Cathie Hickson

Cathie Hickson at Helmcken Overlook


athie completed her PhD studies on the geologically young volcanism found in Wells Gray Provincial Park. The thesis completed in 1987 is titled “Quaternary volcanism in the Wells Gray-Clearwater area, east-central, British Columbia” and remains the seminal treatise on the last three million years of geological history in Wells Gray. Since completing her thesis, Hickson has gone on to establish an international reputation in volcanology as a Research Scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada. Author of over 150 peer reviewed papers, books, and chapters in books, she is also noted for her work in interpreting science for lay people.

A contributing author to Nature Wells Gray, published in 1989 and expanded in 1995, Hickson wrote the sections on the geology and geography of the park. In 2014, with assistance from Jason Hollinger, she went on to write a second book Wells Gray Rocks! specifically on the geology of the Clearwater Valley. These books are in addition to 30 other books and chapters in books. In addition to her written record, she has given hundreds of lectures, workshops and field trips for students, professionals and the public over her 40-plus year career.

Much of her public outreach work has focused on Wells Gray. In 2017, she and Trevor Goward prepared a submission to the Canadian committee to establish Wells Gray as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Unsuccessful in the first round, Hickson and Goward are prepared to re-submit the application at a later date. Eight of Cathie’s publications and notes incorporate fieldwork conducted in the Clearwater Valley:

Hickson, C.J. 1987. Late Cenozoic volcanic rocks of the Clearwater – Wells Gray area, British Columbia [Ph.D. dissertation]: Vancouver, University of British Columbia, 357 pp.

Hickson, C.J. 2000. Tuyas, a Canadian Perspective. Geomorphology 32: 239–261.

Hickson, C.J. and J.G. Souther. 1984. Late Cenozoic volcanic rocks of the Clearwater – Wells Gray area, British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 21: 267–277.

Hickson, C.J. and N. Vigouroux, 2014. Volcanism and glacial interaction in the Wells Gray – Clearwater volcanic field, east-central British Columbia. Geological Association of America Field Trip Guidebook 38: 169–191.

Hickson, C.J., W.H. Mathews and R. Horner. 1987. Quaternary extension in British Columbia – Is it reasonable?: Neotectonic workshop, Geological Association of Canada, Pacific Section meeting, March 27, Sidney, British Columbia.

Hickson, C.J., J.G. Moore, L. Calk and P. Metcalfe. 1995. Intraglacial Volcanism in the Wells Gray–Clearwater Volcanic Field, East Central British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 32: 838–851.

Hickson, C.J., J. Pollack, L. Struik, L. Hollis and C. Yonge. 2020. Discovery of a significant cave entrance in stripe karst, Horsethief Creek Group, Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 57: 662–670.

Metcalfe, P. and C.J. Hickson. 1992. Petrogenesis of Quaternary lavas in Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia: American Geophysical Union, Spring Meeting, Montreal May 12–16, 1992, p. 338.

Metcalfe, P., G.L. Cumming, D. Krstc and C.J. Hickson. 1993. Pb, Nd, and Sr isotopic ratios of Quaternary basalts in the Wells Gray – Clearwater area, Eastern British Columbia: Program with abstracts, Geological Association of Canada – Mineralogical Association of Canada Joint Annual Meeting, Edmonton, May 17–19.