Geography and Environment in the News

2020-2021 Academic Year

New research team to address sustainability in West Africa

Isaac Luginaah, Godwin Arku, Jinfei Wang and Tony Weis, all from Geography and Environment, are part of an interdisciplinary team of scholars awarded a $300,000 research grant that will look at ways to nurture sustainable livelihoods in Ghana, Benin, Liberia, Senegal and Nigeria. The study will focus on issues of climate change and sustainable livelihoods to improve social development in selected areas of those countries — including better health, gender equity, empowerment of disadvantaged groups, good governance of land resources, and enhanced knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices. Read more

COVID-19 and Indigenous Health and Wellness

Geography & Environment's Chantelle Richmond and The RSC's Collection of Stories entitled “COVID-19 and Indigenous Health and Wellness: Our Strength is in our Stories” is now freely and publicly available. The report has also been published in the Globe and Mail. Read more

How has the pandemic affected Indigenous communities in Canada?

Today the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars is hosting an event called: Indigenous Responses to Covid-19. Geography & Environment's Chantelle Richmond is a member of the college and will be presenting her report. Listen here

Indigenous resurgence and socio-ecological resilience

Lewis Williams has joined the Department of Geography and Environment as an Associate Professor. Williams is cross-appointed with the Indigenous Studies program. Williams researches Indigenous resurgence and socio-ecological resilience. For Williams, this means respecting and re-centring Indigenous connections to land, as well as the knowledge systems that focus on the relationship between humans and the rest of the ecological system. Read more

Geography and Environment Faculty and Graduates Published in The Canadian Geographer.

Congratulations to faculty member Diana Lewis and former graduate students Cortney Daikin and Elana Nightingale who all have published pieces in this issue of The Canadian Geographer. Link here to view the publication. 

Welcoming a new name as the Department of Geography and Environment!

After 72 years as the Department of Geography, we are now officially the Department of Geography and Environment. Read more

Connections vital in online climate course

Geography and Environment Professor, Katrina Moser values connections in her course on climate change. As Moser has transitioned the popular second-year course to an online version this summer – one of hundreds of Western instructors making innovative course changes in a pivot to remote learning under extraordinary circumstances – she has worked to make her classes personal, interactive and connected. Read more

Youth vaping problem nets research dollars

Vaping among teenaged Canadians has doubled in the past two years – a troubling trend that Western researchers will examine in depth with new funding through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Jamie Seabrook, Jason Gilliland and a team of researchers from Western will examine how the accessibility of vape retailers and municipal and school board vaping policies vary in relation to the proximity of schools and the characteristics of neighbourhoods throughout Ontario. Read more

Bridging the Gap Between the Politics of Recognition and the Politics of Language Service Delivery in Ontario and Wales

Adjunct Professor, Colin Williams' recent publication "aims to start mapping the variety of approaches and instruments which guide the delivery of services to linguistic minorities. The argument suggests that different institutional processes in Ontario and Wales inform the delivery of selected services and calls for more research on how the politics of recognition is implemented in institutions serving official linguistic minorities." Read more

PhD Candidate named Vanier Scholar

A big congratulations to PhD Candidate Vanessa Ambtman-Smith on being a recipient of the 2020-2021 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. Vanessa will receive $50,000 annually for up to three years. Vanier scholars are selected based on leaderships skills, research potential, and a high standard of scholarly achievement in research that spans all disciplines. Read more

Grad fuses Indigenous health, geography into big plan

"First in her family to attend university right out of high school, Serena Mendizabal is aiming no lower than being a world-changer...Fueled by what she has learned from a host of Indigenous and non-Indigenous mentors and leaders at Western, she will be starting her master’s degree in Geography under the supervision of professor Diana Lewis in the fall." Read more

‘With so much as risk, we couldn’t just wait for help:' Indigenous communities and COVID-19

"To date, both the incidence of infection and mortality from COVID-19 have shone a bright light upon health inequity in Canada and around the world...At the broadest level, the social, economic and environmental conditions of many Indigenous communities in Canada place First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples at high risk for contracting COVID-19." Read more

Project targets climate resilience post-COVID-19

"Geography professor emeritus Gordon McBean has received a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis Grant to look at how communities across Canada can advance climate-resilience to reduce the risk of adverse climate impacts and damage." Read more

Western study will look at impact of COVID-19 on restaurants and grocery stores

London researchers including our very own Jason Gilliland, are searching for restaurant, grocery store and other food service business owners and employees to take part in a regional study tracking COVID-19’s fallout on the sector. Read more

Nature is meant to be enjoyed by everyone

Rhiannon Kirton, a Geography MSc student, was featured on CBC Radio - London's Afternoon Drive with Chris dela Torre to speak about the obstacles and possible dangers black people face while enjoying the outdoors. Rhiannon is one of the founders of the #BlackBirdersWeek initiative. Listen here

Emptier roads equates to an increase in speeding

A new data analysis from incoming Assistant Professor Jin Lee and group of Ohio State University researchers, has confirmed a phenomenon that many of us have observed since the coronavirus pandemic began impacting daily life in Columbus – people are driving really fast on those newly-empty roads.

Promotion and Tenure - Public Solicitations

The Faculty Collective Agreement requires that in evaluating a faculty member's performance for promotion and tenure purposes, a public solicitation for letters must occur. Given the logistical circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic we welcome electronic submissions for Professors Agnieszka Leszczynski, Godwin Arku and Tony Weis. Read more

Geography welcomes two new faculty members!

Professor Lesley Rigg is joining Western as our new Vice-President of Research this summer. Prof. Rigg is currently Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary. Prof. Rigg completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and has an MA from UC Boulder (Geography) and BA from York University (Geography & Environmental Studies). Her area of research is forest ecology. She will have Geography as her academic home department.

Professor David Goldblum will join us as a full time faculty member on July 1, 2021. Prof. Goldblum is a biogeographer with research interests related to natural disturbances and anthropogenic impacts on plant communities. Prof. Goldblum completed his PhD and MA at UC Boulder and earned his BA from UCLA. He currently serves as Department Head for the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary.

2019-2020 Academic Year

Wishing goodluck to our ECCE App Challenge participants!

