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Lesley Hymers

Manager, Education and Outreach Programs
Mining Matters
Lesley Hymers à côté d'une pépite de cuivre géante à l'extérieur du musée McBride, à Whitehorse, au Yukon.

Lesley Hymers standing next to giant copper nugget outside the MacBride Museum, Whitehorse, Yukon.

Lesley Hymers à côté d'une pépite de cuivre géante à l'extérieur du musée McBride, à Whitehorse, au Yukon.

Lesley Hymers standing next to giant copper nugget outside the MacBride Museum, Whitehorse, Yukon.

Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

I work for an organization that provides Earth science and mineral resources education.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Southwestern Ontario

I now live in: Greater Toronto Area, Ontario

I completed my training/education at: I attended the University of Guelph where I studied Earth Sciences. I completed a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Science Degree (B.Sc.) that focused on Physical Geography, Geology and Soil Science and a Master of Science Degree (M.Sc.) that focused on Glacial Sedimentology.

While a Master’s student, I also developed a keen interest in the research and practice of Education and began to pursue it formally as a discipline and a career path. I completed an elective course called “University Teaching Theory and Practice” and accepted a position in instructional development for Master’s Students, in the Office of Open Learning and Educational Support, at the University of Guelph.

I continue to pursue education and training in Earth Science and Education through specialized courses, workshops, and professional conferences. I am a life-long learner.

What I do at work

Mining Matters is an organization that provides Earth science and mineral resources education. We do this for Educators, Students and the Public, across Canada. We provide training to elementary and secondary school teachers in areas related to mining and Earth Science. We deliver workshops to students in classrooms. We also participate in national, public education events like Science Rendezvous. We work in Indigenous Communities to train teachers and provide workshops to students. We also work with other education organizations and partners to collaborate on programs and projects.

In my role as Manager, Education and Outreach Programs, I lead teacher training programs. I also develop educational resources and publications and work with other education organizations. I provide instructional development and training workshops that help teachers learn how to teach grade 4, grade 7, or grade 12 Earth sciences. I lead the “Mineral Resources and Mining Education Tours”. This provides teachers with experiential education about Earth sciences and the mineral resources industry. We also talk about careers in mining that they can share with their students. I also work with University and Industry partners to develop new educational materials. This includes resources for teachers to use in classrooms, newsletters, posters, and public education exhibits.

I apply my Earth Science and education skills daily in the workplace. I do this when I am developing resources, writing articles and communicating with teachers, students and the public. I also use my background when I talk about the role that mining plays in our lives. Earth Science is critical for developing green technologies, transitioning to renewable energy, managing water resources, and for understanding geological hazards.

My career path is

I did not enter post-secondary education with an intent to study Earth Sciences. In fact, there were no high school “Earth Science” courses offered in the province where I lived. So, when I graduated, I was not aware of the field and the careers that were available in it. I entered University planning to study an unrelated field of science. I changed direction as soon as I took my first Earth Science course! I found that there were many interesting fields of Earth Science. I decided to pursue an advanced degree in glacial sedimentology. At that time, it was the most interesting!

After graduating, I focused my attention on seeking employment in the minerals industry. I joined an industrial mineral company. Here I worked in a department that was responsible for managing many aspects of pit and quarry operations. This included the mineral resources, environmental management, community relations and land reclamation. I also got to work with woman manager who was an industry leader in reclamation. This is an important part of the mineral resources development cycle. It is the process of restoring mined land to a natural or usable state.   

In every workplace throughout my career, I have applied my education and training in both Earth Science and Education. I have worked in the mineral resources industry, in crushed stone, sand, and gravel. I have been a liaison between governments and the mining industry. I have worked in mining and environment policy as well as in Earth science and minerals industry education.

I am motivated by

Earth Sciences offers many interesting and varied career paths. Having so many possible careers to choose from is exciting. I have been very fortunate to have been able to use both my Earth Sciences and Education Training throughout the course of my career. In my current role, I enjoy working on a team. I enjoy working with partners to plan and deliver Teacher Education Programs. I also enjoy researching to create new classroom resources and publications, gathering and analyzing data, and preparing reports. I also enjoy public speaking.

A career in Earth Sciences is the best path for me because I like many sciences. Earth Sciences incorporates physics, chemistry, geography, biology, mathematics and technology to reveal and solve problems. In addition, I enjoy collecting and analyzing data and learning new things. While I enjoy working in a laboratory, I really like to spend time outside exploring. Earth Sciences suit my interests and aptitudes. 

How I affect peoples’ lives

Earth Science includes all fields of natural science related to planet Earth. This includes the physical and chemical constitution of Earth and its atmosphere. Earth Sciences includes the four spheres of the planet. These are the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Earth science uses physics, chemistry, biology, geography and mathematics to understand how Earth works, and how it became the planet we see today. Earth science is broad field with many branches. Each branch leads to a specific understanding of Earth.

Earth Sciences are critical to understanding and managing resources like groundwater and minerals. It is also important for understanding and reducing the effects of geological hazards like earthquakes and landslides and managing the environment. Earth Sciences are essential to transitioning to renewable energy generation, a low carbon economy and addressing climate change.

Providing broad Earth Science and mineral resources education is critical to help people understand the role that mining plays in daily life. Providing teacher education is important because it helps teachers to be effective in the classroom. It also helps them raise awareness about Earth sciences, mineral resources and careers with their students. Providing education in Indigenous communities helps to empower youth and build capacity for future decision making.

Outside of work I

I exercise daily. For leisure activities, I enjoy spending time outside. I enjoy hiking, mountain biking and observing wildlife. Winter is my favourite season to be outdoors. I read science, non-fiction and science fiction books. I enjoy music. I am a life-long learner and regularly take science or other courses for enrichment.

My advice to others

I would recommend that someone considering a career in Earth Sciences start with some research to learn about the many careers that are available in the field. There are career exploration tools available that will help match interests and aspirations to particular career paths. Using one of these may help you to narrow your options. It might be advantageous for you to conduct an informational interview with a professional Earth Scientist. This will help you learn more about a specific career. Consider joining a Field Naturalist or Rock and Mineral Club in your region so that you are able to build a foundation. As for choosing a post-secondary program, I would recommend that you chose a program that would lead to registration as a Professional Scientist. This may make it easier for you to land your first job.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Math
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Was motivated by success
  • Liked reading
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Felt at home in the outside, natural environment

Related Topics


Mining Matters

Let's Talk Science would like to thank Mining Matters for connecting us with the individual profiled above.

Mining Matters is a charitable organization dedicated to bringing knowledge and awareness about Canada's geology, mineral resources, and their roles in society to students, educators, and the public. The organization provides current information about rocks, minerals, metals, mining and the diverse career opportunities available in the minerals industry.

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