The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate our Master of Arts in Geography student, Aaron Nartey, on receiving a Faculty of Social Sciences Student Research Award for his proposed Major Research Paper project titled “Return Migration of Ghanaian Immigrants”.
Some of the brightest young minds at Brock University were recognized Tuesday for their displays of leadership and contributions to both the Brock and wider Niagara community.
Ten Brock students were selected from across the University to receive the President’s Surgite Awards, which honour the hard work they’ve completed throughout their educational journey.
The cross-section of students have amassed impressive resumés packed with academic accomplishments, volunteer experience and community contributions — making them fitting recipients for one of the University’s most prestigious honours.
The awards were presented by Brock President Gervan Fearon and Anna Lathrop, Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Success, during a luncheon to celebrate the recipients on Tuesday, April 2.
After spending time learning from each award winner about their areas of focus and highlights of their Brock experience, Fearon encouraged them to reflect on their scope of leadership.
“What happens is we often look at ourselves as individuals and don’t realize we’re impacting and influencing so many of the people around us,” he said. “All of those influences represent your scope of leadership, which is often broader than your job and touches on your volunteer work and the example you’ve become within the community.
“You’re all leaders and examples to your peers, who then aspire to be able to achieve the same level of excellence. When you multiply that out to the wider scope, you become an inspiration to humanity because you’re defining possibilities.”
Fourth-year Medical Sciences student Dhruv Jivan was humbled by the honour and said he is grateful to have had such a rich university experience.
“Brock is such a loving and connected community. That environment allows you to thrive,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.”
Through the University, Jivan spends time volunteering at the Brock Centre for Health and Well-Being, which has helped to shape his future path.
“I’ve grown so much during my time with the centre,” he said. “My love for the geriatric community and my passion for working with them has grown exponentially since I’ve been there.”
Lathrop told the students she’s confident the “future’s in good hands” with them at the helm. “Thank you for being at Brock and for making big differences in the world as you move forward in life,” she said.
The 2018-19 President’s Surgite Award winners include:
- Olivia Poulin (Business Administration — Marketing)
- Jonah Graham (Tourism and Environment, Minor in Geography)
- Dhruv Jivan (Medical Sciences)
- Meghan Hickey (Medical Sciences)
- Fayyaz Rizvi (Biological Sciences)
- Nicolas Sardella (Biotechnology, Co-op Option)
- Daislyn Vidal (Biological Sciences)
- Wei Wang (Business Administration)
- Leila Meskine (Mathematics and Statistics)
- Taylor Lidster (Biological Sciences)
Story reposted from The Brock News.
On March 28, 2019, a group of Geography and Tourism Studies students travelled to Ball’s Falls Conservation Centre to volunteer at the 2019 Ontario Farmland Forum. This event was organized by the Ontario Farmland Trust, which is currently led by Executive Director, Kathryn Enders (Brock BA GEOG ’06).
The Forum looked at different approaches to protecting farmland in broader landscapes, including the waterways, woodlots, hedgerows, and fields that make up farm systems. It featured presentations by Dr. Chris Fullerton, and Geography alumna Sara Epp (BA GEOG ’08; MA GEOG ’13).
More details can be found on the Farmland Forum website.
The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to thank Archdeacon and Haudenosaunee Elder, Valerie Kerr, who came in to facilitate a Blanket Exercise Workshop with our students in GEOG 1F90 (Intro to Human Geography class) on March 20, 2019.
The KAIROS Blanket Exercise program is a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Learn more at https://www.kairosblanketexercise.org/.
A partnership between the Niagara Region and Brock announced last May is examining the Niagara Prosperity Initiative (NPI) and its impact on Niagara communities.
Lori Watson, Director, Social Assistance and Employment Opportunities for Niagara Region, said the research project “will help the Niagara Region develop an updated report outlining the state of poverty in Niagara — an analysis on the impacts, outcomes and offer recommendations on best practices moving forward.”
