With a B.Sc. in Earth and Ocean Science from the University of Victoria, Jason Courneyea has worked on projects ranging from grassroots exploration to active mine sites for the last 15 years. In August of this year, Jason took on the role of incoming Director with MineralsEd. MineralsEd is a non-partisan, charitable organization, dedicated to encouraging and supporting mineral-based education in British Columbia. MineralsEd supports BC teachers and their students with relevant, comprehensive Earth science and mining education resources and learning opportunities.

We touched base with Jason to hear more about his past experience at AME Roundup as well as his plans for the conference in 2020 as Director for MineralsEd.

Tell us about your plans at Roundup this year.

MineralsEd will run full day educational programs on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the conference. On Monday, we will be welcoming Career Educators and Science Teachers to join us for talks by several industry professionals on “Careers in the Modern Minerals Industry”. Teachers will also spend part of the day gathering information from exhibitors on the trade show floor in an amazing race style activity. On Tuesday we will welcome grade 11 and 12 students from the Lower Mainland to attend a morning of talks by young professionals who will share their career journeys with the students. Students will follow the talks with an exploration of the tradeshow floor learning about a variety of different exhibitors. On Wednesday we welcome 100 grade 4 and 5 students for our Roundup Rockhounds Program. Students will enjoy several activities such as, stump the geologist, gold panning with Yukon Dan, diamond exploration, and a talk about being an Exploration Geologist. My plan is to make sure both students and teachers who attend our events leave with a renewed appreciation for the mineral resource industry in British Columbia. I want them to see the variety of jobs it supports, the talented people who make up the workforce, and the importance of mining to our economy and everyday life.

Tell us about your previous experience at AME Roundup and what you found most valuable.

I have attended Roundup since 2008, most years as a volunteer with MineralsEd. I quickly became invested in the work that MineralsEd does. Being a part of educating the public, teachers, and students from around the Lower Mainland about the mineral resource industry here in British Columbia is something I became passionate about. By providing teachers and students alike with balanced and accurate mineral resource information we can create a society that recognizes the important role the industry plays in maintaining our quality of life. The most valuable aspect of Roundup is showcasing the breadth of knowledge, talent, and innovation within the industry and to show the public through our programs how important it is to the prosperity of British Columbia.

What are some valuable opportunities for students at Roundup?

University students should consider volunteering through AME. This is an excellent way to access the conference for free, learn about all the events, and meet many of the exhibitors. One of the most important skills for students is networking and by volunteering there will be plenty of opportunity to interact with industry professionals and explore the conference. There is also the Student-Industry Networking Event on the Sunday night before the conference. This event is well attended by industry and gives students a chance to make a positive impression on professionals who will be looking to hire or give career advice. Students should present themselves professionally and speak intelligently about mineral exploration in BC.

Expectations versus reality. What is the value for you as an individual?

The value of Roundup is that it brings together knowledgeable and skilled individuals from all corners of our industry. It is an amazing opportunity to network with professionals from British Columbia and all around the world. If you are interested in learning about new discoveries, emerging technologies, or new ideas, Roundup is the place to be.