Michael is a field assistant for UT M Exploration Services based in Smithers, B.C. His job involves working closely with exploration geologists as they conduct field sampling in the mountains of Northwest B.C.

“The most important thing is to be there. Because of the physical demands of climbing mountains all day, you’ve got to make sure when you get home you stay well rested. The next morning comes sooner than you think,” says Michael.

With safety gear, extra clothing and lunch, Michael’s pack is already fairly heavy when he arrives at work. By the end of his 10-hour day, it can weigh over 50 pounds, filled with rock samples collected by the geologists he works with.

UTM provides its field assistants with training to familiarize them with bear safety and working around helicopters. As well, Michael highlights the importance of being conscientious when hiking through rugged mountain terrain.

“We are often walking on snow and on shale. You really have to be aware of your surroundings and recognize what you can walk on and what you should avoid. Even with good footwear, we have to constantly be aware,” says Michael.

Michael has worked in the exploration industry for eight years. Before that he worked in oil and gas exploration, silviculture and logging. “I have a resume that would make Forrest Gump blush,” he jokes.