Congratulations Professor Fran Klodawsky!

Congratulations Professor Fran Klodawsky on being awarded the 2016 Jan Monk Service Award!

Photo of Fran

This award is named in honour of past-President of the AAG, Jan Monk, and recognizes a geographer who has made an outstanding service contribution to women in geography and/or feminist geography.

Nominated by many students and scholars, Professor Fran Klodawsky, was chosen by The Geographic Perspectives on Women (GPOW) Specialty Group of the AAG for this award. The GPOW promotes geographic research and education on topics relating to women and gender.

Dr. Klodawsky is a Full Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University.

Her areas of expertise include: public policy and social inclusion/exclusion in cities, especially in relation to housing, and feminist perspectives on cities, on community organizing, on housing and on homelessness. Her work utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods within a collaborative, community-based framework.

Currently (June 2012-16), she is the Principal Investigator of a SSHRC funded project titled “Intersectionality in Practice: Feminist Theory and Urban Governance”, and she also led a previous SSHRC funded study (May 2008-12), titled “Learning Through Difference”. Fran Klodawsky is Secretary to the Board of Women in Cities International. She is also an Academic Advisor to the Steering Committee of City for All Women Initiative in Ottawa.

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Celebrating our Undergraduate Honour Students

Research Day – Friday April 8th, 2016

Congratulations to the Science Honours Students in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies on the high-quality research projects you have undertaken in your fourth-year Honours Research courses. Today students are showcasing their work through poster viewing and discussion of their research at Fenn Lounge, Carleton University.

Matthew Brown

ANALYZING THE INTERACTION BETWEEN INVASIVE ZEBRA MUSSEL (DEEISSENA POLYMORPHA) POPULATIONS AND MACROPHYTE BIOVOLUME IN LAKES OF EASTERN ONTARIO Matthew Brown (Honours Student) and Jesse Vermaire (Professor). Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Department of Environmental Science.

Lexxi Clement

A GEOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF A BELIZE SPELEOTHEM: A 500 YEAR RECORD OF ATMOSPHERE POLLUTION Lexxi Clement (Honours Student), Joyce Lundberg (Professor). Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Taylor McWade

EYELINER SLUMPS: DISTRIBUTION AND GEOMORPHOLOGY IN THE LAC DE GRAS REGION, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, CANADA Taylor McWade (Honours Student) and Stephan Gruber (Professor). Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Emma Riley

THE BARREN LANDS: THE INFLUENCE OF ROCK TYPE ON THE NATURE OF ROCK BARRENS IN THE OTTAWA AREA Emma Riley (Honours Student) and Joyce Lundberg. Department of Integrated Science, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Elise Belle Rose

CONCENTRATIONS OF ARSENIC, COPPER, MERCURY, AND ZINC IN FISH MUSCLE AND LIVER TISSUE FROM YELLOWKNIFE BAY, NT Elise Belle Rose (Honours Student). Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

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Congratulations to the Nominees for the Annual Departmental Teaching Assistant Awards!

TA Award

Nominees from Left to Right: Nick Brown, Marcus Phillips, Alice Wilson, Andree-Anne Laforce (not shown in photo Dana Holtby and Mert Coskan).

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies is pleased to congratulate our graduate students on being nominated by undergraduate students for the Annual Departmental Teaching Assistant Award. In April the graduate committee will review the nominations and select a single awardee from the submissions received. The department recognizes your excellent performance and is grateful for your hard work at Carleton University.

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Congratulations Alex Bramm, DGES Alumni, on being published in ISEMA!

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Alex Bramm,

“I graduated from Environmental Studies in 2014. The interdisciplinary nature of the program and its focus on the social, environmental and policy dimensions of sustainability has influenced me greatly since graduating. In the fall of 2014, I was accepted into Carleton’s Sustainable Energy Policy program where my background in environmental studies has provided me important insight into climate change and the ecological dimensions of our current and future energy system.

This last fall I was honoured to have one of my research papers published in our faculty journal: ISEMA: Perspectives on Innovation, Science and the Environment. The paper analyzed existing carbon offsetting regimes in the airline industry and proposed an alternative offsetting model that emphasizes the localization of offsetting initiatives to increase participation rates and reduce urban GHG emissions.

