Born: 22 Mar 1921, Truro, Nova Scotia
Died: 22 Aug 2003, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Blanchard received his B.Sc. from Dalhousie University and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Returning to Nova Scotia, he joined the Physics Department at Dalhousie University where he was the first geophysicist. At the same time, he was appointed the Director of the Geophysics Division at the Nova Scotia Research Foundation Corporation (NSRFC). At NSRFC, Blanchard employed a variety of geophysical techniques to investigate the distribution and areal extent of minerals, evaporite deposits, and coal deposits in Nova Scotia.
This work, utilizing many of these geophysical methods in Nova Scotia for the first time, was a major contribution to the exploration and development of these resources. Blanchard also supervised many students, some of whom went on to be prominent members of the geophysical community.
In conjunction with other Federal and Provincial agencies Blanchard’s group developed new knowledge of the crust underlying the Province of Nova Scotia, and the stress factors involved in the Springhill “bumps”. When the need developed, he brought in new equipment including the hammer seismograph, boomer and sparker continuous seismic profiling, and a slim hole gamma logging probe. His numerous publications on applied geophysics, together with papers delivered at national and international conferences helped publicize the province and its mineral potential. His expertise was recognized by his appointment to national and provincial geoscience advisory committees.
In 1968, Blanchard was appointed President of NSRFC. Under his leadership the organization evolved from a small laboratory into the research and development agency, today called INNOVA Corp. He served on many scientific boards and councils; he was for a long time a member-at-large for the Canadian Commission of UNESCO.
Blanchard was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1968. He received an honorary LLD from Dalhousie in 2000.