By Jocelyn Adams Moss

It’s alumni like Dr. Scott Swinden (BSc’70) who demonstrate what it means to give back to the Dalhousie community.

Dr. Swinden is a professional geoscientist with 35 years of experience in mineral exploration. Today, he is the President of Swinden Geoscience Consultants Ltd. He’s worked with Federal and Provincial sectors and academia  focusing on mineral deposits geoscience and the application of science, legislation, regulation and policy to mineral resource development.

Over the past six years, Swinden has volunteered with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences’ (EES) alumni committee, which is a working group established under the leadership of Dr. James Brenan, outgoing Chair of the department. The committee is composed of alumni, faculty and staff who are committed to developing meaningful alumni initiatives. They have organized alumni panel events, guest lectures, field trips and networking receptions. Swinden has also helped out with the student chapter of the Society of Economic Geologists.

We caught up with Swinden to share his perspectives on giving back to Dal and his ongoing work with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Why did you decide to volunteer your time with the Department of EES’s alumni committee?

I like the idea of maintaining my connection to Dal. This seemed like a good way to stay in touch with the

Dr. Scott Swinden (left) speaking at the Department of Earth and Environmental Science’s alumni panel (Nick Pearce photo).

university and at the same time contribute my professional experience to enhance the student experience

How has your volunteer experience been?

I have enjoyed working with the committee, helping to find ways to get alumni connected and involved. It’s a friendly and collegial environment, and I enjoy being part of it.

What kind of work do you achieve with the committee?

I mainly contribute my experience in the professional world to discussions about how the department can involve alumni in its mission to educate geoscience students.

What is the most rewarding aspect of volunteering?

I’m a big believer in education, and I like being able to contribute to the student experience at Dal.

What inspires you to give back to the EES community? 

I still feel a close connection to Dal and had a very good undergraduate experience, but there was very little alumni involvement with students in those days. I think alumni can provide an important perspective to the undergraduate experience and I’m happy to try and do this.

What is your favourite memory at Dalhousie?

I don’t have a single favourite memory. I have lots of different memories that are still clear  mapping the pond at Point Pleasant Park (a rite of passage for all first-year geology students), hanging out in the department with other budding geologists, going to the Atlantic Universities Geological Conference as part of the Dal delegation.

If you could give any advice to alumni interested in volunteering, what would it be?

Volunteering in any context is always rewarding and alumni must step up and do it. Students benefit from a connection with those who have gone before and can learn from alumni experiences. It’s very satisfying to be able to pass this on.