My undergraduate degree has afforded me valuable work experiences over the last couple years with placements leaning heavily upon the knowledge and skills gained at Carleton. I have worked in the GIS department at Hydro Ottawa and conducted waste audits on behalf of Waste Management at Carleton. Presently, as I complete my master’s degree, I am working part-time as a junior policy analyst at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada in the Science and Innovation Sector. The research and writing skills I developed at Carleton along with the insights attained from the social and scientifically-oriented courses has helped me thrive as I transition into my career.

My advice for students is to take full advantage of the opportunities provided in the honours programs. The practicum placement, field camp and honours thesis added so much to my degree that I cannot imagine being nearly as equipped for graduate school or my career without them. An additional note is that no matter where you end up after your degree do not forget the diverse nature of the DGES program. Embrace difference and collaboration at all turns and maintain an open mind as you are confronted with challenges in work and life.”

Link to Alex Bramm’s Article:
Carbon Crowdfunding, An Analysis of Voluntary Carbon Offsets at Gasoline Stations as a Tool for Supporting Local Urban Sustainability Initiatives

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Greenland in February

Hands-On Learning About Snow and Sea Ice

Written By Keegan Smith, MSc. Graduate Student in Geography

Seen from a high-flying plane, the Greenland ice sheet is a vast expanse of white. Beginning our descent, we can see what we believe to be tiny cracks in the ice. Descending further, the illusion is shattered as we realize that we are staring down at yawning crevasses, each cutting deep into a slab of ice thousands of metres thick. The sudden appreciation of scale is dizzying.

A view of blowing snow out of the window of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR) residence building. This is my favourite kind of weather.

A view of blowing snow out of the window of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR) residence building. This is my favourite kind of weather.

It is February 2015, and I am travelling with fellow DGES M.Sc. student Jill Rajewicz to attend the Snow-Covered Sea Ice field course in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital. The course has been organized by Dr. John Iacozza, an instructor with the University of Manitoba and a specialist on snow-covered sea ice, with support from instructors from Canada, Denmark, and Greenland. Through the Arctic Science Partnership, students have come to Nuuk from around the Northern Hemisphere.

Overlooking Nuuk Old Town from the statue of Nuuk’s founder, Lutheran missionary Hans Egede (not visible, behind photographer). The red Nuuk Cathedral is visible in the mid-ground. Photo credit: Jill Rajewicz

Overlooking Nuuk Old Town from the statue of Nuuk’s founder, Lutheran missionary Hans Egede (not visible, behind photographer). The red Nuuk Cathedral is visible in the mid-ground. Photo credit: Jill Rajewicz

Though we’ve been travelling for hours, our excitement is palpable when we step onto the tarmac of Kangerlussuaq airport. It is my first time standing north of the Arctic Circle, and I am glad that we get to walk outside when changing aircraft.

Air Greenland’s single jet airliner (an Airbus A330) on the tarmac at Kangerlussuaq airport.

Air Greenland’s single jet airliner (an Airbus A330) on the tarmac at Kangerlussuaq airport.

Air Greenland has only one Airbus A330, which spends most of its time commuting to Copenhagen, Denmark. Due to mountainous terrain and challenging weather, Nuuk airport cannot handle jet airliners. To get there, we must transfer to more maneuverable Dash-8 propeller planes. We board these at Kangerlussuaq, which, at the head of a long fjord, is an ideal landing strip for the bulky airbuses.

As we approach Nuuk airport, I stare at land-fast ice in the fjords we fly over. “Land-fast” means that this ice is bound to the coastline, and doesn’t move like open-water pack ice. As part of our course, we will be conducting fieldwork on land-fast ice in Nuuk ‘s Old Harbour. The ice is fascinating, but I am traveling to study the snow. I’m already full of questions for John. How is the snow typically distributed on sea ice? How is it studied in the field? What are its thermal and optical properties?

Carleton M.Sc. student Keegan Smith standing under the Kangerlussuaq airport signpost, north of the Arctic Circle.

Carleton M.Sc. student Keegan Smith standing under the Kangerlussuaq airport signpost, north of the Arctic Circle.

