Queen's University

Dr. Victoria Remenda

Professor, Department of Geology
LinkedIn profile for Dr. Victoria Remenda

From hydrogeology to teaching and learning.


I am an Acting Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) in the Faculty of Arts and Science. I hold my Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo which I received in 1993 and held my 2nd Queen’s Chair in Teaching and Learning from 2006-2009. I am a member of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and in 2012 I was given the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Award for unlocking the potential of Ontario’s young people. I am the co-founder of Inquiry @ Queens with Jackie Druery as my co-chair. Inquiry @ Queens is a program that assists Queen’s undergraduates to discover the satisfaction of well-conducted research.

My past research focused on the hydrogeology of clay-rich, unlithified deposits (aquitards) and hydraulic properties. My research involved the use of naturally occurring groundwater tracers including stable isotopes of water, major ions, minor ions and trace gases. I am considered an expert in the hydrogeology of low permeability systems, with a focus on sydepositional processes that affect groundwater flow systems. In 2012, I worked with Victor Diamond to characterize the properties of the complex overburden deposits.

My current research is in education around field learning and the potential connection between that and critical thinking and experiential learning.

Most Recent Project

New Curriculum Reforms in a Geological Engineering Program

Recent curriculum revisions to the geological engineering program at Queen's University at Kingston in Canada have led to a more streamlined program incorporating modern engineering education practices. Following a carefully designed program philosophy, the emphasis in the core curriculum changes through the entire four-year program in three progressive stages, from the acquisition of knowledge, to integration and analysis, and finally to synthesis and design. This is reflected in an increased concentration of mathematics and basic science courses in first and second year, engineering science courses in third year, and engineering design courses (capstone courses) in fourth year. Two tools which concisely illustrate the course curriculum and curriculum content are: (1) the flow sheet, which can contain a wealth of information, such as showing linkages between courses (e.g. how upper-level courses can build on lower-level courses through course prerequisites), the timing of various courses, courses taught within the home department (vs. other departments), and courses taught by professional engineers; and (2) the ternary phase diagram, which is a quantitative method of displaying engineering content within individual courses or an entire program and can clearly show patterns and trends in curriculum content with time. Such tools are useful for academic engineering programs which may have to undergo an accreditation review and are readily adapted to any other engineering fields of study. Other engineering elements woven throughout the program include strong interactions with professional engineering faculty, the use of student teams, enhanced communication skills, and exposure to important aspects of professional engineering practice such as engineering ethics and law. To ensure that the curriculum is kept current and relevant, formative evaluation instruments such as questionnaires are used in all years of study, and are also sent to recent graduates of the program. External reviews of the revised program have been positive, indicating that the program goals are being achieved.

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Other Projects

  • Influence of Specimen Geometry on Sample Disturbance Observed in Oedometric Testing of Clay Shales

    This paper investigates the following two hypotheses within the context of oedometric testing.

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  • Fracture Wall Cements and Coatings from Two Clayey Till Aquitards

    Secondary minerals occurring at the faces of fractures, the only reliable visual evidence of the presence of hydraulically conductive fractures in clayey unlithified aquitards, have been characterized for two uncontaminated field sites, Dalmeny, Saskatchewan, and Laidlaw, Ontario. Preliminary identification of secondary minerals and their variations with depth was made using a MunsellTM Color Chart. Subsequent microscopic analyses (petrography, electron microprobe analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction) were used to identify iron-oxide mineralogy. Iron oxides were identified as goethite, ferrihydrite, and hematite at Dalmeny, where they occur to depths of 10 to 15 m, and goethite and ferrihydrite at Laidlaw, observed to depths of 7 m. In both cases, the identification of ferrihydrite was tentative due to the problems of small sample size and peak overlap in X-ray diffraction. The iron oxides do not form coatings on the surfaces of the fractures as had been previously thought; rather they form cements linking the matrix grains. Thus there is potential for decreased permeability and increased surface reactivity parallel to and inward from the fracture faces. The pattern of iron-oxide distribution suggests that the youngest deposits, and those with the greatest surface reactivity and potential for contaminant retardation, are found at greatest depths in the fractures. Manganese oxides form in isolated clusters in larger pores and indentations, although the exact manganese minerals could not be firmly identified.

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