The ECCE App Challenge is a coding competition held by Esri Canada to help promote innovation and creativity within the Centres of Excellence. The Department of Geography wishes the best of luck to team members Victoria Barlow and Jack McIlraith. Read more

Isolation reshapes how kids play, stay active

This indefinite span of COVID-19 isolation can be more than a month-long stretch on the couch for kids if parents and guardians are willing to lead the way, according to Western experts in children’s physical activity. “It’s about being creative; it’s about mixing it up so kids have fun and don’t get bored,” said Geography professor Jason Gilliland, Director of Western’s Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEALab). Read more

Jason Gilliland - CHRI Scientist of the Year Award

Congratulations to Dr. Jason Gilliland for winning the prestigious Children’s Health Foundation CHRI Scientist of the Year Award! The purpose of this award is to recognize the Scientist or Associate Scientist of the CHRI (Children’s Health Research Institute) who has made a significant contribution to the field of children’s health research from 2017-2019. Read more

Geography and PoliSci classes team up for climate change action

Beth Hundey, an eLearning and Curriculum Specialist with the Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Political Science professor Radoslav Dimitrov combined their classes as ‘diplomats’ and ‘scientists’ to confront the challenges of global climate change. Read more

Jason Gilliland secures $1M CIHR Project Grant

Jason Gilliland, working with collaborators from University of Toronto, University of Nottingham, Brescia University College, Carleton University, Western University, Green Communities Canada and the London District Catholic School Board have been awarded $1M in funds from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research for their project “Examining how a school travel planning program can change children’s school travel modes, physical activity, and pollution around their schools.”  Read more

Climate expert paints sobering picture of the future

“The unfortunate thing is the climate is changing — at least until 2050, 2060 — even if we were to stop our emissions today, globally,” Gordon McBean told a standing-room-only crowd at a Jan. 8 Green Drinks forum. The former assistant deputy minister at Environment Canada painted a sobering picture of what climate change will look like for generations to come. Read more

2019 - A year in review

For details on the highlights of the Western Geography Department from 2019, please take a look at our department newsletter. We will continue to publish a newsletter once a year to keep you up-to-date. Read more

Angelica Lucaci honoured with Western Award of Excellence

Geography's Undergraduate Assistant and Program Advisor, Angelica Lucaci, has been selected as one of this year's recipients of the Western Award of Excellence. This award is Western’s highest level of recognition for staff members and focuses on exemplary service, creativity and innovation, the ability to share knowledge and expertise and their capacity to foster their values of integrity and respect across campus. Read more

Michael Buzzelli and Leora Swartzman host experiential learning roundtable

Experiential learning (EL) connects learners with practical experiences to increase and apply disciplinary knowledge, develop transferable skills and collaborate with communities. But how does EL reshape the teaching and learning mission of the university? Does this recast the ‘town and gown’ connection? Read the proceedings of an EL roundtable held at Western with faculty, staff, students and community partners. Read more

Western-led youth advisory council calls to prohibit vaping in schools

London’s youth are troubled by the rising prevalence of vaping in public schools. The HEAL Youth Advisory Council (HEALYAC) informs youth-related health research conducted by the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) at Western University. The HEALYAC recommendations are based on a careful review of existing research and the students own personal experiences as teens. Read more

'Harry Potter' election signs appear on London, Ontario street

Wes Kinghorn, a soon-to-be Western University geography assistant professor, has put a fun spin on election signs to curtail political tensions as we edge closer to the federal election. "Kinghorn told that “closer to the election, there can be a lot of divisiveness in our politics which is normal. That happens. So I think it’s kind of fun to put something out there that everyone can get behind.”" Read more

Grad Student AJ Wray talks university street parties

AJ, the president of the Town and Gown Association of Ontario (TGAO), talked with CBC News, London Morning Radio and Ontario Morning to share his insights and recommended best practices to could help tame potentially hazardous street parties. Read more

Congratulations to the newest Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

On Thursday November 21st, Professor Dan Shrubsole was awarded the prestigious honour of becoming a Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS). The mandate of the Society is “to make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world”. According to the RCGS, the Fellowship is comprised of distinguished individuals from many different fields, united in their commitment to celebrate Canada, its geography and peoples.

As a champion of Geography throughout his career, Professor Shrubsole has demonstrated his dedication to the discipline through his research, mentorship, teaching and service. As the recent recipient of the Service to Ontario award, presented to him by the Canadian Association of Geographers Ontario Division, one nominator noted that his contributions to geography in Canada are exemplary.

Professor Shrubsole has made significant research contributions that have enhanced understanding of environmental issues, especially those related to conservation, water resource management, and flood risk management. He served the Canadian Association of Geographers as National Director, Vice President and President. In these roles, Professor Shrubsole worked tirelessly to ensure the voices and key concerns of professors and students working at Ontario universities (and across the country) were heard. As a Fellow of the RCGS, Professor Shrubsole will continue to champion Geography through his leadership.

"The Human Element" - Screening and Panel Discussion featuring one of Geography's own

Hyland Cinema's is hosting a free community screening of The Human Element; an insightful documentary by environmental photographer James Balog, which captures the lives of everyday people on the front lines of climate change. There will be a discussion after the screening with four of London's environmental leaders, including our own Gabor Sass. Read more

Western Geography MA student appointed TGAO Board President

The Town and Gown Association of Ontario announced the appointment of Alexander "AJ" Wray to Board President. AJ has been an active member of the town and gown community in Ontario for several years, serving as Chair of the Board for the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association from 2015 to 2018 and a Policy Advisor with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. He is now undertaking a graduate degree in Geography with the Human Environments Analysis Lab. Read more

Western Geography's HEAL recognized for community impact

The HEAL Lab has been named as a finalist for the Pillar Nonprofit Network's Community Innovation Award. The award recognizes people and groups in London and area that invest in positive community impact. The mission of the Human Environments Analysis Lab (HEAL) is to develop highly-skilled researchers and connect them to cross-sectoral collaborators to create, disseminate, and mobilize knowledge that builds healthy, thriving communities. Voting closes November 1! Read more

Brian Luckman honoured by Parks Canada

Brian Luckman sittin on bench dedicated to him by Parks Canada in the Canadian RockiesOn September 8, 2019, Parks Canada dedicated a bench in Dr. Brian Luckman’s honour at Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park. The plaque on the bench reads as follows: “The Lucky Bench. Recognizing the work of Dr. Brian Luckman. Since 1968 his research and interpretation of this environment have enriched our understanding of the Canadian Rockies.”