Once on the ground in Nuuk, I unpack at GINR’s accommodations before exploring with Jill. With a bus service that runs throughout the day, a large cultural centre and museum, and even a shopping mall, I’m amazed at how busy the city is. Later, we learn that a hydroelectric dam provides most of Nuuk’s energy, that the city has a swimming pool warmed by heat from a municipal waste incinerator, and that it has its own brewery. I can’t help but think that there’s something for every geographer here…

The waste incinerator, as seen from Nuuk Old Harbour. Heat from this incinerator warms a nearby indoor swimming pool, which stays open around the year. Photo credit: Maxim Lamare

The waste incinerator, as seen from Nuuk Old Harbour. Heat from this incinerator warms a nearby indoor swimming pool, which stays open around the year.
Photo credit: Maxim Lamare

The course begins the next day at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR), which has rented their accommodations out to us for the week. Living with a group of international graduate students with similar research interests is both fun and intimidating. Experience levels range – some, like Jill, have seasons of Arctic fieldwork under their belts. Others, like Maxim Lamare, have been studying the properties of sea ice in laboratory settings for years, but have never actually stood on ice on the ocean. But as several languages spin around the dining table, it becomes clear that the common theme is enthusiasm. We’re very lucky to be here.

Walking through the streets of Nuuk. The large buildings to the right are residential complexes.

Walking through the streets of Nuuk. The large buildings to the right are residential complexes.

Lectures run through the day (with obligatory breaks for coffee). John, a specialist in polar bear habitat, teaches us about the geophysics of snow and ice. Lars Lund-Hansen, a professor of biology at Aarhus University in Copenhagen, teaches us about sea ice optics and ecosystems. We have read papers about climate monitoring by Soviet drifting stations during the cold war. We have seen videos showing the instructors’ trips to the Arctic and Antarctic oceans.

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Of course, you can hear lectures anywhere. We are here for experiential learning, which we get through fieldwork, lab time, and (perhaps surprisingly) lunch. Lunch at GINR is not a modest affair, beginning with a trumpet blast to alert the whole building. Staff members and guests quickly gather at the doors to the lunchroom, forming an orderly line and conversing to their neighbours in many languages – a meeting of cultures and minds.

Appetizers at GINR’s lunch spread. Clockwise from the top of the plate: Musk Ox canapé, dried cod, and maktaaq – the skin of a narwhal. Photo credit: Maxim Lamare.

Appetizers at GINR’s lunch spread. Clockwise from the top of the plate: Musk Ox canapé, dried cod, and maktaaq – the skin of a narwhal.
Photo credit: Maxim Lamare.

The food seems to symbolize the spirit of this meeting; traditional Greenlandic country foods, such as whale skin and seal blubber, are served alongside Scandinavian fare, such as meatballs and dried cod. Food is a prominent research topic at GINR because of its importance to Greenlanders. Food security, economy, and culture are all linked here through the halibut and prawn fisheries, the social importance of hunting and traditional foods, and the high cost of imports to the Arctic.

As we tour the Institute over the next several days, we are invited several times to conduct research at GINR, and several researchers show us what they are working on. The projects are diverse, but many focus on the physical and biological systems of the ocean and sea ice. Mala Broberg is a Greenlandic student in our course who has been on one of the research trawlers. He describes the experience to us, telling us that in addition to research experience, students are allowed to keep a share of the catch for their freezers.

Students watch a local kite-skiing during an orienteering exercise conducted as part of the course. Photo credit: Maxim Lamare.

Students watch a local kite-skiing during an orienteering exercise conducted as part of the course.
Photo credit: Maxim Lamare.

We also get our fieldwork on the harbour. We have three exercises to complete in the field – a snow survey, a snowpit, and an ice core. For the survey, we sample snow depth periodically along two lines, each arrayed at 45° to the prevailing winds. We dig the snowpit to take measurements of temperature, snow density, and grain size from top to bottom in the snowpack. These measurements together can tell us how heat and light are transferred between the ocean and the atmosphere, buffered by the snow and ice.

Students extract an ice core from Nuuk Old Harbour using the Kovacs corer (the long orange barrel, centre). This corer is being hand-turned, but they can be driven by power tools for greater speed, and can be used with extensions to core much thicker ice. Photo credit: Maxim Lamare

Students extract an ice core from Nuuk Old Harbour using the Kovacs corer (the long orange barrel, centre). This corer is being hand-turned, but they can be driven by power tools for greater speed, and can be used with extensions to core much thicker ice. Photo credit: Maxim Lamare

Finally, we use a Kovacs corer to cut out an ice core, and we section this core into segments by depth. We take these segments into the GINR lab and let them melt, allowing us to measure pH, salinity, and chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll is the main pigment that algae use for light absorption and photosynthesis, and chlorophyll concentration is a measure of algae biomass. Based on the amount of light absorbed in our melted-ice samples, we can tell that the chlorophyll concentration, and thus the number of algae, is highest at the interface between the ocean and the ice (i.e. the bottom of the core).

