Articles tagged with: MA Geography

  • Department celebrates successes of 2018 with inaugural newsletter

    In January 2019, the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies published its inaugural annual newsletter highlighting departmental successes in 2018. The newsletter is available to download on our Departmental Publications page.

    Newsletter cover page. Brock campus with students

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  • Professor Noella Gray hosts marine conservation seminar

    REPOSTED FROM THE BROCK PRESS
     | January 29, 2019

    Brock’s Geography and Tourism studies hosted a two-hour long seminar entitled Global Marine Conservation: Science, Policy and Territory. The seminar was hosted by Dr. Noella Gray from the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics at Guelph University.

    The seminar held on January 24, 2019, saw Gray expounding on the impact of marine protected areas (MPAs) and the increasing prevalence of ocean nationalism. Gray researches the politics of conservation and environmental governance.

    “I consider how science is incorporated into environmental policy, the politics of scale in marine conservation, and how resource management policies are negotiated under co-management arrangements,” said Gray. “I have studied both ecotourism and [MPAs] as examples of conservation interventions and how they contribute to political ecology, common property and science and technology studies.”

    MPAs refer to areas of the ocean that are legally protected and managed with the intent being to achieve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of aquatic flora and fauna. The total ocean area under protected status has increased almost tenfold since recent times, and a number of global commitments have further encouraged new territories to establish MPAs.

    “The overwhelming response by conservation scientists to the issues that plague the ocean such as dumping of waste and overfishing has been to establish [MPAs],” said Gray.

    The entirety of the seminar was focused on factors that are driving the territorialisation process, and what the consequences of this process are by looking at the increase of very large exclusive economic sea zones in countries and the effort to increase the number of protected areas in areas beyond national jurisdiction — the so-called high seas.

    Gray presented information based on the findings of two of her recent research projects: a long-term collaborative study of international conservation governance, focused on the evolution of high seas conservation; and a multi-site study of five large-scale MPAs. Gray considered the role of science and technology, as well as both state and non-state actors, in producing conservation territories, and highlighted both the possibilities and limits of territorial thinking in the oceans.

    According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the long-term goal for the protection of the territorial oceans is that by 2020, 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, will be conserved through effectively and equitably managed marine protected areas.

    Gray’s presentation drew on examples of three of the five territories that she studied: Palau, Kiribati and Bermuda. Both Palau and Kiribati have hit their 10 per cent goal prior to 2020 and have large MPAs bursting with aquatic life. Bermuda, on the other hand, does not have any MPAs despite ongoing debates to create one, however, their oceans are still teeming with aquatic life. Through the use of those examples, Dr. Gray highlighted some of the common arguments for and against the establishment of MPAs.

    “We’re at a really striking moment historically in terms of this increase in territorialisation of the ocean space. There’s a lot at stake in all of this line-drawing that’s happening, both for oceans and for the people who depend on them. As we race towards these international targets, I encourage [individuals] not to get lost in the rapid climb to meet an arbitrary target,” said Gray. “Instead, think about what is driving this effort and what the benefits and underlying drawbacks are when we employ certain conservation methods.”

    The seminar hosted was the first of a four-part series put on by the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies. Interested students are encouraged to attend the second presentation to be held on February 7 in MCC405 by Dr. Hasan Karrar on 50 years of Pakistan-China Connectivity Across the Karakoram.

    Students interested in the work that Dr. Gray is doing can connect with her via email at grayn@uoguelph.ca and on social media @NoellaJGray.

    Story Reposted from The Brock Press.

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  • Congratulations to Senanu Kutor on the successful completion of his MA in Geography MRP

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to extend congratulations to Senanu Kutor and his committee for the successful defense of his Master of Arts in Geography Major Research Paper entitled ‘Wisdom and cross-cultural interaction: a geographical perspective’ on January 14, 2019.

    Senanu’s research was supervised by Dr. Dragos Simandan and committee member, Dr. Jeffrey Boggs.

    We wish Senanu all the best for his future endeavours!

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  • Geography student wins award for best graduate course paper

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate our current MA Geography student, Jennica Giesbrecht, on being chosen as the 2018 Faculty of Social Sciences Best Graduate Course Paper award. Jennica’s paper, which was submitted to Dr. Michael Ripmeester for GEOG 5P40 (Historical Geographies of Culture  and Power), is titled “Reclaiming Death Care and Negotiations of Culture, Power, and Authenticity.”

    Congratulations Jennica!

