MCR headshot

Cathy Ryan

PhD, P.Eng, P.Geo
Pronouns: she/her

Contact information

Phone number

Main Office: 403-220-8600


Main Office: ES118



P Eng, P Geo, APEGA ,

Educational Background

PhD Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo, 1994

MSc Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo, 1987

BASc Geological Engineering, Queen's University, 1984


Areas of Research

I'm lookin for....

Our team is seeking undergraduate students in earth science, geoscience, environmental science, or engineering candidates that are interested in a summer 2024 PURE or NSERC USRA research experience.  Students interested in field- and lab-based research experience are encouraged to send an email with their resume and academic record to

Water Science Area of Interest
  • Measuring and monitoring free phase and dissolved gases in groundwater
  • Mountain watershed hydrology and hydrogeology
  • Geogenic sources of radon
  • Groundwater - surface water interaction
  • Fugitive methane around oil and gas-related activities
  • Hydrogeology capacity building

Almost all of the students I work with conduct relatively applied community and field-focused groundwater and surface water research.  We use all manner of tools, including physical hydro(geo)logy measurements, geochemical and isotopic characterization, environmental monitoring, and drilling and completion of groundwater monitoring wells.  The weather isn't always as good as in the photos(!) but the interactions with community and industry stakeholders usually is.

Recent sources of research funding include the National Science and Engineering Research Council, Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada, and the Alberta Innovates Water Innovation Program.

Graduate supervision and early career mentoring

I mainly conduct my research with graduate students and PostDocs.  The topics we co-research are in the space between their interests and the topics that I have research funding to support.  

Most students choose to participate in internships with industry or community partners, which I encourage.



  • Peak Scholar Award, Office of the Vice-President (Research). 2018
  • Faculty Service Excellence , Geoscience Department. 2019


More Information

With a bias towards my aesthetic