The three-year research project was funded through a nearly half-million-dollar grant from the Government of Ontario’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund and will culminate in a final report to be released in 2021.
The NPI provides $1.5 million annually to support poverty reduction and prevention activities throughout the region. In its 10 years of operation, the NPI has funded some 365 projects delivered by 85 local agencies to help more than 100,000 individuals and families experiencing poverty across Niagara.
Brock’s transdisciplinary research team is led by Jeff Boggs (Geography and Tourism Studies), Michael Busseri (Psychology), Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker (Teacher Education), Joyce Engel (Nursing), Tiffany Gallagher (Teacher Education), Kevin Gosine (Sociology), Felice Martinello (Economics), Dawn Prentice (Nursing) and Dennis Soron (Sociology).
In 2018, the NPI evaluation team:
- Formulated a communications strategy
- Formed a community advisory team
- Reviewed previous research, statistics and the landscape of poverty and poverty reduction efforts in Niagara and comparable regions
- Interviewed people who were instrumental to the development and management of NPI, with a focus on NPI’s history and objectives
- Spoke with NPI-funded project leads with a focus on the impact of NPI funding
- Created a comparison of actual and expected outputs
- Analyzed testimonials from NPI service users
In 2019, the NPI evaluation team is aiming to:
- Form a lived experience advisory group
- Continue speaking with NPI-funded project leads
- Measure the impact of NPI assistance on service user well-being
- Survey a representative sample of Niagara residents affected by poverty
- Evaluate NPI-funded literacy projects
- Develop inclusive photo-reporting practices
- Assess service user feedback mechanisms
- Review the NPI request for proposal and review process
The NPI evaluation team received contributions and support from a number of places, including Brock’s Social Justice Research Institute, which initiated the partnership and facilitated the grant application process, the Faculty of Social Sciences and the wider Brock community.
Members of the Community Advisory Team, including Catherine Livingston, Diane Corkum, Jackie Van Lankveld and Jane LaVacca, reviewed and provided feedback on the project plan. Fourth-year Sociology students conducted 25 interviews with NPI-funded project leads. The Information and Analytics Team, a business unit with Niagara Region’s Information Technology Solutions division, identified and facilitated access to poverty-related data collected by the Niagara Region and its partners.
For more information, visit the NPI Evaluation project website at brocku.ca/npi-evaluation.
Story reposted from The Brock News.
On March 8, 2019, the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies held our first Alumni-Student Mixer event. The night began with an alumni panel where four alumni from our programs answered questions and shared about their experiences during their studies at Brock and life after Brock. This discussion was followed by time for our alumni, students, faculty, staff and retirees to network with each other.
We would like to thank everyone who attended, and say a special thanks to our four alumni panelists:
- Rebecca Anello, Junior Meteorological Technologist, Environment and Climate Change Canada. Rebecca graduated from Brock with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography in 2014 and a Master of Science in Earth Sciences in 2017.
- Greg Higginbotham, Marketing Manager, Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. Greg graduated from Brock with a Bachelor of Tourism Studies in 2010 and a Master of Arts in Applied Health Sciences (Leisure Studies) in 2014.
- Kerrie Pickering, PhD Candidate in Sustainability, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Kerrie graduated from Brock with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies in 2010 and a Master of Arts in Geography in 2013.
- Edward Stubbing, Senior Transportation Planner, AECOM. Edward graduated from Brock with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography 2009.
On March 8, 2019, GeoTour Faculty members, Drs. Marilyne Jollineau and Julia Baird, participated in the “Women in Sustainability: A Panel Discussion in Celebration of International Women’s Day” event on campus.
The discussion was moderated by Marilyne Jollineau. Discussions were framed around a number of questions focused on women in the field of sustainability.