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  • Geography student wins award for best graduate major research paper

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate Emmanuel Akowuah on being chosen for the 2018 Faculty of Social Sciences Best Graduate Major Research Paper award. Emmanuel’s major research paper, which was supervised by Dr. Chris Fullerton, is titled “Farmers’ Access to Agricultural Information and its Impact on Smallholder Agriculture: A Case Study of the Asante Akim North Municipality, Ghana.”

    Congratulations Emmanuel!

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  • Geography student studies why some people live on the road

    STORY FROM THE TORONTO STAR | DEC 6, 2018

    Graduate student in the driver's seat of a van she bought for research

    Brock University graduate student Stephanie Murray studied movible communities in a van she bought on Kijiji. Photo by Stephanie Murray.

    When Stephanie Murray, a Geography master’s student at Brock University, set out on a two-month long journey across North America to study nomads and vanlife culture, she didn’t expect to find herself learning to surf, contributing to a documentary film, or being surrounded by a pack of angry stray dogs. But she quickly learned that life on the road is full of unexpected twists and turns.

    An avid traveller, Murray stumbled onto vanlife culture. She was fascinated by the people she met, and quickly realized that although nomads living in vans had been around for years, no one had studied them yet.

    “I knew there was a gap in academia that I could fill,” Murray says. “But if I wanted to truly study this culture, I needed to be able to live and move like they did.”

    “Lola” in the field during her two-month research journey across North America. Photo by Stephanie Murray.

    Using funding from Brock and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant, she purchased a used van on Kijiji. Naming it Lola, she converted the vehicle into 66 square feet of living space. Then, over the summer of 2017, she drove to the west coast of the United States to attend “van gatherings,” events where people who live and travel in their vans get together to socialize and support one another. It’s a diverse group, says Murray. “One of the couples I spoke to worked remotely in IT, another couple ran a blog, and one of the other vanlifers was making money from a book he’d written. They’re a pretty talented bunch.”

    She was out to discover their motivation for giving up conventional lives and instead choosing a highly mobile lifestyle. “Our society is oriented towards people who stay in one place, and van nomads help to call that way of thinking into question.”

    “I have encountered so much kindness on the road,” Murray added. “People have welcomed me into their homes and helped me with my van, with no expectation of anything in return. And while the vanlifers I interviewed took up this lifestyle for a variety of reasons, they were united by a desire to choose their own path, rather than the one that’s handed down to them.”

    Murray was thankful that she received the full backing of the University during her time on the road.

    “Brock supported me fully from day one. And that support meant that I was able to do this research in the way it needed to be done — in person, on the road. I lived and moved alongside the people I was studying, and never once did I have to make any compromises that would have hurt the quality of my research. The University made sure I had the resources to do it right.”

    Master's student in the field during trip across north america. Standing in the foggy mountains.

    Research doesn’t have to happen in the lab. Photo by Stephanie Murray.

    Murray’s faculty supervisor and the Graduate Program Director of Geography at Brock,  Dr. David Butz, believed her research was novel and important, given today’s mobile society. Becoming a van nomad herself was pivotal.

    “This research strategy — and life choice — gives her research an unusually strong experiential and autobiographical component, which is rare in ‘mobilities’ research, and which adds to the distinctiveness and potential significance of her research,” says Butz. “We also felt Stephanie’s unusual research project, while logistically complicated, was worth supporting. We were confident about her capabilities based on her history with the University. At Brock, we encourage applications from good students and we’re willing to put funding behind that — and provide them with mentoring to apply for external funding.  Brock can offer lots of personalized attention to students.”

    Research doesn’t have to happen in a lab. There are interesting and exciting things going on around us everywhere, and at Brock University, unique postgraduate research projects in the community are encouraged.

    For her part, Murray is grateful for the support she received from Brock. “This research changed the course of my life, and it showed me that it’s possible to turn your passion into a ground-breaking research project,” she said. “If you have a clear vision of what you want to discover, Brock can help you on that pursuit.”

    Interested in studying in the Master of Arts in Geography program at Brock? Apply by February 15 to start next September.


    Story reposted from The Toronto Star

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  • Master of Arts in Geography student helps to curate exhibit on Niagara’s historical theatres

    The history of entertainment in Niagara is now in the spotlight at Brock University thanks to the hard work of two local high school students.

    The work of Beamsville District Secondary School students Emma McDonald (daughter of History Professor Andrew McDonald) and Keerthana Srikanth is on display in the University’s Archives and Special Collections.

