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Marie-Claude Williamson

“My AstroPassion is planetary geology, rover science, Moon, Mars, Io, Europa, Asteroids”
Marie-Claude's Biography

Marie-Claude Williamson is a research scientist working at the Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, who specializes in the study of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs). LIPs are catastrophic volcanic eruptions that have dramatically modified the Earth’s landscape and climate in the geological past. She completed her B.Sc. in Geology at l’Université de Montréal and received M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dr. Williamson was seconded to the Canadian Space Agency from 2007 to 2009 to promote Planetary Geology & Geophysics within Canada’s Astronautics community. Her recent geological expeditions to Canada’s High Arctic have focused on the search for new mineral deposits in Nunavut.

Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa

Natural Resources Canada is facilitating progress in understanding the potential importance, impact and benefits of Space Mining on the Canadian mining industry.

The most exciting aspect of my research has to do with the geological expeditions that I carry out in remote areas Canada’s High Arctic Islands. These expeditions are extremely rewarding because we are challenged by weather and logistics at every step.

The most challenging and memorable field expedition I have carried out was the “First Joint U.S.-Canada Polar Expedition for Educators” to Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, completed while I was seconded to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). This expedition was co-sponsored by the CSA, McGill University and NASA; involved 17 participants; and focused entirely on science education and outreach.

The geological research I carry out at NRCan-GSC leads to the discovery and sustainable development of mineral resources for the benefit of Canada’s northern communities. Our goal is to transfer new geoscientific knowledge to decision-makers using a balanced approach that highlights economic potential within the unique context of Canada’s northern cultures and fragile arctic environment.

The Canadian Astronautics community needs more women to contribute their energy, ideas and leadership skills. I will continue to encourage and mentor students and early career scientists in my field of expertise who dream of becoming involved in planetary sciences and astronautics.

Let your instincts guide you! Take a close look at the accomplishments and career path of space pioneers who continue to inspire others with their passion, talent, integrity, and sense of wonder. Follow in their footsteps and reach for the stars!

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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