Stephen Rankin of Dartmouth, a master’s student in Applied Science at St. Mary’s University, is this year’s recipient of the $5,000 Energy Innovation Grant. The grant will support Mr. Rankin’s research in biostratigraphy, focusing on petroleum geology in Atlantic Canada. “We know from our own research that Nova Scotia’s offshore is rich with oil and gas potential,” said Energy Minister, Michel Samson. “I look forward to seeing the results of Mr. Rankin’s work, and have no doubt it will contribute to our understanding of opportunity in our oceans.” Mr. Rankin’s graduate project builds on government’s geoscience research, which identified the oil and gas potential in Nova Scotia’s offshore, estimating more than 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and eight billion barrels of oil. “This grant will enable me to contribute to the understanding of the Scotian Margin environment during the opening of the Atlantic Ocean, by studying pollen and spores from exploration wells,” said Mr. Rankin. “By examining the past, we are seeking to secure Nova Scotia’s economic future, while also understanding the history of our planet.” Since 2005, government has partnered with Pengrowth Energy Corporation to help graduate students begin their master’s programs in either business, engineering, environmental science or earth science at a Nova Scotia university. Together, they have invested more than $3 million through the Pengrowth Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship and Grant Program. “Graduate students like Mr. Rankin are Nova Scotia’s future energy leaders and Pengrowth is pleased to work with government to fund his research,” says Jim MacDonald, director of Pengrowth’s East Coast operations. “I have no doubt that his research will provide new insights that have the potential to open many doors in the energy industry.” The deadline for the 2016 Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Innovation Grant is Jan. 15. For application forms or additional information on this program, visit www.gov.ns.ca/energy. Pengrowth Energy Corporation is a dividend paying intermediate Canadian oil and natural gas producer, headquartered in Calgary.