- Julia Baird, Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair
- Carrie Beatty, Chief Strategic Communications & Public Affairs Officer for the Town of Lincoln
- Jessica Blythe, Assistant Professor
- Ellen Savoia, Senior Manager, Environmental Planning, Niagara Parks
- Natalie Green, Project Manager, Niagara River Remedial Action Plan
- Mary Quintana, Director, Asset Management & Utilities, Brock University
When a group of researchers returned to Crawford Lake to continue the search for evidence of a possible new geological era, they came with a film crew to document the occasion.
Toronto-based Mercury Films joined the team of scientists, led by Brock’s Department of Earth Sciences, shooting footage during last month’s trip to the Milton site to collect samples.
The team is studying the lake as a possible location to define a new geologic epoch called the Anthropocene. It is one of 10 sites being captured by Mercury Films.
The production company’s most recent film,Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September and is part of a multimedia project that includes a major travelling museum exhibition of photographs, short films and augmented reality. It has been featured at the Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada, and will be on display in Bologna, Italy, in April.
In addition to the field work, Mercury Films will visit Brock to obtain footage of the laboratory analysis component of this research effort. As part of a project, contracted through the German government, they will highlight each site’s candidacy for type section — a location where evidence of a time period shift can be seen — and cover all the steps leading to the formal proposal of the Anthropocene epoch.
In order to receive this ‘golden spike’ designation, a proposal must be submitted to the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) for evaluation. If the AWG approves of this proposal, it will then be evaluated by the International Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, chaired by Brock University Professor of Earth Sciences Martin Head.
While the world is technically in the Holocene epoch, the group researching Crawford Lake, which also includes researchers from Carleton and McMaster universities as well as Conservation Halton, hopes their findings can convince fellow scientists around the globe to establish the start of the latest geological age.
Researchers suggest the Anthropocene began around 1950. While it hasn’t been officially adopted as a geological epoch, Brock Professor of Earth Sciences Francine McCarthy and her team are attempting to build a case for Crawford Lake.
To get a better understanding of the history that exists within Crawford, annually laminated sediments called varves are recovered through freeze-coring — a process that involves dropping a dry ice and ethanol filled-metal sampler into the lake.
“Over the next year or so, various types of analysis of the varves and the overlying water will be conducted, including radionuclide analysis to look for the ‘bomb spike’ and evidence of the Great Acceleration since the Second World War,” McCarthy said. “If a good radionuclide signature, including plutonium, is present in the sediments of Crawford Lake, the site will be a strong contender as the type section, with a ‘golden spike’ at around 1950.”
Faculty of Math and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed commended team members for their efforts.
“I would like to send my congratulations to the team for their work on this matter,” he said. “They should be both proud of their research and excited by the attention it is receiving.”
There is still plenty of work to be done before the Anthropocene is recognized as a geological era. Progress reports from 10 candidate sites will be presented in April at the upcoming European Geophysical Union Meeting in Vienna. Additionally, supporters from each site will travel to Berlin in May to discuss the next steps that need to be taken to establish the Anthropocene epoch.
Story reposted from The Brock News.
Whether you realize it or not, geographic information systems (GIS) are part of your everyday life.
When you plan a trip in Google Maps, you’re using GIS. When news outlets use maps to add visuals to stories, they are made through GIS.
But the software’s value doesn’t end there.
GIS is used for spatial analysis, city planning, viticulture research, environment research and sport analysis. Last year’s Esri Canada Scholarship winner from Brock, Kyle Rankin, used GIS to analyze hockey, investigating shots on goal to determine the best place to shoot from in hopes of scoring.
In an effort to help inform the Brock community of the innovative uses of GIS, the University’s Map, Data and GIS Library is hosting an event on Thursday, March 7.
Esri Canada, from whom Brock licenses its GIS software, will be at the map library (MCC 306) from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to detail various GIS uses and to answer questions from the University community.
Esri representatives will discuss both the researcher side of the software for students and faculty, looking at how GIS can support their work, and the administrative side, looking at how GIS can be used for areas such as recruitment and facilities management.
Register for the event on ExperienceBU.
Story reposted from The Brock News.