    The opportunity to create an exhibit about historical theatres in Niagara came about after the pair of 15-year-old students devoted hours of their spare time volunteering at the Town of Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre.

    Now Playing exhibit

    Beamsville District Secondary School students Keerthana Srikanth and Emma McDonald were joined for the installation of their exhibit Now Playing: Evolution of Entertainment by Brock’s Head of Archives and Special Collections David Sharron and Town of Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre curator and Brock Master of Geography student Lisa Marie Mercier.

    Having seen the girls’ passion for history, the museum’s curator, Brock Master of Geography student Lisa Marie Mercier, invited the duo to curate an exhibit of their own, Now Playing: Evolution of Entertainment.

    “The exhibit connected the girls to history in a way that would not otherwise be possible,” she said. “It allowed them to engage with historic material on a very personal level.”

    After deciding to focus their exhibit on entertainment, the Grade 10 students met with David Sharron, Brock’s Head of Archives and Special Collections, to examine some of the University’s collection and narrow their focus.

    “Once they chose their topics, we provided access to information and materials that would show well in an exhibit,” he said of the photographs, maps and programs on display. “They filtered through everything and did all the research and selections.”

    The two young curators were appreciative of the expansive resources on offer in the archives.

    “It was really interesting and overwhelming,” said McDonald. “There were lots of cool things to choose from.”

    Having a wealth of resources from the museum and Brock’s archives made the task of choosing the most appropriate items to display at Lincoln Town Hall and the University a little tougher.

    “We needed to figure out what we wanted to focus on,” said Srikanth. “We narrowed it down to the Beam Theatre, the Prudhommes Garden Centre Theatre and the Shaw Festival, and then spent four months getting our materials together.”

    Upon finishing the display’s assembly at Brock on Friday, Nov. 16, McDonald summed up the pair’s feelings about seeing the final product on show.

    “We are really excited,” she said. “Seeing our work in such a large establishment is insane.”

    For Sharron, the display is a welcome addition to the Archives and Special Collections display cases.

    “I saw pictures of what they did at the Lincoln town hall and it looks fantastic,” he said. “The fact that they can do another project here shows the wealth of information they put together. They are two impressive young women.”

    Sharron said the project aligns with Brock’s ongoing commitment to engage with the community while also encouraging young people like McDonald and Srikanth to consider the University in a few years.

    “I think it’s a great opportunity to reach out to the community, share our collections with young people and get them interested in what we do here,” he said. “We hope that when they are considering an institution for post-secondary studies, they will think of us.”

    Now Playing: Evolution of Entertainment can be viewed in the Archives and Special Collections display cases on the 10th floor of the James A. Gibson Library until the end of March 2019.

    Story from The Brock News.

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  • Employees, students and research add up to Brock’s significant impact on Niagara

    Nearly half a billion dollars. Even on the conservative end of the measurement scale, that’s the economic impact Brock University has on the Niagara region each year.

    It comes in the form of Brock’s 19,000 students living in the region and spending their money here. It comes from hundreds of millions of dollars in capital and operational expenditures. And it comes from Brock’s 4,800 part- and full-time employees receiving more than $200 million in payroll each year.

    “I encourage you to look beyond the numbers,” said Brock University President Gervan Fearon. “There are individuals directly tied to each of those dollar values. The values reflect the outstanding work our staff, faculty, researchers, students and partners are doing in contributing to economic and community activities across the region and province.”

    A new policy brief released by the Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) Wednesday, Oct. 10 gives an updated snapshot of the University’s economic impact locally and beyond. The brief is a pilot project that will lead to more wholesome economic impact studies, as well as research examining Brock’s social and community engagement impact.

    “One of the things this paper does is show how the University can be a catalyst and a partner in Niagara,” Fearon said. “Brock is a community-based university and what we’re celebrating here is not just our achievements, but the achievements of the entire community.”

    Brock Associate Professor of Geography and Tourism Studies Jeff Boggs and master’s student Lauren Peddle (BA ’18) co-authored the report after spending months researching and poring through data using two separate accepted methodologies.

    Professor Jeff Boggs and MA in Geography student, Lauren Peddle posing with report

    Professor Jeff Boggs and MA in Geography student, Lauren Peddle, present the findings from their study, The Brock University effect: How thousands of students and millions of dollars energize the economy of Niagara communities.

    Using conservative assumptions as the basis, one method estimates Brock’s impact in Niagara to be more than $436 million and the other more than $450 million. When student and related spending are considered, this number jumps to nearly $640 million.

