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Banner: Life of a Rock Star

Auditioning: the Right Man for the Job

The Geological Survey of Canada was very important to the future of the colony, so it needed exactly the right leader. If the Survey had written a job advertisement for the position, it might have looked something like this�

The Geological Survey of Canada is seeking a

Rock Star

Professional qualifications

  • expert in geology
  • has studied rocks in Britain and America
  • has knowledge of Canadian rocks
  • has knowledge of surveying and mapping

Personal qualifications

  • a "gentleman"
  • well known to British scientists
  • born and raised in the Province of Canada but have had training in Britain
  • able to spend up to six months of every year in the wilderness
  • willing to eat what is available and to be eaten alive by biting insects
  • able to work closely with Aboriginal peoples

If you are not afraid of hard work and wish to direct the work of the Geological Survey of Canada, make sure your supporters put in a good word for you with the governor general, Sir Charles Bagot. You will need four important geologists to give you a good reference. A decision will be made in April 1842.


Your salary will come from the £1,500 [$6,000] that has been set aside for this project.

Portrait of Sir William Logan

Sir William Logan

William E. Logan had everything the Province of Canada was looking for. The strong references he received helped him win the job as the first geological surveyor and director of the Geological Survey of Canada.

In Their Own Words

Four strong references for William Logan:

1. "Mr. Logan is highly qualified as a miner and metallurgist to point out the applications of geology to the useful purposes of life, an object of the highest importance in a country like Canada."

(Henry De la Beche, Director of the Geological Survey of Great Britain

2. "I recommend Mr. Logan not merely from my acquaintance with his works in general, but also from a knowledge of certain very skilful labours in the South Wales coal-field, which drew from me a strong expression of my sense of their value."

(Roderick Murchison, President of the Geological Society of London)

3. "He is an excellent field geologist � I have no hesitation in recommending Mr. Logan, and I have no doubt that, if appointed to the Survey of Canada, he will enter on the labour with unbounded zeal and with every skill."

(Adam Sedgwick, Professor of Geology, Cambridge University)

4. "The most skilful geological surveyor of a coal-field I have ever known."

(William Buckland, Professor of Geology, Oxford University)