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Abraham Gesner and Les Fyffe

New Brunswick was the first colony in the British Empire to employ a Provincial Geologist. Abraham Gesner trained as a physician, but his passion was geology and chemistry. Between 1839 and 1843 Gesner produced five reports detailing the geology of the Province. The long tradition of geologic research continues with modern day geologic investigation. The study of mineral resources and hydrocarbons is important for the New Brunswick economy. Mining, quarrying, natural gas and petroleum extraction all depend on geologic research to identify areas where resources are present. 

Today the Geological Surveys Branch of the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources continues the work begun by Gesner. The Province depends on their expertise to map the geology, identify mineral resources, manage mining activities and exploration, identify geologic hazards and understand our place in the global geological story. Geologist Les Fyffe has published more than 70 government reports and scientific papers describing the geology and mineral deposits of New Brunswick. Now the Director of Geological Surveys Branch, Les and the staff of the Branch have made a great contribution to understanding our complex geology.  Fyffe’s publications include numerous studies of Ordovician rocks such as the geochemistry of Upper Cambrian-Lower Ordovician black shale and studies of graptolites from the Benton area of west-central New Brunswick.