When did life have a chance on Mars? After giant meteorites stopped hitting it 4.4 billion years ago

Associate professor, Desmond Moser, jointly appointed with Geography and Earth Sciences published a paper in Nature Geoscience exploring an early opportunity for habitability on Mars. According to the study, life could have found a way to establish on Mars 4.48 billion years ago, with the decline of giant meteorite impacts. News of the publishing of this paper was picked up by CNN. Read more.

Geography alumnus counts self among Raptors originals

Western Geography "alumnus Karl Toulouse, BA’09, has been courtside for the Toronto Raptors since day one. Toulouse, who has also helped coach the Mustangs men’s lacrosse team for 12 years, has been a statistician for the Raptors for the last 24 seasons." Read More

July's Wiki Tuesday Event: Adding maps to the Wikimedia Commons

Join Matt Barry as he addresses the question "why should we care about Wikidata in the Commons?" There will be a short lesson on how to integrate Wikidata with uploaded images of maps, followed by hands-on help adding Western Libraries' London Historic Maps Collection to Wikimedia Commons. Read More

Paul van der Werf’s PhD thesis wins 2019 Starkey-Robinson Award from the Canadian Association of Geographers

"Congratulations to HEAL Project Advisor Dr. Paul van der Werf, who received the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) ‘Starkey-Robinson Award for Graduate Research on Canada’, which recognizes high quality graduate research." Read More

Ambtman-Smith and Vanloffeld named as Trudeau Foundation Scholars

"Vanessa Ambtman-Smith and Steven Vanloffeld are both PhD students in the Department of Geography, working with Chantelle Richmond. They have each been awarded Doctoral Scholarships from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. Ambtman-Smith and Vanloffeld are focused on community-engaged research, connected to Indigenous communities." Read More

Karen Van Kerkoerle, Western’s Cartographic Specialist - Go-to technical and philosophical mapmaking artist

Responsible for creating and constantly amending official maps of Western, Karen Van Kerkoerle, Western’s Cartographic Specialist, is also the go-to person when faculty across a range of disciplines need maps, templates and custom illustrations to help add breadth and context to their work. Read more

Becky Ellis (PhD Candidate) shares her thoughts on community gardens

"Avid gardener and Byron resident Becky Ellis thinks her neighbourhood is the perfect spot to build London's newest community garden. Gardens, she said, aren't just about growing fruits and vegetables, but also about growing connections — something many people in the car-dependent neighbourhood are hungry for." Read more.

Study led by former Geography graduate finds food waste has become a way of life for many Londoners

Paul van der Werf is lead author of a new study that shows Londoners throw out the equivalent of six meal portions per week, for a wasted household cost of about $600 per year. Read more.

Environmentalist in Residence, Gabor Sass

"He's been chosen as the library's first "environmentalist in residence" and will lead a number of workshops teaching people easy steps they can take to live more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyles." Read more.

2018-2019 Academic Year

Dr. Godwin Arku - Faculty Scholar 2019 award recipient

The Faculty Scholars Award recognizes significant recent scholarly achievements in teaching or research. Nominated by faculty deans and selected by the Faculty Selection committee chaired by the Provost, the recipients have an international presence in their discipline and are considered all-round scholars. Winners hold the title “Faculty Scholar” for two years and receive $7,000 each year for scholarly activities, as well as receiving a citation. Congratulations Dr. Arku! Read more

Study: Primary-care proximity equitable in city

"Led by Western professor Jason Gilliland, a team of researchers looked at accessibility to a primary-care provider – either a family doctor or nurse practitioner – based on distribution and geographical proximity in London". Read more.

Canadian Space Agency launches new interactive activity with contributions from Western Geographers

Exploring Earth uses the photos taken by Saint-Jacques to show the distinctive geological and man-made features on Earth and the activity explains the science behind them. New photos and blogs with some contributions from Western Geographers will be added weekly. Read more.

Gabor Sass named on the mayor's annual New Year's honour list

Dr. Gabor Sass was among those being honoured for their contributions to London. Sass made the list due to his approach to food management and sustainability. Read more.

Dr. Gordon McBean speaks on adapting to climate change fallout.

Dr. Gordon McBean, one of Canada's original climate change activists and IPCC Co-Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, says it's time to start adapting to the reality of a warming world. Read more.

Dr. Joy Parr receives prestigious lifetime achievement award

Congratulations to Dr. Joy Parr in receiving a lifetime achievement award – the Leonardo da Vinci Medal by the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). “The highest recognition from the Society for the History of Technology is the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the history of technology, through research, teaching, publication, and other activities.” Read more.

Dr. Gilliland launches smartphone app to encourage positive eating habits

Jason Gilliland's goal is to improve food literacy and diet amoung youth, and he's turning to a smartphone app to do so. As the Primary Investigator on a CIHR grant, his plan is to focus on and encourage youth to download and use SmartAPPetite, a smartphone app which provides food and health related tips and information to youth. Through the app, users are provided timely tips and information, which have all been designed by registered dietitians, and are from validated sources. Read more.

Dr. Isaac Luginaah named as a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS)

Isaac Luginaah, Professor in the Department of Geography, has been named as a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).The AAS recognizes individuals who have excelled in their fields of expertise, and who have contributed to developing their fields in Africa. Professor Luginaah was nominated for his “innovative research in population, environment and health.” His research addresses the impact of environmental hazards and vulnerabilities in population health, and encompasses research in North America, and in Africa. Read more.

Dr. Gordon McBean raises awareness of the issues of climate change and disaster risk reduction

Professor Emeritus Gordon McBean, recently sat down with Western News to discuss his passion for educating others about climate change and disaster risk reduction. “I think it’s very important that scientists reach out to communities so they better understand these issues and take what are, I hope, the right actions." Read more.

Geography Graduate Wes Kinghorn Brings Attention to Area Watersheds

Co-organizer of the Thames Rover fall cleanup, Wes Kinghorn, is not only cleaning up the Thames River shoreline but he's also trying to raise awareness about the importance and fragile state of area watersheds. "London and Middlesex County watersheds don’t meet provincial water quality objectives for E. coli bacteria and phosphorus... Last year’s watershed report card by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority – which compiled the data used in the Vital Signs report – found surface water quality in the London area earned C to D grades. The provincial target is a B." Read more.

Professor Gilliland Talks Transit

Jason Gilliland, Western Geography Professor and Director of the Urban Planning Program, joined CBC's London Morning show on an LTC express bus to talk all things transit. To hear Jason's perspective on how traffic could better move throughout the city, visit CBC London Morning.