    Brock has an annual operating budget of $320 million and a payroll of more than $212 million. It’s one of Niagara’s biggest employers, and nearly 80 per cent of its employees live in the region.

    Brock Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon said measuring and characterizing a post-secondary institution’s impact on its community is a “ferociously difficult challenge.” But Brock’s decision to take it on shows the University’s commitment to being a community partner.

    “What we learned is that the University affects the community, but the community also affects the University,” he said.

    He added that Brock’s more than $15 million in research grants received in the past year translates into equipment purchases, new hires and the enabling of research that positively impacts the community.

    The policy brief will become a foundation for future research and planning, said Fearon.

    “We’ll now be able to look at the numbers to say ‘how can we have the greatest financial impact at a regional level?’”

    Deputy St. Catharines CAO David Oakes, one of the panelists at Wednesday’s NCO event, said Brock’s impact on municipalities in the region is immense.

    “Brock is critical to the St. Catharines economy,” he said. “You look at something like the Steel Blade hockey game, where you have 5,000 students coming downtown — that has a direct impact on the downtown core that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.”

    Other panelists reflecting on the important role played by the University and the value added to Niagara communities included Mishka Balsom from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Rino Mostacci from the Niagara Region and Peter Tiidus, Dean of Brock’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.

    Download the policy brief “The Brock University Effect” here.

    STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS

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  • Students and professor off to Montréal to participate in feminist geography conference

    This long weekend, three Geography and Tourism Studies students and Associate Professor, Dr. Ebru Ustundag, are off to the University of Montréal to participate in a feminist geography conference.

    Co-organized by Dr. Ustundag, this two-day conference is hosted by the Canadian Women and Geography (CWAG) specialty group of the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) and the International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Gender and Geography.

    The conference theme this year is Feminist Geographies in/during Troubled Times: Dialogues, Interventions and Praxis, a theme that fits well with the research interests of Geography and Tourism Studies students Jennica Giesbrecht, Katelyn Pierce, and Jennifer Williamson. All three will be presenting in sessions this Sunday, August 5.

    Querying ‘the future of work’ 3: Rethinking Care and the future of work (Jennica Giesbrecht, Master of Arts in Geography Candidate; 1:30 – 3:00pm in room B-3245)

    Bodies and Embodiments (Katelyn Pierce, Master of Arts in Geography Candidate; 10:45am – 12:15pm in room B-3255)

    Spaces and Places 1: Cities (Jennifer Williamson, Bachelor of Arts in Geography Candidate; 1:30 – 3:00pm in room B-3255)

    In addition to these presentations, Dr. Ustundag will be participating in and moderating three roundtable discussions:

    • Geo-humanities, Intimate Narrations and Art Praxis 1: Conceptual Interventions (Roundtable participant; Sunday, 1:30 – 3:00pm in room B-3260)
    • Geo-humanities, Intimate Narrations and Art Praxis 2: Dialogues on Art Praxis (Roundtable moderator; Sunday, 3:15 – 4:45pm in room B-3260)
    • Dialogues in Feminist-Queer Geographies Panel (Roundtable organizer/moderator; Monday, 10:45am – 12:15pm in room B-3255)

    The feminist geography conference precedes the 2018 International Geographical Union and Canadian Association of Geographers meetings, which will be held in Québec City from August 6-10.

    For more information, please visit: https://feministgeography.org/.

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  • Congratulations to Adam Fischer on the successful completion of his MA in Geography thesis

    Adam Fischer successfully defended his MA in Geography thesis. Pictured here (L to R): David Butz (GPD); Phillip Mackintsoh (sumervisor); Adam Fischer; Chris Fullerton (committee member); and Alan Walks (external examiner)

    Pictured from left to right: Dr. David Butz (Graduate Program Director); Dr. Phillip Mackintosh (supervisor); Adam Fischer; Dr. Chris Fullerton (committee member); and Dr. Alan Walks (external examiner, University of Toronto).

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to extend congratulations to Adam Fischer and his committee for the successful defense of his Master of Arts in Geography thesis entitled ‘A Domestic Geography of Money: How Mortgage Debt, Home Prices and Toronto’s Condominiums “Prop Up” the Canadian Economy’.

    Adam’s research was supervised by Dr. Phillip Mackintosh, and committee members, Dr. Jeffrey Boggs and Dr. Christopher Fullerton. Many thanks to External Examiner, Dr. Alan Walks (Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto).

    We wish Adam all the best for his future endeavours!

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