At the end of the course, we celebrate… with Thai food! Because where else in the world are you going to try musk ox curry? The night ends with heartfelt goodbyes. Some of the other students are staying for an ice-safety course over the next few days, but Jill and I catch a plane back to Ottawa (by way of Kangerlussuaq, and then Copenhagen, and then Toronto) to work on our thesis proposals and mark papers.

Standing by the harbor in Nuuk’s Old Town on a clear day. Note the more traditional Scandinavian-style houses in the mid-ground, with larger modern residential buildings in the background. Photo credit: Jill Rajewicz

Standing by the harbor in Nuuk’s Old Town on a clear day. Note the more traditional Scandinavian-style houses in the mid-ground, with larger modern residential buildings in the background.
Photo credit: Jill Rajewicz

Having harboured dreams of visiting Greenland since childhood, this was an incredible experience for both Jill and I. Thanks are due to Dr. John Iacozza for working so hard to make the course a success, and to the GINR staff for being so welcoming to the group. I also want to thank the Geography Department, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, and the Graduate Students’ Association, as well as my supervisor, Dr. Murray Richardson, for helping me to fund the trip.

Carleton M.Sc. student Jill Rajewicz holds up the Greenland flag upon our return home to Ottawa.

Carleton M.Sc. student Jill Rajewicz holds up the Greenland flag upon our return home to Ottawa.

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Congratulations Nick and Anna on receipt of internal University graduate scholarships!

Anna & Nick Post

Nick Brown won the Dr. Thomas Betz Memorial Award  and Anna Crawford won a David and Rachel Epstein Foundation Scholarship.

Nick Post

Nick Brown is a MSc student and studies the changes taking place in permafrost. Perpetually sub-zero ground underlies much of the Canadian North and it is gradually warming up.  As it warms, there are a number of important physical changes which take place.  Some of these, like the melting of ice, can be hard to measure directly.  Nick will be investigating techniques which use temperature records to get a clearer picture of how much change is taking place in the ground.  His work will involve both computer simulation and field investigations.  Nick moved down to Ottawa last fall from Yellowknife and is looking forward to another northern summer at the end of the term.

Anna Post

Anna Crawford is a PhD student who has conducted research on ice islands (very large, tabular icebergs) in the Canadian Arctic for five years. She is currently researching the deterioration processes and occurrence patterns of ice islands which originate from the Petermann Glacier of northwest Greenland. Anna is working with others in the Water and Ice Research Lab within the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies to develop methods for detecting and predicting the deterioration of ice islands with remote sensing methods. This research has taken Anna on numerous trips to the Canadian Arctic to collect field data from these infrequently visited ice features. She is flattered to have received a David and Rachel Epstein Scholarship, which is presented to outstanding graduate students at Carleton University.

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“On Thick Ice”

“On Thick Ice”

Anna Crawford

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a graduate student?

Have you thought about exploring, learning and discovering more about science in the world around you?

Graduate Student Anna Crawford has written a blog titled “On Thick Ice” that details with real world imagery and descriptive prose her experiences as a graduate student. Anna completed her Masters of Science under the supervision of Professor Derek Mueller and has continued on in pursuit of her PhD.

In Anna’s own words, “I have had the incredible opportunity to visit both the Eastern and Western Canadian Arctic regions to research ice islands (large, tabular icebergs originating from ice shelves and glacial tongues). Observations of these rare and unusually large icebergs have increased in Canadian waters over the last decade. They are potential hazards to navigation and industrial equipment and will likely become more frequently seen in the Arctic due to climate change. My personal work investigates the role of surface melt (ablation) on overall ice island decay, while my colleagues study other aspects of ice island deterioration and drift”.

To learn more about Anna’s experience as a Masters and PhD student in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University, read all about her adventures in her personal blog titled:

On Thick Ice.

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