Dr. Gordon McBean gives keynote address at first international conference promoting public science literacy

The 2018 World Conference on Science Literacy was held September 17-19, in Beijing, China where Geography’s own Dr. Gordon McBean gave a keynote address titled “Science Literacy for Sustainable Development of Human Society”. The 2018 World Conference on Science Literary was the first international conference dedicated to promoting public science literacy, the motto, “Building a Community with a Share Future for Mankind”. The conference aims to build an international exchange platform and a global cooperation mechanism to push ahead the joint consultation, construction and sharing in promoting public science literacy; in hopes to rally support from governments, mobilize scientists, educators, media, enterprises and other public forces to fill in the gap in science literacy between countries and enhance human well-being and build a better future. Read more

Geography Professor recipient of First annual Atlohsa Peace Awards

Dr. Chantelle Richmond is one of seven London area residents to receive the Atlohsa Peace Award, which recognizes commitments to peace and reconciliation with Canada's indigenous communities. Sponsored by Atlohsa Family Healing Services, the awards are based on the characteristics of the seven grandfather teachings and reflect wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth. Read more

Graduate student Alexander Wray hits BRT nerve with tweet

A month after moving to London, Alexander Wray sparked a flurry of comments after tweeting his views about London’s BRT plans that earned an invitation on CBC’s London Morning. “I just moved from #watreg to #ldnont and there is palpable cultural shift. This place is trapped in a small town mentality that has big city problems. The expressway should have been built. BRT needs to be built. These candidates need to wake up and realize London is a big place.” Listen to the full interview here.

Dr. Chantelle Richmond - CBC Radio

Dr. Chantelle Richmond was interviewed on CBC Radio earlier this week to highlight the importance of the new Guide for Working with Indigenous Students. This Guide is a response to Western’s Indigenous Strategic Plan, which outlines the need for faculty and staff to become more culturally-competent when working with Indigenous peoples. This introductory resource will support individuals on campus in better understanding the historical and ongoing systemic factors that shape Indigenous student realities, barriers, and needs in the university context.

In Memoriam - Dr. Roger King

It is with great sadness that the Department of Geography announces the passing of Dr. Roger King, Emeritus Professor and former Chair of Geography. In a long career, Dr. King served on many committees at the University, provincial and national levels. He chaired the department for nine years during a period of considerable change making significant new appointments (11), almost half of whom were women. Read more

Liana Langley recipient of the CREW Network Foundation Scholarship

Congratulations to Liana on receiving a $5,000(USD) CREW Network Foundation Scholarship. CREW Network Foundation exists to influence the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women. Liana has developed a strong passion for sustainable commercial real estate development and aims to dedicate her life to changing the built environment to benefit all individuals regardless of their socioeconomic class.

"Climate change clues rest in taking London’s temperature"

In the coming years, cities will get bigger and more crowded, contributing to more extreme weather patterns, including intense precipitation, extreme heat waves and increased surface temperatures. Geography professor and Chair, James Voogt, will identify ‘hot spots’ city planners and politicians can focus on while designing strategies to reduce temperature by planting trees or increasing the surface reflectivity. Read more

WMO Presents Top Scientific Prize to Dr. Gordon McBean

"The World Meteorological Organization has presented its top award to Gordon McBean of Canada for his outstanding work in meteorology and climatology and his leadership as a scientific researcher. Mr McBean is currently President of the International Council for Science. The IMO Prize is the equivalent of the Nobel prize for meteorology. Established in 1955 and named after the predecessor of the WMO, the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), it is awarded every year by WMO Executive Council." Read more

IMN - Supporting Transitions to Health Research and Professions

In February 2018, IMN (Ontario) hosted a three-day workshop aiming to provide Indigenous undergraduate students with skills and mentorship to support successful transitions into graduate school and Indigenous health training. At the end of the three-day workshop, 10 students representing 9 universities shared how the experiences and connections they made provided them with direction, inspiration, and a sense of belonging. Watch here

"School tackles ‘big job’ of Indigenous health"

"Vanessa Ambtman-Smith, a Western graduate student in Geography, plans to explore an in-hospital medicine lodge on her way to join other scholars at the inaugural Indigenous Mentorship Network Summer School in Sudbury next week...The five-day summer school, with Laurentian University as host, is a platform for a group of 25 graduate students to build networks and share expertise on Indigenous, community-based health care." Read more

Diana Lewis joining Geography, will teach in First Nations Studies program

Lewis is coming from Dalhousie University, where she was the inaugural coordinator of, and lecturer in, the Indigenous Studies Program. She is Mi’kmaq from Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia, and holds a Master of Resource and Environmental Management degree. Her PhD research focuses on resource development, and the impacts of resource development on the health of Indigenous peoples, using a methodology that combines both Indigenous and western-based sciences. Read more

The Department of Geography welcomes Dr. Jed Long

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Jed Long will be joining the Department January 1, 2019, to fill our second GISci & Urban Environments position. Jed joins us from the University of St Andrews where he has been a Lecturer in GeoInformatics in the School of Geography and Sustainable Development. Jed received his BSc from the University of Guelph and his MSc and PhD from the University of Victoria. He also holds an Advanced Diploma in GIS from the Centre of Geographic Sciences.

Congratulations Erika Freeman, MSc Candidate - Recipient of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship

One of the most prestigious international scholarships available, "The Gates Scholarship aims to identify and select applicants who are academically outstanding and are likely to be transformative leaders across all fields of endeavour. Over 5000 international applicants applied; 220 were ranked by academic departments; 102 were interviewed in Cambridge; and 57 outstanding scholars were selected". Way to go Erika! Erika will begin her PhD studies, specializing in Plant Sciences, September 2018. Read more

One of our own helps revitalize London's best kept secret: Kensington Village

"Founded in 1870, Kensington Village was just that – a village just west of the City of London that residents say once included the nearby neighbourhood of Blackfriars within its limits. Despite its deep historical roots, the neighbourhood only recently started its revitalization, though Gabor Sass, who lives there, says its always been that way." Read more

Congratulations Chantelle Richmond - Tier II CRC

"This CRC will connect and expand upon three projects Richmond is already working on: the Interdisciplinary Development Initiative on Applied Indigenous Scholarship, which focuses on the academic environment; the Indigenous Mentorship Network Program of Ontario, which focuses health training environments; and an international SSHRC Insight Grant, which focuses on global Indigenous connections with the land." Read more

2017-2018 Academic Year

HEAL helps Huron County understand food needs

Geography Professor Jason Gilliland and his team from the Human Environments Analysis Lab (HEAL) are collaborating with the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre and the Huron County Health Unit to better understand the problem of food insecurity in rural Huron County. The HEAL team has identified patterns of rural food insecurity, some of the reasons behind it, and some of the struggles of food insecure households. They believe their findings can be translated to other rural areas of Ontario, and are continuing to work with the community partners to look for solutions. Read more

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Buzzelli

Congratulations to our very own Dr. Michael Buzzelli on being awarded a 3-year Teaching Fellow appointment in partnership with the Teaching Support Centre.

