New technology advantage for grape growers

Victoria Tasker

Victoria Tasker wants to help put Niagara’s wine region on the map in a bigger and better way.

“How amazing would it be if Niagara was as recognizable as Bordeaux or Champagne?” the MA candidate in Geography said.

Tasker is working alongside her supervisor, Marilyne Jollineau, as part of a multi-disciplinary research team on a project entitled, “The Integration of Geomatic Technologies for Improved Vineyard Management in the Niagara wine region.” The project is funded by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

Her research focuses on combining technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and satellite imagery — the same technology used by Google Earth.

“The OCE emphasizes ‘from mind to market’ research that bridges the gap between academic researchers and industry personnel. It is the dominant research-to-commercialization vehicle in Ontario,” says Tasker. “With our research we want to help grape growers make better decisions in managing their vineyards and give them as many advantages as possible to excel.”

In the long run, she says, the research has value in bolstering Niagara’s reputation as a world-class wine destination.
Tasker expects to complete her degree this year and has accepted a research fellowship position with Jollineau. Over the next year she also will consider her options for pursuing her doctoral degree.

“I love what I do and I’m more motivated than ever to continue in this research area – it’s so fascinating and there’s so much to learn,” she says.

Tasker is the recipient of two internal awards – the Harrison Thompson Bursary Trust Award and the W.D. Hatch Memorial Postgraduate Scholarship. She was one of four graduate students to share their Brock experiences during the recent student award and donor recognition celebration held by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

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