Wing is fascinated by the story of Earth

Earth Sciences Technician Wing Chan

For many of us, a hike in the mountains is a great way to connect with nature. With degrees in Geology and Geophysics, Earth Sciences Technician Wing Chan began to see those hikes as an opportunity to literally read the history of our planet.

It was during an introductory field trip, resting on the side of the Columbia River that changed the way Wing saw the world. Studying and mapping the igneous and metamorphic rock he began to understand that the earth was leaving us clues and that his documentation of those clues was part of a process of piecing together the story of the earth. Examining the folds, structure and faults spanning billions of years all around them revealed reasons for change and the interconnectivity of science and our daily lives.

Field studies have given Wing and his students the opportunity to become immersed in ecosystems they never thought they’d experience. It’s those moments of seeing the interconnectedness of all living things, on a landscape billions of years in the making that reinforces the importance of earth science. Today, he supports those moments of change in his students lives, providing the tools for a new generation of earth’s readers.

Earth Sciences Technician Wing Chan

We need people to read as much of the physical story, the clues the earth gives us, to move forward in the future to preserve the things we love and treasure.”

Wing Chan

The Bow River, flowing right here in Calgary, is one such ecosystem that needs passionate readers. Glaciers feeding into the ground water that becomes the surface water in the Bow River, filtered through countless rocks and minerals to become the water we drink, is a process few think about when they turn on the tap. The river provides recreation, but it also sustains us, a critical resource that most people take for granted.

“Every time I travel elsewhere, I miss the taste of the water here. It’s a huge reason why I love Calgary.”

Wing is part of a department that is creating a new generation of scientists interested in global issues with human implications. For Wing and his students, a walk in the mountains is indeed a nice hike outside, but it is also an opportunity to get one’s nose to the ground and read the clues around sustainability. It is a walk across earth’s history and the role we play in writing its future.