Geography welcomes Dr. Agnieszka Leszczynski

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Agnieszka Leszczynski will be joining the Department July 1, 2018 to fill one our GISci & Urban Environments positions. Dr Leszczynski joins us from the University of Auckland where she has been a Lecturer in GIScience and co-academic lead for GIScience in the School of Environment. Dr Leszczynski received her BA and MA from Geography at SFU and her PhD from the University of Washington.

Best of luck to our 2018 ECCE App Challenge participants

The ECCE App Challenge is a coding competition held by Esri Canada to help promote innovation and creativity within the Centres of Excellence. The Department of Geography wishes the best of luck to our two teams; Mustang Mappers (Jody Yu, Peter Coxford, Aiden Poole) and Team Hegemone (Yunus Amer Ali, Jenny Tjhin, Martin Healy). The results of the 2018 competition will be release shortly on the ECCE website.

Funded MSc or PhD position for domestic (Canadian/Permanent Resident) students

Dr. Jinfei Wang ( is currently recruiting for domestic students to work on a project that aims to use UAV imagery for crop disease detection, starting September 2018. The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Jinfei Wang (UWO) and Dr. Brigitte Leblon (UNB). The position is funded by an industry partner located in London, ON. The student will be expected to travel from time to time to UNB and the industry partner. If interested, read more.

Dr. Belinda Dodson talks drought and Cape Town's worst water crisis in 100 years

Adjunct Professor Belinda Dodson, recently shared her thoughts on Cape Town's water crisis on CBC Ottawa's All in a Day.

Geography Western Researchers Take On A Two-Year Study to Get Kids Walking

Dr. Jason Gilliland and Dr. Andrew Clark, are studying the environmental benefits of children walking to school instead of being driven. Ultimately, they hope to change perceptions and encourage more kids to walk to school. Read more

How a collaboration with Geography's HEAL uses GIS and GPS to change the way people hear the world around them

The Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL), the National Centre for Audiology, and Unitron, a Kitchener-based hearing aid manufacturer, are hoping their collaborative research will showcase how hearing aids perform in different environments, and focus on whether adding information about the environment will create more useful information for hearing aids. Read more

Dr. Chantelle Richmond launches Ontario's first Indigenous-led health training network

As featured in multiple news sources, including Western News, Dr. Richmond "will serve as program lead for the Indigenous Mentorship Network Program of Ontario, a Western-based hub dedicated to Indigenous health training that is both culturally relevant and scientifically rigorous".

Congratulations to Chantal Francoeur who is a SSSC Leadership Award winner

The Social Science Students' Council Leadership Award is awarded annually to Social Science undergraduate students who have demonstrated leadership and participation in extra-curricular activities. Chantal Francoeur, a four year Honors BA student in Geography and president of the Geography People's Society, is one of this year's winners. Congratulations Chantal!

Western Geography - Esri Canada's 11th Centre of Higher Education Excellence (ECCE)

As an ECCE, the Department of Geography will be looking for up to six students on an annual basis to represent Western by participating in an App Challenge held and contribute regularly to a blog. These students will receive coaching and training in custom software application development on the web and on mobile computing platforms. Read more

Student bravery at centre of a six-month project by The London Free Press

Western Geography student Tim Wiechers, witnessed the accident and ultimately helped save the life of a women that skidded off Hwy. 401, and was trapped upside down in a submerged vehicle for 27 minutes.

Vanessa Ambtman-Smith - New member of London's Police Services Board

One of our own graduate students, Vanessa Ambtman-Smith, has been appointed as the newest member of the board that oversees the London police. Vanessa, the Indigenous health lead for the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), will be sworn in as the police services board’s newest member next week. Read more

How do activities and spaces within gyms become gendered?

Postdoctoral associate, Stephanie Coen, explores this idea in her published article, “It’s gym, like g-y-m, not J-i-m”: Exploring the role of place in the gendering of physical activity” in Social Science & MedicineRead more

Geography Researcher Crashes into Moon Mystery Solution

Western Geography Professor Philip Stooke's latest finding closes a decade-old mystery about the final resting place of SMART-1, the European Space Agency’s first lunar mission sent into a controlled impact with the Moon in 2006, three years after its launch in 2003. Read more

Study Scraps Food Waste Fallacies

Geography PhD candidate Paul van der Werf, who boasts a quarter century in environmental consulting, is examining waste in London, looking to find why Londoners throw away significant amounts of food and what can be done to reduce the organic haul that ends up in landfills. Read more

Lori Johnson - Western Award of Excellence Recipient

Congratulations to our own Graduate Administrator, Lori Johnson, who has been selected as one of this year's recipients of the Western Award of Excellence. This award is Western’s highest level of recognition for staff members and recognizes Lori's tireless contribution to students, faculty and the "Western Experience" as a whole. Read more

GIS Student Poster Competition

All students from the Faculty of Social Science and any students who have a supervisor within the Department of Geography, are invited to participate. The poster competition aims to encourage geospatial thinking and to award outstanding students in GIS learning and research. Posters are to be submitted no later than Sunday, November 12, 2017 to Kathy Tang ( Read more

Dr. Gordon McBean Approves of Western's Inter-disciplinary Approach to Climate Related Changes

"Wind engineers, hydrologists, social scientists, physicists, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists and geographers are all needed to examine and mitigate a host of climate-related changes to the environment." Read more

Parliamentary Health Research Caucus - Indigenous Health Research in Canada

Chantelle Richmond, an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, was invited by Research Canada to participate in the Parliamentary Health Research Caucus on Indigenous Health Research in Canada. This event was attended by a number of Members of Parliament including local MP Kate Young, Dr. Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs) and Dr. Jane Philpott (Minister of Health). Read more

Congratulations Prof. Jeff Hopkins: 2017 CAG Award for Excellence in Teaching Geography

Jeff Hopkins is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography who has taught over 4500 undergraduate students at all levels and is one of our most effective instructors. We are delighted that Jeff Hopkins has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the CAG Award for Excellence in Teaching Geography.

