Ronald Burwash


Ronald Burwash graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry, 1945), Bachelor of Education (1947) and Master of Science (1951) degrees. He served in the Canadian Army, taught high school sciences, did reconnaissance mapping of the Geological Survey of Canada and worked as a mine geologist for Cominco, Ltd. before entering the University of Minnesota, where he completed his Ph.D. degree in 1955. He then worked for Shell Oil (Canada) Ltd., completing several petroleum-based research projects before joining the University of Alberta faculty in 1956.

His initial teaching assignments covered the fields of petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry. He subsequently specialized in the teaching of igneous and metamorphic petrology, with an emphasis on the study of the Canadian Shield. In addition to two professional courses, Dr. Burwash taught two general interest courses pertaining to the geology of Canada. His main administrative duties in the University were undergraduate and graduate-student counselling and a term as Associate Chairman in the department from 1985-87. He organized and chaired a major international conference on geochronology in 1967 and contributed significantly to the organization of a national meeting in 1976. In 1993, he served as co-Chairman of the annual meeting of the Geological Association of Canada Mineralogical Association of Canada.

Burwash's research focused on the geology of the subsurface Precambrian of western Canada and included petrology, geochronology, structure and crustal history. This work was summarized in contributions to "The Geological History of Western Canada"  and in "Continental Platfonns and Basins of Canada "(Decade of North American Geology, Geological Society of America).