Mark Dizkowski

My name is Mark Dzikowski. I am a geologist working for a natural gas exploration and production company where I’ve been working for five years for a total of ten in the industry. I am 32 years old and came to Canada from Poland as a teenager at the age of 14 via a brief two year stint in Germany in between. I was introduced to geology by my at-the-time girlfriends’ father when I was in grade 12. Geology struck a good vibe with me, as it would allow me to combine my enjoyment of the outdoors with an interesting and engaging profession. Because I love the outdoors, and have a keen interest in protecting the environment, it would also allow me to try and make a difference in the ill-portrayed oil and gas companies environmental practices from the inside. I never looked back, and got my degree in four years. After graduating from University and working for two years flying in a geological survey plane all over North America, I decided to go traveling as I’ve always had the adventure bug. Over the next year I visited Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand where I combined my hobbies of world geology, hiking, climbing, motorcycles and photography. Since then, I continued to travel and keep the adventure going by taking exotic holidays that my bosses allows me to take. This makes me work hard as a geologist for my current employer because I always have the next adventure to look forward to, never mind the stimulating work that I do. I have now been to all seven continents, over 35 countries and met some amazing people along the way. I can’t imagine doing anything else!

Q: What is the title of your job and what do you do?

A: Geologist, and I am responsible for sub-surface mapping of rock formations and exploration for gas resources within those formations.

Q: What kind of hours/shifts do you work?

A: I work Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 5:30pm with an hour lunch break.

Q: Who do you work for, and where are you based?

A: I work for EnCana Corporation and I’m based in Calgary, Alberta

Q: What equipment/machinery do you use?

A: Computer, my brain.

Q: What education or training is required for your job?

A: A University degree

Q: What kind of personal traits do you recommend for this profession?

A: Imaginative, creative, good problem solving skills.

Q: What is the salary range of your job?

A: Imaginative, creative, good problem solving skills.

Q: What do you like best about your job?

A: Good people that I work with, creative work with rocks and great holidays! 

Q: What are the advantages?

A: Vacation – time to do my extra curricular activites and having money to do it.
Health Benefits – being able to go for physiotherapy when I hurt myself doing stupid things.

Q: What are the advancement opportunities for this career?

A: After years of technical work, if you decide to pursue a management path, there is nothing stopping you from going in that direction.

Q: How physically demanding is your job?

A: Great mental exercise.

Q: Why did you choose this career?

A: Interesting, exciting, engaging and well rewarded.

Q: What is your most memorable moment/event/place related to your experience as an Earth scientist?

A: When traveling in Antarctica, I was asked by the expedition leader to give a brief lecture on the geology of Antarctica. It’s amazing how much you can quickly learn about geology of a specific region from a ships library (too bad the library is now located at the bottom of the Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean). The lecture was followed by rock outcrop field trip on the Antarctic Peninsula. I was then offered a job on the ship as the resident Geologist. It was extremely tempting to take that position, but I opted out to come back as I really enjoy my work in gas exploration and of course, I couldn’t give up the mountains.

Q: What is your advice to newcomers?

A: Follow your heart and be passionate about the field you choose to go into.

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