CTV News Interviews HEAL's van der Werf on Household Food Waste

PhD Candidate Paul van der Werf and Professor Jason Gilliland from the HEALab in Western’s Geography Department want to learn more about why households waste food, so that they can develop and test interventions to tackle the food waste problem in Canada. This research is being undertaken in collaboration with the City of London and will help inform their municipal strategies for organic waste management. The multi-disciplinary team, which includes co-investigators Dr. Jamie Baxter, Dr. Godwin Arku (Western Geography), and Dr. Jamie Seabrook from Brescia University’s School of Food & Nutritional Sciences, was recently awarded an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Their research was recently featured in The Londoner and CTV news. Take the survey at

Gordon McBean announced as Winner of the International Meteorological Organization Prize

The World Meteorological Organization has announced that Gordon McBean, Professor Emeritus in the Geography Department, Western University, is Winner of the 62nd International Meteorological Organization (IMO) Prize. The IMO Prize, the most important award in meteorology, is named after WMO’s predecessor organization the International Meteorological Organization and is awarded annually to scientists that have made outstanding contributions to meteorology, hydrology and geophysical sciences.

2016-2017 Academic Year

Western’s researchers are the 2016 recipients of the prestigious Henry Cowles Award

Western’s researchers are the 2016 recipients of the prestigious Henry Cowles Award for Excellence in Publication in Biogeography for the 2016 paper "Agriculture causes nitrate fertilization of remote alpine lakes" in Nature Communications. Congratulations to Beth Hundey, Sam Russell, Fred Longstaffe, and Katrina Moser.

Study shows link between food insecurity and poor mental health

In a recent research study published in the journal of Social Science & Medicine, Health Geography PhD candidate Kilian Atuoye, highlights elevated mental distress in heads of households where food insecurity is moderate to high. The study was conducted with nearly 1,500 household heads in the northwestern region of Ghana, Africa, where food insecurity is an issue. Read more.

Congratulations to Western Masters Student Michael Allen

The Board of Urban Environment has awarded Michael the Excellent Oral Presentation Student Award. His presentation, "A Climatology of Urban Surface Heat Islands Derived from Hemispherical Radiometric Surface Temperatures", can be found here.

Professor Stooke's book included in the prestigious CHOICE List of Outstanding Academic Titles 

CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries a publication of the ACRL,  publishes a list of their chosen Outstanding Academic Titles every January, from the previous year. Only ten percent of approximately 7,000 eligible reviewed titles are awarded and Geography's own Professor Philip Stooke's book  The International Atlas of Mars Exploration volume 2 is one of the winners. Congratulations Professor Stooke!  Read more

Meet Jamie Voogt, the new Chair of Geography

Many thanks to Professor Isaac Luginaah for his term as acting chair and welcome to the new chair of the Georgaphy Department, Associate Professor Jamie Voogt. Read more about the Jamie in Social Science News Letter

Geography student's team wins Western's Challenge Challenge

Geography student Robert Celik, together with Linta Mustafa and Anisha Khanna, both in Health Sciences, won this year's World's Challenge Challenge competition with their proposal Addressing teh sustainability of contemporary agricultural food systems. The winning team will compete in the first International World's Challenge Challenge in May 2017. Western News

When health meets geography, difficult truths come to the fore

Maclean's Magazine recently published an article featuring Dr. Chantelle Richmond. The article looks at how the new field of health geography explores the connection between wellness and environment, and leads to some sobering truths. Read more.

Geography (UDP) Alumni Reception, Wednesday, November 30th at 5pm

Dan Shrubsole, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Social Science and Jason Gilliland, Director of the Urban Development Program, invite Geography and Urban Development Program alumni to join them for a cocktail reception at Char No.5 Whisky Bar at the Delta Toronto. Details

Western Geography's Urban Development Program (UDP) - Experiential Learning Opportunities

Last year Western Geography's UDP with the support of the Imran Jaffer Foundation, a summer internship with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) was initiated. Dianne Ramos, the inaugural recipient reported that she learned a lot of the basic knowledge of real estate having experience in many different departments throughout the summer. Details

Western Geography Research Funding exceeded $1.7 million in 2015-2016

This reflects the continued high level of research activity within the Department.  Over the last 3 years, the Department’s funding has exceeded $1.7 million, and the total funds since 2007 is in excess of $12 million.  More information on the Department’s research labs cab be found here.  

Drought study sounds another ‘wake-up call’

Western Geography professor Katrina Moser partnered with UCLA professor Glen MacDonald and Illinois State University professor Amy Bloom, on a paper examining the effects of greenhouse gases on drought in California. The paper, published last week in Nature Scientific Reports, looks at how natural climatic forces contributed to centuries-long, and even millennia-long periods of aridity in California over the past 10,000 years. Details

Western Geography PhD candidate Paul van der Werf supports “Fight Against Food Waste” Act

Paul van der Werf recently travelled to Ottawa to participate in a press conference at the National Press Gallery on Parliament Hill. He was there to support NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau’s private member bill the “Fight Against Food Waste Act”. (see 6:30 of video for his remarks). Details.

NEW Geography Weather Station

Western Geography has recently installed a wireless weather station close to the Social Science parking booth. The output from the station is available in both real time and as archived records for teaching and research. The data will be used to support student course and lab work in physical geography courses. Details

NEW Geography field course to the Pearl River Delta

Western Geography is one of three universities that will be participating in a 10 to 12-day Field course in the Pearl River Delta of China for Geography Major and Specialization students. The dates have yet to be finalized but the course could start as early as May 15 and be completed by June 15 2017. The overarching theme of the Field Course is proposed to be: Change, growth and sustainable development. Details.

Western Geography's Urban Development Program (UDP) - Experiential Learning Opportunities

Last year Western Geography's UDP and with the support of the Imran Jaffer Foundation, a summer internship with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a leading financial and professional services firm specializing in commercial real estate services and investment managemen, was initiated. Dianne Ramos, the inaugural recipient reported that she learned a lot of the basic knowledge of real estate having experience in many different departments throughout the summer. 'Tenant representation, database and research, investment banking, human resources and project development services were the departments that I was able to get involved in and help out. It was interesting to see the collaboration and the intelligence within the office. Everyone was so supportive in answering my questions which helped me learn a lot about not just JLL but the whole real estate industry. It was an extremely valuable internship experience that gave me a taste of where I would be after my four years at Western.' See Dianne's letter.

