John Thompson

John Francis Hugh Thompson

Adjunct Professor


Thompson was the first Wold Family Professor in Environmental Balance for Human Sustainability at Cornell. Thompson has a BA from Oxford University and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto. In 1982, he joined the BP Minerals group (Rio Tinto) initially in Australia, followed by positions in the UK and Salt Lake. In 1991, Thompson became Director of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at the University of British Columbia managing exploration-related research for over twenty companies. He returned to industry in 1998 as Chief Geoscientist for Teck, and then Vice President Technology and Development. In the latter role he managed technology and innovation programs and was involved in corporate development including resource and technology-related transactions. He left Teck in 2012 and became the Principal for PetraScience Consultants based in Vancouver, an exploration, development and technology consultancy. Thompson is a Director (past-Chair and founder) of Geoscience BC, a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Mining and Metals with the World Economic Forum, and a board member of Genome BC. He was a co-founder and President of the Canada Mining Innovation Council and President of the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG). He has board and advisory positions with public and private companies and other organizations.

Research Interests

Battery Research And Technology, Carbon Footprint, Climate Change, Earth Resources, Economic Development, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Environment, Geothermal, Innovation, Metals, Natural Resources, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Technology, Water Management, Wind Energy

Teaching Interests

Thompson's teaching focuses on Earth resources; distribution, availability, responsible mining and, processing, and energy, water and environmental management. He also discusses the use of metals, new technologies and the implications for demand.

Selected Publications

Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2016 Distinguished Lecturer (Society of Economic Geologists) 2016
  • Special Tribute in recognition of significant contributions toward geoscience research and development benefitting mineral exploration in BC and Yukon (Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AMEBC)) 2015
  • 2015 Mentorship Medal (Canadian Federation of Earth Scientists) 2015
  • Michel T. Halbouty Award Lecturer (Geological Society of America) 2011
  • Geological Association of Canada Distinguished Service Award (Geological Association of Canada) 2008


  • BA (Geology), Oxford University, 1976
  • M. Sc. (Geology), University of Toronto, 1978
  • Ph D (Geology), University of Toronto, 1982