010)

M.Sc. Candidate – Geological Sciences University of Manitoba

Hi Everyone!

My geology career began as a curious undergraduate student in my first year of university. After taking the first year geology course, my instructor’s sense of humour and teaching ability got me hooked. How could you not get excited over learning about volcanoes, glaciers and how the world works below our feet? This interest flourished during my undergrad as I worked for the Manitoba Geological Survey during the summer months working on the Flin Flon Greenstone belt around Flin Flon (2007, 2008), Snow Lake (2009) and Thompson (2009). I graduated in 2010 with an honours degree and was ready for a taste of the mining industry.

From 2011 to 2013 I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where I spent my career working on copper porphyry deposits (Copper Mountain, Copper Mountain Mining & Miner Mountain, SEGO! Resources) in South Central, BC and on an intermediate epithermal Gold – Silver deposit in Central, BC (Black Water, New Gold). However as we all know the good times have to eventually come to a rolling stop. With the mining industry going from boom to bust, it was time for me to return home and re-evaluate what I wanted to accomplish in my career.

It was at the end of 2014 that I decided to begin my Masters at the University of Manitoba. So far it has been quite a journey, learning and exploring something new and completely different than what I have experienced. I am fortunate and lucky to work on a project that allows me to still feel being involved with the mining industry. My hope is for the mining industry to recover by the time I am graduated so I can return to exploration geology, with a greater understanding on the geochemistry of hydrothermal ore deposits.

When I’m not looking at rocks, I’m also climbing over them. In the beginning of the year I got into rock climbing and my joy for the sport continues to grow. Over the summer I joined the Alpine Club of Canada which not only fuels my passion for the outdoors but also gives me plenty of opportunity to look at more rocks! If I’m not on the crag I can be found walking my dog, Fiora, or inside playing the piano or tenor saxophone. Music, particularly from video games has always been an influence in my life and my outlet to express myself. My goals are to learn mountaineering and ice climbing over the coming years as well grow as a musician and write my own music.



Tina Cliff

I grew up on a farm in rural Alberta, where I first developed a love of the outdoors. I began my post secondary education in Alberta, where I attained a diploma in Geological Technology at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). After several years working in the mineral exploration and mining I to returned to university in 2012 to gain my BSc in Geology with the courses required for professional designation as a geoscientist. Since graduating from NAIT in 2007, I have worked for various Jr. and Sr. mining companies primarily in diamond exploration/mining, gold exploration/mining, and tungsten mining throughout the NWT, Nunavut, and Ontario. These years of work have been extremely beneficial in both experience and motivation, because I have a clear understanding of the mining industry and the direction in which I would like my career to progress.

I was on the Dean’s List for the past year and completed such classes as: Mineral Exploration Techniques, Igneous Petrogenesis, Instrumental Techniques, and Engineering Geology. During my final year at school I will be taking Global Tectonics, Global Information Systems, and an elective of my choice. As well, I will write a technical report in conjunction with GoldCorp’s Red Lake Gold Mines, where I have secured a summer position for a second term this year. The proposed topic of my technical report is the host lithology determination and characterization of the Far East mineralization zone in the Red Lake Gold Mine, Ontario. I also hope to be a teaching assistant for either first or second year geological science courses, which will allow me help teach and mentor new students in the faculty.

Once I graduate I plan on continuing my career within hard rock mining and mineral exploration. The Canadian mining industry has served me well in the past few years as I have learned a huge amount from the various projects that I have worked on.  I can only foresee that this trend will continue and I will learn and grow as a Professional Geologist within the mineral exploration and mining sector.