Western Geography Research Funding exceeded $1.7 million in 2015-2016

This reflects the continued high level of research activity within the Department. Over the last 3 years, the Department’s funding has exceeded $1.7 million, and the total funds since 2007 is in excess of $12 million. More information on the Department’s research labs cab be found here.

Western Geographers win 2015 SPIE Best Paper

Congratulations to Western Geography Professor Jinfei Wang and Dr. Xiaodong Huang who won the 2015 Best Paper Award on Theoretical Innovation in SPIE society for their paper “Simplified adaptive volume scattering model and scattering analysis of crops over agricultural fields using the RADARSAT-2 polarimetric synthetic aperture radar imagery”. This paper developed a simplified adaptive volume scattering model to describe the scattering from the crop canopy to monitor the crop growth by the Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR) imagery collected by Canadian RADARSAT-2 satellite. This paper is published in the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing (JARS), which is published online in the SPIE Digital Library by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and optimizes the communication of concepts, information, and progress among the remote sensing community. SPIE article.

Drought study sounds another ‘wake-up call’

Western Geography professor Katrina Moser partnered with UCLA professor Glen MacDonald and Illinois State University professor Amy Bloom, on a paper examining the effects of greenhouse gases on drought in California. The paper, published last week in Nature Scientific Reports, looks at how natural climatic forces contributed to centuries-long, and even millennia-long periods of aridity in California over the past 10,000 years. Details

Western Geography PhD candidate Paul van der Werf supports “Fight Against Food Waste” Act

Paul van der werfPaul van der Werf recently travelled to Ottawa to participate in a press conference at the National Press Gallery on Parliament Hill. He was there to support NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau’s private member bill the “Fight Against Food Waste Act”. (see 6:30 of video for his remarks). The Act seeks to among other things establish a National Food Waste strategy to: raise public awareness of food waste through a national campaign; put in place the tools needed to allow consumers to reduce food waste; facilitate the donation, by the private sector, of blemished but edible food products to community organizations and food banks; study various ways of reducing the environmental impact of the production of unused food resources; and establish food waste reduction targets. Paul’s PhD research with supervisor Dr Jason Gilliland in the Human Environments Analysis Lab at Western aims to gain a better understanding of food waste generation and composition, as well as its economic, environmental and social impacts, to develop interventions that motivate households to reduce their generation of avoidable food waste. 

NEW Geography Weather Station

Western Geography has recently installed a wireless weather station close to the Social Science parking booth. The weather station has a variety of sensors for measuring air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, evapotranspiration and UV indices. The output from the station is available in both real time and as archived records for teaching and research. The data will be used to support student course and lab work in physical geography courses.

To view the real time weather visit: Click Summary at the top of the page for additional measurements. For access to the archived data, please contact the Department’s Laboratory Supervisor, Erika Hill (

2015-2016 Academic Year

Western Professor Jason Gilliland Speaking at Parliament Hill

Jason Gilliland Parliament Hill May 2016Western Geography Professor and Human Environments Analysis Lab (HEAL) Director Jason Gilliland was at Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 9 to speak to federal MPs, Senators, and numerous representatives of various NGOs at an event entitled “Pediatric Research and Child Health in Canada”. Dr Gilliland was invited to speak to Parliamentarians about his research on the built environment and children’s health, with particular emphasis on how the environment matters for healthy active living and childhood obesity. The event was organized by Research Canada, with the support of Parliamentary Health Research Caucus Chair, MP John Oliver, Past Chair Senator Kelvin K. Ogilvie, and NDP Representative Carol Hughes. More information about the HEAL can be found here.

Western geographers publish in Nature Communications

Congratulations to Elizabeth Hundey (PhD 2014) and Katrina Moser (Associate Professor), who along with Fred Longstaffe and Sam Russell published an article entitled  "Agriculture causes nitrate fertilization of remote alpine lakes" in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.The research team used a novel stable isotope technique to differentiate between various sources of nitrate to high mountain lakes in Utah, USA.  They found that 70% of nitrates in these aquatic systems are anthropogenic and arrive at the lakes via the atmosphere.  These nitrates originate from upwind agricultural activities (60%) and fossil fuel combustion (10%).  A comparison of these data to other North American alpine lakes suggest that the human influence on nitrate contents of alpine lakes is not an isolated phenomenon. The findings indicate that greater attention should be paid to agricultural practices in order to protect these important water resources and biodiversity hotspots. Press release.

Geography takes CAGOnt by storm

Western Geography was well represented at the 2015 CAGOnt hosted by Carleton University on October 23-24, 2015. 13 students presented papers, three of which won best papers. Congratulations go out to: Sarah Mason, PhD candidate who won a Doctoral Student Paper Award; Illy Diaz, MA candidate who won a Masters Student Paper Award; and Adrian Buttazoni, BA Honours Double Major (Political Science/Geography) candidate who won the Undergraduate Student Paper Award. WELL DONE! Of the 74 oral presentations, 11 current and 5 former UWO students made an appearance. A special congratulations to Sarah Mason who was elected Vice President of CAGOnt. She is currently finishing up her term as Student Representative on the Executive Committee. Evan Cleave will continue for one more year on the Executive as Secretary. For a full listing of presenters, SEE HERE.

CTV covers PhD candidate Paul van der Werf’s waste audit work

Department of Geography PhD Candidate Paul van der Werf was featured in a CTV news story in Simcoe County about waste composition analysis. Paul’s company, 2cg, undertakes extensive waste composition measurement for municipalities and companies who use this data for waste management planning purposes. Paul is also using these waste audits to collect detailed information on food waste, which he is using in support of his PhD dissertation research "Quantifying Food Waste Generation and the Development of Food Waste Reduction Interventions” under the supervision of Professor Jason Gilliland. Watch Video

London water pollution research could ripple far

Thames River Experimental Stream Sciences Centre  grand opening photoAdam Yates a geography professor at Western University is leading research studies that colleagues say could change the way watersheds are managed around the world. Yates wants to determine the point at which a healthy stream turns bad and believes he can find the answer in specially-designed artificial stream channels behind a wastewater treatment plant in London.

The Thames River Experimental Stream Sciences (TRESS) centre allows researchers to study the effects of nutrients and other river contaminants by using models of flowing streams to give watershed planners and managers insight into potential outcomes of land use activities near moving waterways.

