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Dammy Adamson


The Applied Environmental Geology degree at Cardiff created a great avenue for me to build a reputable technical career in environmental science.

In my final year of undergraduate degree in Exploration Geology at Cardiff University, I had the opportunity to work with Professor Joe Cartwright for my final dissertation. He was a huge influence on my decision to explore a career in environmental geoscience and led me to enrol in the Master's course.

The Applied Environmental Geology course was very educative, hands-on, and challenging yet interesting. The comprehensive material within the Master’s programme is what has given me the knowledge to transition within roles in the oil and gas industry.  Modules such as Geotechnical Engineering, Engineering Behaviour of Soils, Water in the Environment, Hydrogeology, Environmental Assessment and Regulation, and Remediation of Contaminated Land have been helpful in my career. My final placement dissertation was on “A Geochemical Comparative Study of Arsenic Anomaly Levels at The Dolaucothi Gold Mine” where I gained the core competency in geotechnical investigations, soil sampling, and groundwater sampling.

Today, I believe that I have been able to build this career by keeping a positive attitude, having an open mind, and always staying ready to work hard at every opportunity presented to me.

Graduate career

I had a great opportunity at Shell Canada as my first job out of school. The excitement to be selected as the top candidate for the job was a dream come true for me. The structured graduate programme at Shell opened doors of opportunity and experience. In addition, the mission and vision of the company aligned with mine, making the experience amazing. In my role, I was responsible for QA/QC of geotechnical and tailings engineering data, coordinating with external laboratories to ensure correct electronic submission of test data to allow direct import into the database. I also worked with the team to develop new GIS (Geographic Information System) functionalities to display geotechnical and tailings data in real-time.

Later, the assets that I was working on were sold to Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) where I transitioned to work as the Operation Hydrogeologist specialist. I provided support and advice on the hydrogeology field team in carrying out field operations, such as groundwater sampling, monitoring, and coordinating field programmes. In my current role, I am responsible for writing technical and performance reports to internal stakeholders, independent review boards, and the Alberta Energy Regulator.

Within the industry,  I consider myself to be in a unique position as a woman of colour in science. Environmental science is even more crucial today considering the effect of climate change. I am particularly excited to see other young females venture into this area of science.