London Free Press - London water pollution research could ripple far
London Free Press - How much is too much?
Video - New Western-led research facility looks to protect our rivers

Opening of the Thames River Experimental Stream Sciences Centre

photo of Thames River, London OntarioWhen: Monday, October 19, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Adelaide Pollution Control Plant: 1201 Adelaide St., London, ON

Please join us for the grand opening of the Thames River Experimental Stream Sciences Centre (TRESS), led by Western University geography professor, Adam Yates . Working with partners at the City of London and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, and with funding from the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council, Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Yates has constructed a facility where researchers can use artificial streams to evaluate the effects of chemical and physical changes to stream environments. This collaborative centre will facilitate research informing management activities aimed at enhancing and protecting the health and heritage of the Thames River, as well as rivers across Canada and around the world.

Western Geography's Chantelle Richmond selected to RSC's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Professor Chantelle Richmond has been named a member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Chantelle's research is based on a participatory model that explores the intersection of Indigenous people’s health, knowledge systems and connection to land. With a greater goal of improving Indigenous health equity, she engages in community-based methodologies that empower Indigenous voice and vision in health and social research.

The members of the College will address issues of particular concern to new scholars, artists and scientists, for the advancement of understanding and the benefit of society, taking advantage of the interdisciplinary approaches fostered by the establishment of the College. Chantelle joins our own Issac Luginaah, who was selected in 2014.  Western News article.

Gilliland and Van Kesteren talk to Board of Health about Active & Safe Routes to School

Western Geography Professor Jason Gilliland and alumni Emily Van Kesteren were invited to the Middlesex-London Board of Health meeting on September 17th to speak about their university-community collaboration around Active & Safe Routes to School (ASRTS). Emily is a Public Health Nurse on the Healthy Communities and Injury Prevention Team with the Middlesex-London Health Unit and co-chair of ASRTS committee, a community partnership with representation from numerous organizations throughout the Ontario counties of Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford, and the cities of London and St. Thomas. Emily completed her MA in Geography with Dr Gilliland in the Human Environments Analysis Lab at Western, where she conducted thesis research on children’s active transportation. The two main goals of ASRTS are to promote physical activity and to improve safety of children on their journey to and from school, using comprehensive health promotion strategies such as engineering, engagement, education, research, and policy development. The HEAL Team, under the guidance of Gilliland and Dr Andrew Clark, leads the critical elements of data analysis and program evaluation for ASRTS activities.  See Board of Health report on ASRTS by Dr Mackie, Medical Officer of Health.

Karen Van Kerkoerle receives Western Staff Excellence Award

Karen Van Kerkoerle, Western Geography's Cartographic Specialist, one of this year's recipients of a Western Staff Excellence Award. It recognizes her outstanding work as a cartographer, her support of graduate and undergraduate students to develop their cartographic and visual design skills, her ongoing contributions and leadership within the Canadian Cartographic Association, and her longstanding leadership of the Department's United Way Fundraising drive and Talent Show. In other words, this award recognizes Karen for being herself - intelligent, positive, personable, resourceful and a leader. 

Western PhD Graduate Marylynn Steckley discusses agrarian displacement and food (in)security in Haiti on CBC Radio’s Ideas Show

Marylynn Steckley (Western Geography PhD 2015) discussed how some of the development initiatives promoted by wealthy nations is contributing to food insecurity in Haiti on CBC Radio'’s Ideas show. A recipient of a PhD SSHRC doctoral scholarship during her studies, Marylynn spent over six years in Haiti, both as an aid worker and researcher. Read for further details on the interview.

Congratulations to Doctoral Candidate Sarah Mason

Sarah won the American Association of Geographers, 2015 Rural Geography Specialty Group Student Paper Competition! Her paper, based on her PhD research was titled "The Plant is Up and Running and the Wounds are Yet to Heal: Biosolids Facility Siting, Community Conflict and Emotional Geographies in Rural Ontario" While it was a tight competition, as all of the submissions were of very high quality, the judges thought that Sarah's paper was creative, grounded solidly in the rural literature, and had tangible results that could be used to help solve ‘real life’ problems. The judges also noted that Sarah handled herself in a very professional manner, and was able to field questions in a thorough, yet succinct way. Congratulations Sarah!

Congratulations Dr. Gordon McBean

Gordon McBeanDr. Gordon McBean has been awarded the University of British Columbia Alumni Award of Distinction for 2015. The Award will be presented at a Celebration on October 27, 2015. A leader in climate science, Dr. Gordon McBean has led global efforts to raise awareness about climate change impacts and played a key role in the development of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in 2007, with his IPCC colleagues and Al Gore, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is now President of the International Council for Science. Congratulations Gordon!

The First Annual Imran Jaffer Memorial Soccer Tournament

The first Annual Imran Jaffer Memorial Soccer Tournament was held at Bayview Glen High School in Toronto on June 6. Sixteen teams particiapted and a good time was enjoyed by all, as seen on the video link. Imran Jaffer was a student in Geography's Urban Development Program. The Imran Jaffer Foundation was formed to improve the quality of lives of youth by providing educational opportunities through scholarships to those who merit them as well as those in need, thereby contributing towards enrichment in the lives of youth - the leaders of tomorrow. Funds generated by the Foundation will support a number of initiatives, including student awards and infrastructure/equipment needs within Western Geography. All these undertakings will make a difference and have a lasting impact - much like the life of Imran Jaffer. Chair of the Geography Department, Dr. Dan Shrubsole (on left), attended the tournament. Thanks to all those who organized and supported the event, and who participated on a team.

Professor Chantelle Richmond named 2015 recipient of the Canadian Association of Geographers Julian Szeicz Award

Chantelle RichmondThis award recognizes her career potential by a Canadian geographer at an early career stage, and her outstanding research achievements in the area of the geographies of Indigenous Health, with a focus on applied Community Based Research and knowledge translation. Since becoming an independent researcher, her major research milestones include a prestigious CIHR New Investigator Award (2010-2015), and more recently, Dr. Richmond was the recipient of the highly competitive Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (2014-2019). Her achievement of these two major awards is congruent with her success rate on research grants. Since 2007, she has secured over $4.3M from Canadian Tri-Council Granting Agencies, Government Departments, and Non-profit organizations to collaborate with various First Nation communities and Aboriginal organizations. We congratulate Chantelle on being the 2015 recipient of the Canadian Association of Geographers Julian Szeicz Award, and wish her continuing success in the future [Read More].